When you think of lawn-chairs, hot-tubs, Hawaiian-shirts, and six-packs of Budweiser over tawny fields of scrub-land trailer parks, Missouri could very well be the home of Betelgeuse, or at least– “a familiar place” he’d camp-out. Personally, my guess is that “the inspiration came from Texas”, because one of the co-writer’s, Larry Wilson actually served on the Texas state film-commission and might have been inspired, by the local “yahoo” element– and we’re not talking, “Yahoo cyber-systems”, here.
(Correction: It was Warren Skaaran who ran the Texas state film office, another co-writer on Beetlejuice)
If you had an area that represented trashy middle-America, you’d call “Missourah”, home. Pronounce the state’s name “with a country/fiddle drawl” or else they’ll suspect you “of being one of those slick, city-fellers” with too much education, for their own good as you pronounce-it, “Missourah” in this state if you want to be elected to official office.
But this is a wild-state, lots of car-chases and meth-labs exploding off in the woods where the police catch-up with a wildly-weaving motorist, he rolls down the window– then says, “I need a beeeeeeeeeeer”. I could see one of those “Monster Trucks” roaring through the forests and splashing through the creeks with bow-hunter’s camouflage and mud-splattered along the chassis as Betelgeuse waves his hat out the window, his teeth rotten and face obscured by rap-around “Macho-Man” Randy Savage rainbow glasses with Red Bull energy drink, making him “even more jiggered”.
Walmart is open, all night around these parts, like much of the South and Midwest– and I could just see him shrugging-down the aisles, buying household items and camping appliances, and otherwise “in heaven” back near the frozen meats and doing a dead/undead spell, sending cattle stampeding down the aisles. Or otherwise “camping-out” in a fold-out chair in the “outdoors section”, grilling hot-dogs inside the store “and looking right-satisfied” as he lives in a Walmart, or hunts-it “like a ghost”.
As marginal characters “haunt the earth”, blowing like tumble-weeds over a graveyard of broken-down old trucks and toothless drifters in nylon winter coats. I couldn’t call-it, anything other “than home”. . . . .