For the past three years we’ve ended our long and laborious 180-plus-category online Best of Missoula ballot with one last question: What’s the Best Category We Forgot? Usually, we receive hundreds of answers along the lines of “Are you serious?! We just voted for everything possible” or hundreds more lauding the voter’s significant other (Best Wife/Husband/Partner/Dog/Cat/you name it). We also receive a few funny answers that help us write this blurb (Best Newspaper to Light Charcoal With, Best Ass, Best Thing to Put in Your Ass, Best Person to Replace Obama) and serious answers that will be considered for the 2015 ballot (Best Pub Trivia, Best Comedian, Best Food Cart). In other words, it’s a question that helps us tweak the contest and improve it, as well as have a little fun.
This year, however, we received an answer that caught us by surprise: Best Hardware Store. Turns out, this is literally a category we forgot. For years it’s been a Best of Missoula staple and this time around it was mistakenly left off the ballot due to an administrative error. We apologize to those who take their hammers and screws seriously and look forward to its return next year. Perhaps with Best Food Cart, as well. Best Ass? Uh, probably not.