Texas Feed Store Sparks Outrage with ‘Bomb Iran’ Message
Owners quickly apologized for the line from the Beach Boys parody printed on a store receipt.
A cattle feed store in Texas has caused international outrage by printing "bomb bomb bomb Iran" on a receipt.
A cattle feed store in Texas has caused international outrage by printing “bomb bomb bomb Iran” on a receipt.
The phrase appeared at the bottom of a July 3 receipt from Arcola Feed and Hardware in Rosharon, Texas, a small town just south of Houston.
The words are likely a reference to a parody of the Beach Boys’ song “Barbara Ann,” which replaces the lyrics with “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.” The parody existed as early as 1979, in the wake of the Iran hostage crisis, but was re-popularized in 2007 when Sen. John McCain sang part of it while on the presidential campaign trail in answer to a question about possible U.S. military involvement in Iran.
After a photo of the receipt went viral on Telegram, a mobile messaging app widely used in Iran, and was posted to Twitter, the store was inundated with phone calls.
BBC Persian correspondent Bahman Kalbasi posted a photo of the receipt on his Twitter account on July 8:
“I have spoken to probably a hundred members of the Iranian community both here in the States and from ALL over the world,” wrote owner Tara Burk Jurica in a Facebook message to Kalbasi. “I have tried to assure them we don’t feel that way… My apologies to the Iranian community both here and abroad.”
Jurica told Foreign Policy in a phone interview that she removed the message immediately after she learned of it, and removed computer access from every employee except herself and her husband. She said she did not write the message.
“This is very upsetting,” said Jurica. “I don’t know where this came from, but this is my business and I am taking responsibility for it. What else can I do?”
A July 8 post on the store’s Facebook account apologized for the receipt’s message, while stating that the owners did not know how the message got there in the first place:
The store’s Facebook account has now been deleted.
If you’re curious what the whole Beach Boys parody sounds like, here’s one rendition:
This piece has been updated.
Majid Saeedi/Getty images
Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian is a journalist covering China from Washington. She was previously an assistant editor and contributing reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @BethanyAllenEbr
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