Roadside America — A Quick Visit to the Coroner’s Office

Apparently it used to be the “Los Angeles County Department of Coroner”.  (Where is the “the”?  This is confusing.)  Now, it’s officially the “Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner”.  The change is important, trust me!

…let me back up.  A few weeks ago, a friend of mine came to visit me.  She’s a NICU nurse, who worked around here for a few years.  We’ve gone on a few road trips since we’ve been friends, and our group of friends likes… wacky things, to say the least.

She likes checking the Roadside America site/app for things to see wherever we are.  Haven’t heard of Roadside America?  You tell it where you’re going, and then you can find out where the bizarre sights are — biggest strawberry in the US?  Window cattle portraits? (I have another post coming for the “Exotic Meats and Dinosaur Farm!” trip we took.  They have velociraptors.)


Raaawr! (Picture by K.C.)

So, before I dropped her off at the airport, she said “The coroner has a gift shop!  Let’s go!”


For about a year or so, when I would drive home from work on city streets rather than the freeway, I would pass by the LA County USC Medical Center, and the sign announcing the LA County Coroner.  I…never knew they had a gift shop.

Well they do!  And, guess what — it’s called “Skeletons in the Closet”.  Awww. :D  And they have a website!


“We have our work cut out for us.” Hahah. From the gift shop website.

Yes, I guess it could be morbid.  It could be awkward.  There’s notes in the Roadside America app saying “please make sure to not be disrespectful to family members who may be at the coroner on business, so please don’t laugh in the lobby on your way to the shop”.  Ouch.  No worries.  We’re professional.  The store’s purpose is “to promote how fragile life is and create awareness and responsibility toward one’s actions”.  Good on them.

But that doesn’t stop their sense of humor…

The lady in the store is super nice, and she showed us all the neat things celebrities have signed and given to her, pictures of people… they have a couch made from a coffin, a sparkly black mini-Christmas tree, and fun merch.


Signs at checkout. ;D From Shannon V. on Yelp.

Apparently ours in LA, and Las Vegas, are the only cities/counties with gift shops.  Hmm.  I wonder what that says about us…

Anyway — if you’re in the vicinity, and don’t mind morbid humor — stop by!  The lady is really nice. :D

AND — some of the merchandise is going to be collector’s items, because it still has the old name on it!  Hee.  Get it while it’s hot!


One corner of the shop. From Shannon V. on Yelp.

Coming next — either more Roadside America (exotic meats!) and a mountain snow drive, or more Wyoming.   We’ll see. :)  Thanks guys for sticking with me!