My wife and I often play a game while waiting in airports for our planes to depart. We enter a gift shop and try to see who can find the tackiest souvenir.
It's a nice way to kill a little time before the plane leaves, and it makes long layovers a little less painful. We never buy any of the stuff, just have a chuckle and leave. It was out of this game that Crap Souvenirs(Perigree, $10.95) developed.
You see, I've spent the past fifteen years collecting funny road signs for my Signspotting book series. These signs often showed up in really unusual places. Yet, whenever I enter a gift shop, the humor is right there. It took a while before I realized that photographing these treasures was the perfect solution.
Once I started collecting these gems, I couldn't stop. Even when I'm running late for a flight, I feel that gift shop suck me in like a tractor beam. From the shot glass with a little cow glued to the bottom in the Milwaukee airport to Royal Wedding commemorative thimbles, the fantastically terrible world of souvenirs is seemingly limitless. This book celebrates the best and worst of crappy souvenirs.
Surgically enhanced cocktail drinking flamingo puts lawn flamingo to shame. Location: Miami Beach, Florida Credit: Felicia H. Berke
Place your loved ones in this picture frame and they will be forever protected by a lassoing Texas angel who is unfazed by what appears to be a tarantula on his crotch. Location: Texas Credit: Doug Lansky
If you like Obama, just wait until you feel him between your toes. Location: Madrid, Spain Credit: Beatriz VR
Traditional kissing Dutch Delftwear... from Denmark! It’s like saying the Great Pyramids of France or the Eiffel Tower of Greece... a totally unique spin on this classic Dutch symbol. Location: Denmark Credit: Nathalie
Many architects have stared at the Arc de Triomphe and wondered how this masterpiece could possibly be improved. By adding a giant Tweety Bird, that’s how. Location: Paris, France Credit: Santiago Candelo
L’il Fascist Mussolini boxers—for men who admit the little dictator in their pants makes the decisions. Location: Sicily, Italy Credit: Pim Stouten
Aye, matey! Brings back all those great memories of hanging out with dead pirates in landlocked Tennessee. Location: Pioneer, Tennessee Credit: Karen Reiber
What better way to remember that time you were rectally palpated while visiting Brazil. Location: Porto Galinhas, Brazil Credit: Capoeira Dan
Looks like someone was taking the whole “crap souvenir” idea a bit far. Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Credit: Bruce Lansky
Show the world you’re a connoisseur of sexual innuendo. Location: Intercourse, Pennsylvania Credit: Emily Vaughan
Your erudite friends will love this refined Huntington Beach shot glass. Location: Huntington Beach, California Credit: Lauren Hoffmann
Nothing says “Colombian passion” like a local holding a pig in a blanket while humping a life-size shot glass. Location: Colombia Credit: Doug Herbert
Santa Monica... for all your boating, fishing, and McDonald’s needs. Location: Santa Monica, California Credit: Ron Reynolds
Reprinted from Crap Souvenirs by Doug Lansky by arrangement with Perigee, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright (c) 2012 by Doug Lansky
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