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.
Reprinted from Crap Souvenirs by Doug Lansky by arrangement with Perigee, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright (c) 2012 by Doug Lansky