Fantastic Fest 2012: The Tour de Tacky

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday of this week driving across America. With my road-buddy Don by my side (mostly sleeping), I guided a hybrid Honda Civic from Minneapolis, MN to Austin, TX. It’s a trip of 1,170 miles, which we made nonstop as per usual. Thanks to having to work on the day I left, I wound up being awake for 41 hours straight. Thankfully, I’ve finally gotten some sleep, and have regained my powers of coherent speech.

This year, the trip was mostly uneventful. There was 100% less raccoon slaughter. The air conditioning system of the car remained intact for the entire trip. We found an IHOP in Oklahoma City with relatively little trouble.

We did, however, find a lot of tacky gas station gifts on this trip. Behold: the Great American Tour de Tacky!

Click the photos to see the larger image on Flickr.

Grrr. Anyone need Spider-Man/Green Goblin salt & pepper shakers?
GRRRR. Who needs Spider-Man and Green Goblin salt & pepper shakers? We all do, don’t we?
"Wow, who know what will happen now that Facebook bought it..." WTF?!
“I wonder what will happen now that Facebook bought it?” I… have no words for this.
And then there's this. How about a nose-shaped pencil sharpener? Thank you, Iowa.
The dog and I shared the same expression on our faces. It’s a pencil sharpener. Thanks, Iowa!
 "Look noble, @halfastick."  Do I need a skunk-skin cap?
 “Look noble, Don!” The question is not whether I should own a fake skunk-skin cap. The question is when I will break down and buy it.
At a gas station in Texas: ridiculous swords and axes. Of course. Okay, seriously guys. WTF?!
Texas gas stations contain a full assortment of tacky fantasy swords and axes. I won’t even pretend to understand this one.
The winner is… CABBAGE DOG! Seriously, this will be my Fantastic Fest badge photo next year.


  1. I get the origins of most of kitsch, but the cabbage dog baffles me. Time to jump into the Google Machine, Sherman.

  2. Oh my – you can buy cabbage puppy on Amazon. Apparently the manufacturer (Enesco) has a whole catalog of similar madness:

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