Review of SIGNSPOTTING by DOUG LANSKY
These hilarious books were my introduction to the humor section in bookstores and libraries. When I flipped through the first one and started laughing and snorting in the middle of the store, I realized I had to buy it…and the three “sequels”.
The “author,” Doug Lansky, started collecting photos of funny signs he saw on his travels. That turned into a website, which turned into this hysterical collection of humanity’s worst signs. The book is primarily photos of these amusing signs, but don’t overlook the sarcastic comments inserted below each selection. Sometimes those made me laugh harder than the sign itself.
It’s hard to pick favorites from such an impressive (Is that word?) collection, but I’m going to mention some of the signs that made me laugh out loud. In the first book, I love the road sign that says “Keep your eyes open” and the mocking note below commenting, “Perhaps it’s part of a helpful driving-tip series: ‘sit up’ and ‘keep breathing’ signs are up ahead.” This is definitely a visual book, though…as evidenced by the sign that says “Dangerous intersection ahead.” Not funny in itself, but alarmingly hilarious when you note that the sign contains dozens of bullet holes.
The latter books are more of the same; why change a successful formula? In SIGNSPOTTING 2, I cracked up at the sign that says “Warning. Please look under your vehicle for penguins.” as well as the one that reads “If door does not open do not enter.”
SIGNSPOTTING III continues the fun with signs like “Lake Surprise” positioned only a few feet away from a sign that says “Crocodile Crossing.” You’ve also got to love the hopefully incorrectly translated Chinese restaurant sign with English writing below that reads “welcome go home.”
SIGNSPOTTING 4 is the most recent addition to this series, as far as I’m aware, but believe me if a fifth ever comes out I’m buying it! Some of my favorites from this one include “Hysterical District” and the unfortunate misprint “illegally parked cars will be fine.”
Mentioning some specific entries that made me laugh feels a little silly, because in full honesty almost every single one of these hundreds of signs had me giggling and chuckling. Not to mention since the discovery of these books, I peruse and purchase from the humor section more often…which equals many more smiles and laughs.