Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Iceland: Every child's dream vacation

Another entry for "T-Shirt Design Travesties"
...or not. I'll explain more after the jump.

Iceland: A great place to take your kids!
(and leave them)

Now I realize there's nothing inherently wrong with this design. It's actually quite nice and high-quality in that the image and letters are embroidered, unlike your typical gift shop-variety souvenir shirt with cheap decals that fall off in the first wash. So the quality is to be commended.

Otherwise, there's nothing odd or unusual about this shirt that would've caught my attention... until an amusing thought struck me: this is a souvenir shirt for Iceland. ICELAND! A Land of Ice where it stays freaking ice-cold most of the year.

Even in its warmest season, Iceland's climate barely reaches the mid-60s. Also, Iceland has about as many residents as a car full of clowns.

And note that the shirt in this close-up photo is tagged as a child's size 8-10 (and short-sleeved too, which is ironic now that I think about it). That means some parent not only dragged their child kicking and screaming to Iceland, they bought him a shirt to wear as a reminder of a bitter memory. (No wonder this shirt ended up at a thrift store!)

The very idea of someone taking their child to Iceland amuses me, and even moreso that someone thought it might be a good idea for a "fun family vacation." Now, I'm not saying Iceland isn't worth visiting. (I fear the Icelandic Tourism Board would drop by and kick me in the fjord.) There is some incredible scenery there, to be sure. (I've seen the photos!)

But I believe very few children -- after explaining the climate and geography to them -- would genuinely be eager to visit there.

So imagine the following scenario taking place in the average family household:
DAD: I just bought tickets for our family vacation. We're going to Iceland!
KIDS: Yay! Wait... Iceland?
LITTLE JOHNNY: Are we being punished or do you just hate us?
LITTLE SUSIE: What the @#$%, Dad! Are you insane?
DAD: But I read on the Internet that it's "the perfect place to take your little ones"! So get packed! We leave tomorrow!
KIDS: We're calling Social Services.
* Shirt photographed Dec. 2009 by Craig Crumpton at a thrift store in Winder, GA.

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