British journalist and humorist Cash Peters, for years traveled his way around Europe and America for a hilarious and hugely popular BBC public radio series The Bad Taste Tours. It followed him visiting simply awkward, strange and disappointing tourist oddities in the world.
But a guy can only take so many strange disappointing travels and sights. He is done with it. Had enough of visiting the likes of the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum, the Paris sewer system, the Sound of Music locations tour, the Museum of Bad Art, Graceland, The Museum of Feet and even a place called ‘the Precious Moments Chapel’
He is done with those things and ready to move on.
As he prepares to leave his travel-reporting days behind forever – good-bye, – he meets an old flame in Amsterdam. Over lunch she suggests he put his experiences and observations in a book. No, he says. She persists. He refuses. She tries again. He won’t budge. Then someone offers money…
The result is ‘Gullible’s Travels: The Adventures of a Bad Taste Tourist’, a chronicle of some of Cash’s wilder, more ridiculous journeys as he makes his way, often wearily and always on a shoestring budget. It follow his adventures to the worst, tackiest, and kitchiest museums and tours in the world. The book was published in 2003 and won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Humor in that same year.
It is a kickassly outrageous behind-the-scenes look at the frustrations of being a travel reporter on the road. But not just any old travel reporter – a not-very-good one. It shows Peters’ battle with PR people and. his fights with men dressed in foam costumes.
Cash visits the world’s largest ball of twine, the Museum of Dirt, the barbed wire museum, he stays in the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, and at a hotel which makes a tremendous show of its resident ducks getting into and out of water; He tours the Parisian sewers and a funeral home miniature golf course
Peters is by far the most talented or passionate of travelers – he proved that previously in his travel exploits ‘Naked in Dangerous Places: The Chronicles of a Hungry, Scared, Lost, Homesick, But Otherwise Perfectly Happy Traveler’. But what he lacks in ambition he makes up with great wit and sly observations. Peters is unfailingly sarcastic, which makes for terrific reading since his hosts are generally unfailingly sincere and enthusiastic about their chosen oddity.
This book is a gem. Think Dave Barry and Bill Bryson and you will just have started on the delights and laughs in this book. If you love to travel, even better!