Dinosaurs roam the American Southwest. Or so it appears if drive the region’s scenic roads. Colored kitschy dinosaur statues are everywhere. No tourist thoroughfare is complete without a collection of plaster reptilian structures. Does the University of Arizona Business School teach that prominently displaying a large dinosaur or two or three is the key to promoting a successful business? To an outsider, selling curios, gas, or petrified rocks appears to require at least one cartoonish dinosaur model.
In any event, a stretch of pastel roadside theropods beats endless miles of billboards and golden arches. (Though it is hard to compete with the “Judgement Day, May 21 2011, The Bible guarantees it” billboards.) And fake dinos make for better pictures, particularly in the infrared.
A website catalogs the American giant reptilian statue phenomenon. I figure since fake dinosaurs are followed on the Internet they must qualify as essential pieces of Americana. Is it time to add plaster roadside tyrannosaurs to the baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie list?