Wednesday 17 October 2007

Stuckey's Offers Little Privacy for Pee -- and Watch Out for Federal Immigration Agents and Alligators Too!

Stuckey's of Fellsmere
I-95 Exit 156
10950 County Road 512
Sebastian, FL USA

Where is it?

Like most Stuckey's, this place wears many hats. It's part gas station, part souvenir shop, part fast food restaurant and part convenience store.

Given the four identities, you'd think four bathrooms would accommodate the place. But no! There's only one bathroom here and it's a shoddy one tucked in the way back left corner of the shop, past the restaurant, convenience store, gas station cashier and souvenir shop.

Of course you'll have to go through the whole lot of it to the loo, making it a bit of a tedious trek, especially if you're in a hurry.... To make the most of the trip, stick towards the souvenirs section, where you can see everything from Florida-orange-based foods (jams, jellies, marinades, etc.) to preserved baby alligator heads. Yum.

What's it like?

The store around it isn't all that clean to begin with. Not that it's overtly dirty, but it also isn't exactly sparkling. For example, the floors are mopped but you can still see accumulations of dust and grime on them.

The bathrooms are like that as well. White tiles, white porcelain fixtures, all of it serviceable but all of it also in need of some serious upkeep and updating. The wear and tear on the surroundings here certainly make the place look more run-down than it is, and it also highlights the grime hiding in the corners (a major oversight for anyone with a completely white bathroom, if you think about it).

Functionally speaking, the sink faucets seem to have disappeared (perhaps eaten by one of the alligators in the souvenir shop?), leaving you to turn on the water by twisting these round metal knobs that sort of work and sort of don't. Expect lots of dripping here. It's also kind of gross, considering the place isn't that clean to begin with.

Worse still, the men's room had no front door to it, and the secondary door is propped open permanently, which means that anyone entering the area can easily listen in to what's going on inside (or even peek, if he or she wanted to). Not exactly a desire setting for those in need of a longer visit. The fact that the place looks like an open locale to pick up migrant workers makes this oversight all the more frightening, because it adds a shoddy connotation to the place here. On top of it being a migrant hangout, you now must face the fact that immigration may at any second burst down the stall door in search of their man.

Marks out of 10:

3. Could be higher but the fact that you can't close the bathroom door here really bothers me. I enjoy my privacy, even in shoddy surroundings, and I don't like to feel like I must be hurried. I don't mind the migrant thing -- heck, it's citrus country, so they're definitely needed to work the groves -- but do you have to let them board work buses in front of the place?

Comments to the Management:

Time to overhaul and update the place. It seriously needs it. Consider adding some knickknacks from the souvenir shop (or even some wall decor, like an add for the restaurant food) to give it some semblance of character.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sure, Stuckey's is filthy, and there is little privacy in the relief station, but this is a sublime haven for experiencing an array of cultures and countercultures. I like ordering a greasy cheeseburger and a milkshake, and observing all the rif raf that meanders through. Really, when you think about it, the lack of privacy in the men's room can lead to intriguing conversation. If someone walks in while my pants are dropped to the floor and my bottom is nestled on the toilet seat while I am reading the newspaper, I just lift my hand, tip my cap and offer a warm hello!