September 20, 2006


(Click for larger view)

There are sights that I begin to anticipate each time I drive into the parking lot of an interstate Stuckey's.. Pecan Logs, 3 for $10 t-shirts, and if I'm lucky, a flocked Jack-a-lope bank. But fifteen years ago on a road trip to New Orleans I encountered more than I had ever hoped for in a rest stop.. I discovered the work of art that you see pictured above.

While the piece is officially untitled it could best be described as a chain of plastic souvenir dinosaurs achieved with a series of crammings of tails into mouths. I welled up with joy when I first approached it. The clerk must have been confused by my laughter, followed by my dash to the car for the camera, followed by more laughter. I stood and puzzled at the mental process behind such a funny and unexpected result, and I delighted in the thought of some unbridled virtuoso standing there, taking the time to assemble this plastic feeding parade. It was practically made for me.. it connects three components that I've always been fond of: Stuckey's, cheap toys from China, and the creative spirit.

When the engineer of this accomplishment left Stuckey's they left the fate of their work in the sticky hands of vacationing children. Fortunately it was my destiny to preserve the work on film and eventually exhibit it on a worldwide forum where it shall be admired and discussed one and a half decades after its creation. As of this moment what was once temporary is now.. immortal.


The CDP. said...

This was probably done by some bored employee shortly before closing time the previous night. Either way, I'm glad you preserved it to film.

I have a question for you, Kirk. I just moved into a new place with a full, unfinished basement. I want to convert it into an early 60's, Martini Lounge/Fallout Shelter/Dharma Hatch-style hangout, and I was wondering if you had any suggestions.

I need a lot of decorations and vintage goods (furniture, console television, metal 'duck and cover' signs). Are there any places on the web or in the Midwest where I could make this dream come true?

Thanks much,
The CDP.


Das Brick said...

That's easy! It's an ouroborousaurus!!

Umm, right?

Kirk D. said...

Das- that was over my head until I looked it up, but now that I'm in the know I can say.. great call! ha ha!

cdp- sorry for my delayed response time. Sounds like a great endeavor!
If I had the basement and the funds I'd give it a twofold approach...

First I'd hit the local flea markets and antique malls and good will looking for good deals (and whatever else jumped out at me.)
The best luck I've had with reasonably priced retro furniture has been with this method. It seems like I'm always seeing cool home bars for around a hundred bucks.

Then for those special items that don't show up locally I'd hit the web.
I've yet to find a one stop web site that can top ebay for such things. If it were me I'd find some reference photos of your desired look (or some LOST screenshots perhaps) and search for the unusual stuff on a piece by piece basis.

I don't know what kind of local shops you have at your disposal, but I've been to some retro-specialty shops like Deco to Disco in Tulsa Oklahoma and there used to be a place nearby called Retro Furniture. The drawback is that their stuff is priced way high, but if you have the money to spend then it saves a lot of looking.

Regarding wall covering, they still sell old fashioned wood panelling at Home Depot for like eleven bucks a 4'x8' sheet. That's cheap and nothing else screams 'basement rec room' like it does.

Hope you find that helpful.
Keep me updated on your project! It sounds fun.

AWG said...

First Stuckey's I ever visited was in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It was a dream! I loved it. Been a Stuckey's fan ever since.

shawn said...

Stuckey`s is the place that I always remember as having those vending machines chock full of those gag/magic items you are so fond of Kirk ( by the way I`m in Okla City). My fave was the smoking characters... Quick Draw McGraw, gorilla/monkey, or my fave the skull with a spring loaded jaw (which I still have somewhere...).

Kirk D. said...

My friends at S.S. Adams tell me that Stuckey's used to be a major prank and magic dealer.
I also particularly liked their offering of state pennants.
Smoking monkeys and Stuckey's is such a winning combination. I have some smoking animals but unfortunately none of them have spent any time on a Stuckey's shelf.
I was just in a Stuckey's express and I was glad to see that at least they still sell the pecan logs. (not that I actually like to eat them.)