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FREAKY FRIDAY: Gas Station Gators

Many folks underestimate the lure of gas station gators, Florida oranges, and cheap chocolate turtles.

A few months ago, I was traveling along I-95 with my two youngest, teenage daughters. Per usual, we passed countless billboards and other right-of-way signage promoting a "Florida Welcome Station" which is no more than a glorified combo gas station, trinket shop, farmer's market, and candy store.

Because I grew up in northeast Florida and see these signs all the time, it had never occurred to me that my children might want to experience it for themselves. Well, maybe experience isn't the best word.

Anyway, as we made fun of the "live baby gators" quip in our best southern accents, they begged me to take the exit. I was waffling, though I really had nothing else pressing to do that afternoon. Finally, they dared me to stop.

That did it. We stopped.

They were gleeful, bordering on hysterical, about the over-the-top and politically incorrect Indian River displays,…

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