When I first started hanging around Siesta Key a couple years ago, I noticed this nice metal stick-figure guy posing with the Turtle Beach sign. Then I saw another one, and another. And now the damn things are everywhere you look in this part of the Gulf.
At first I was disappointed that the first one wasn't unique, and thought "oh, it must be some generic store-bought thing that's everywhere like those horrifying air dancers that give me nightmares."
Well, it's true they are from a store now, but it wasn't always so. Scott Gerber was in the yacht business but went under in the 2008 recession. Just for something to do, he whipped up one of these metal tube people and placed it on his dock. Next thing you know, other people are asking him to make one for them too, and they began spreading around the area so fast, it became a local "what the heck is up with these things?" mystery. Now he has an actual thriving business selling them and a gallery displaying them on St. Armand's Key - and they're catching on nationwide! To date more than 15% of all Tube Dude production has gone to support fundraisers, golf tournaments, and other charitable events.