Let me say at the outset that I am not an Elvis fan. I don’t dislike Elvis, but he is not what a visit to Memphis is all about for me. The fact that I feel the need to apologize to Elvis fans for this at the outset should be taken to mean that I understand what Memphis represents for most of the rest of the world, and is also a reliable indicator that what I took away from the city is a source of ridiculous joy that may be lost on quite a few of you. My goal was the Peabody Hotel, at 5pm and then again the following morning at 11am.
The Peabody Hotel in Memphis is a wonderful old building packed with history and luxury in the middle of downtown Memphis, and they shake a nice, if expensive, gimlet in the lobby bar. The thing that makes people of all ages gather by the bank of elevators nearest the bar has nothing to do with happy hour, though, as the number of children present would indicate. This is something far more fabulous, and while there are a couple places where you can witness this particular bit of wonderfulness, this spot was its inception.
It is the March of the Peabody Ducks. That’s right. Real, live, modern dinosaurs march through the lobby of the hotel twice per day. I’m very likely the only person viewing it through this particular lens, and I’m okay with this. It just makes it that much more exceptional.
The particular day of our visit, the ducks being marched from the fountain to the elevator were being retired. They were going back to the farm where they had been hatched and the new group would be making their very first march the following morning.
The Old Guard made their march without a single glitch, as evidenced in the video below.
The Newbies were slightly more dazzled by the whole thing and got a little distracted from their goal by the crush of adoring fans on hand to greet them and I got that on record as well.
I asked Anthony, the Duckmaster (yes, that’s his job title and he’s the fifth one to be on staff) how he got his position and he told a very familiar tale of being in the service industry (he was restaurant staff in the hotel) and working hard enough to be noticed by the right people. Couple that with a polished look and a good strong voice and he was well suited to the part.
There was something incredibly satisfying in knowing that these living relatives of the archosaurs can delight and captivate people of all ages by doing nothing more than walking thirty yards from point A to point B. I only wish we’d had the time to find some of their ancestors on display locally.
Next visit, for sure.(Insert Paypal code here)