day 101
memphis, tennessee

"How exactly do we know you?"
- Carrie, after she was setting us up
in her brother's apartment.
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Peabody Ducks:
Arrival Time: 11am
Departure Time: 5pm
Other Home: Rooftop
Number of Ducks: 5
Names of the Ducks:
They don't have names, man. They're just ducks.

Claim to Fame:
During the summer, hundreds of people line up to see the ducks make their famous walk to the fountain. During the winter, dozens.

If you can only afford one souvenier in Memphis...

What's in John's Fridge:
1. Beer (9 bottles)
2. Mustard (3 types)
3. Salad Dressing (5 types)
4. Ketchup
5. Leftover Chili
6. Quart of Milk
7. Coffee Beans
8. Tub of Butter
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Waddling in Memphis
Dec 5 - Before we begin, let us give you a bit of background about the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.

There's a tradition here that's been carried on since time began. Every day at 11am, the elevators open and a handful of ducks waddle out. They walk down a red carpet from the elevator to the water fountain in the lobby, where they splash around for most of the day. Then, at 5pm, the porter blows a whistle, and the ducks all leap out of the fountain, waddle to the elevator and back up to the roof.

Crazy, right? But seriously, the tourists eat this stuff up. There were more people lined up on the edges of the carpet at 11am than there were on Beale Street (Memphis' party street) at 9pm the night before. In December, the city is dead as disco, but the ducks can still draw them in in droves.*

Jen and Jon: The Masterminds.
But today's story is not about us. Today's story is about Jen and Jon, a unique couple from Pennsylvania we met on Day 38. Their story of the Peabody is unbeatable, and must be shared with the world.

One Happy Day, Jen and Jon and a few friends piled into the car and headed for Memphis. They knew about the ducks. They came prepared.

The day before the trip, Jon had purchased two items. The first: a plastic duck decoy. The second: a remote control car. You can see where this is going.

The bottom was cut out of the duck. The top was removed from the car, leaving a chassis and wheels. What better to mount on a chassis and wheels than a plastic mallard? Voila, the remote control duck is born. Return to present day...

Profiles in Courage: Siblings
Sister: Carrie
Brother: John
Jobs: Carrie is currently between jobs, but up until last week she was working on a project for the Christian Brothers College. John also works for the college as a dorm leader, and works at the local high school teaching religion.
How we met: In an alley out back of the Rendezvous restaurant. John was a little drunk, but he still gave us the keys to his house. What a guy! Once we found our way to his place, his sister got us settled in. What a gal!
Ding! went the elevator. The ducks had descended and began their trek to the fountain. Only this time, instead of five ducks, there were six. One was just a little stiffer than the other, and made whining sounds as he moved.

Well, you can imagine the outcome. One speedy duck, doing donuts on the red carpet. Five others, ducking wildly** out of the way. The crowd quacking up** with laughter. Best of all, nobody got hurt; the sign of a successful prank.

Jen and Jon? They got away scot free. They took the remote control duck to the mall and spooked the patrons for a while. All in all, good clean fun.

So you see, nothing we could have done today could have outclassed these two. Kudos! We salute you!

* I would like to apologize for the second day in a row I've used unnecessary alliterations. In the future I'll lean towards other forms of wit, like the pun. Everyone loves a good pun!
** Is this better?

Six Degrees of Jeff Parker
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Jeff Parker for setting us up with his friends in Memphis. After being here for a mere three hours, a man in an alley was giving us his house keys based solely on the fact that we mentioned Jeff's name. It seems that Jeff's connected to just about everyone here in Memphis. We thought we'd demonstrate with this handy diagram:

they're all quacks...




(you were expecting something else?)
more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Memphis, TN

Next Stop: Graceland!

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Rainin' Men

Daily Stats
Gas: $14.00

Beale Street Stats:
Tourists:2 (us)
Locals: 4 (homeless)

Sleeping Quarters
John's Bachelor Pad

Spare Bedroom. It's raining outside and we're inside. Perfect timing. Even though we only met John for a moment in an alley, we think he's great!

Cracker Barrel
Highway 70
K's Order:Mama's Breakfast
A's Order:Biscuits & Gravy
Downtown Memphis
K's Order:Senor Huey Burger
Onion Rings
A's Order:Beans & Rice

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© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Hey. Ever eaten at a Cracker Barrel?