I visited Memphis last week, and had the chance to see the legendary Peabody Hotel ducks in action. It’s simply too cute not to share.
According to the “Duckmaster”—an outgoing guy with a ringmaster-like personality and the red coat to match—the ducks who reside in every Peabody Hotel lobby fountain started out as a practical joke. Many years back, the general manager of the hotel and his buddies got a crazy idea about what to do with the live decoy ducks they had left over from a hunting trip. What started out as a late-night prank turned into one of the cleverest publicity stunts in hospitality history.
The ducks, who have upscale penthouse lodgings on the top floor, march to great fanfare out of the elevator, across a red carpet, and into the lobby fountain. All in front of an adoring audience who has waited up to an hour to view the spectacle. I and my friends gladly paid premium prices for coffee and pie to nab a front-row table. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Look closely at my video and you’ll see the theatrical little group doing their thing—and the size of the crowd gathered to watch.
While I was waiting, did I plot a romance novel about the Duckmaster and perhaps the pretty veterinarian who keeps the ducks healthy? Maybe. Keep your eyes open…and your ducks in a row.