Greetings from the Tropic of . . .well, The Tropics. When Memphians say, “Lord have mercy, it’s hot,” they aren’t kidding (they do say that, you know).
I stopped in at ACBL Headquarters on my way to Washington for the big tournament. I heard about this amnesty reinstatement program. You come in, pay for three years of membership — and they give you a nice deck of cards (it’s available to anyone). I thought Sandi Abernathy, the nice lady in the Accounting Department who processed my membership, was going to squeeze me breathless. They are friendly around there.
Before I left town, I just had to stop by Graceland, where Elvis lived. You know, I can relate to someone just sort of dropping out, but I did see a brick in the wall around the mansion that had writing in big, white letters: “Elvis has left the building.” Well, I don’t know. Have you seen Men in Black? Makes you think.
People kept telling me that while I was in Memphis I had to go to the Rendezvous for some ribs. I always thought it was impolite to eat with your hands, but when I asked for a knife and fork, the waiter pursed his lips and seemed to be choking on something, so I gave up on the idea. At least they have those packets with little towels to clean up afterwards. Very handy.
I read something in the local newspaper about Hasheem Thabeet, a new player for the Grizzlies — what do bears have to do with Memphis? — so I went over to the FedEx Forum to find him. I was being photographed outside the snazzy new building when a security guard drove up in his golf cart and asked if I was Stephen Colbert (I hope he’s not a scoundrel). So, I asked, is Hasheem in? This was my day for getting weird reactions, I guess.
The most interesting part of the trip downtown was the visit to the Peabody Hotel, which has a fountain in the middle of the lobby with ducks swimming around and enjoying the water (they take them back to the roof about 5 p.m.). People kept coming up while I was there and taking photos (they didn’t seem to notice me). I like the ducks because they are closer to my size.
That’s it for now. More to come when I get to DC.