Archive for July, 2009

Long hot summer (sort of)

Friday, July 17th, 2009

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.

I'm going to have to buy some Bermuda shorts.

I'm going to have to buy some Bermuda shorts.

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.

You can't beat those ribs!

You can't beat those ribs!

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.

Not a Grizzly or a Hasheem in sight.

Not a Grizzly or a Hasheem in sight.

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 me on Beale Street.

That's me on Beale Street.

That’s it for now. More to come when I get to DC.