05 August, 2008

Cheese Floats

I was sitting in rush hour traffic in downtown Baltimore yesterday with a typical commuter’s afternoon headache, when I turned from Guilford Ave. onto President St. and inched reluctantly forward next to one of those “Ride the Duck” boat-buses. I was stuck. I was annoyed. And I was forced to listen to "YMCA" and watch people dance with duck whistles in their mouths (on what I can only assume is vacation time.) I wondered how much people are paying to “Ride the Duck”, so I went to website when I eventually made it home. It’s $25 bucks for adults and $15 for kids 3-12--pretty smart in a devious, novelty kind of way. Why rope in one sucker by land when you can get two if by sea? A little more digging and I found that “Ride the Duck” is a brand of Herschend Family Entertainment. HFE’s other brands? Most notably Dollywood, but there are a surprising number of others- theme parks, adventure parks, aquariums, etc… They made a killing in Missouri and have a ton of corporate and entertainment sponsors.

Apparently cheese works a lot better when creating a successful brand than I thought. I’d love to live in world in which people who think up slogans like “quack-tacular” aren’t paid more than the teachers who tried so hard not to fail them. I'd also like to see them put torpedoes on that thing and take out the paddle boats that litter the Inner Harbor with their lameness.

Anyway, I’ll cross my fingers that I don’t get stuck behind the duck again and try to work Dollywood into my next trip to Pigeon Forge, TN.

Maggie Ross, Trainer/Recruiter

B-more archives: Shoot but don't get shot; Hard Times are behind us; Our horse race keeps it real.

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