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Updated: 08/07/03

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"The Count of Monte Cristo"
by Alexandre Dumas



Thursday, 7 August, 2003

As much as I love my home state of California, the Gubernatorial Recall Free-For-All is adding fodder to the arguments that everyone there is NUTS. I mean did you hear about the big-name celebrity that has entered the race?

[No, not AH-NULD.]

I'm talking about Gary Coleman. You remember him - the former child star of the sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes."

[A natural fit for the job, methinks.]

Three time's a charm. I appear to be on a boat-type-object theme, so let's go with it. There is a new tourist offering in the City of Brotherly Love this year - The Ducks. For you uninitiated, The Ducks are amphibious vehicles that were designed for use during WWII to transport troops and supplies from ship to shore. They have a new life now as tourist conveyors.

They start around Independence Hall and motor around the usual tourist sites, ending up at the base of the Ben Franklin Bridge on the Delaware River. They drive down the ramp and into the water, and then give the tourists a "duck's eye view" of the Philly skyline.


Looks like fun, actually. On the weekends, they are out there all the time going past the marina. Makes me wonder what the guides are telling them about what they are seeing. If it's anything like the horse-drawn carriages drivers around the Liberty Bell, they're making most of it up as they go along.

And just in case you didn't know what to say when you see the ducks, here is one of my favorite Steve Martin bits:

"Many people won't know what to say when the ducks show up, but I will. Maybe I'll say "Oh ducks, oh ducks, oh ducks," or just "Ducks wonderful ducks!" I practice these sayings every day, and even though the ducks haven't come yet, when they do, I'll know what to say."

Quote du jour:

"Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath."

-- Michael Caine (1933 - ____) English actor

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