John Branston’s Memphis Flyer column this week analyzed actual increases in attendance at the Zoo since the pandas’ arrival compared to estimates of what could be expected. Instead of the predicted 400,000 new visitors in the pandas’ first year, only 177,590 showed up.

I was reading the column to my husband on our way home tonight from Miss Cordelia’s. When I told him that new visitors to the Zoo were short of predictions by more than 200,000, he commented, “They’re holding on to their money so they can buy tickets to the aquarium.”