Some offshoots and sub-categories of the Duck Ins established by FranT.
1. Killing Time Duck In
You're often doing the K.T.D.I. when you're in transit. Airport bars are filled with patrons doing this sort of duck-in. Grand Central bars are filled with people waiting on the next train or trying to soothe the sting of watching the train pull away on the platform.
There's an alternate way for me to get from downtown Boston to my apartment that I take every now and then when I have to. The station where the T connects to the bus has a great bar above it, and when I look up the next bus, I'm always secretly hoping that it's either coming immediately or in 20 minutes. Immediately, I get to go home. 20 or more minutes, I "have no choice" but to wait it out with a Killing Time Duck In.
Even if you're not in transit, you could still be in transition. For example, attendees of the #TolanWedding that weren't in the wedding party had a few hours to kill in between ceremony and reception, and they had a place called "O'Rourke's Public House" right next to their hotel. You can figure that one out.
Any given duck-in usually combines elements from a few different types. For instance, do you ever see those guys at the mall sitting on the couches they have in the main concourses with the life sucked out of them? They're just killing time while the women in their group shop on, and if malls had any sense they'd set up circular bars right in those common areas and give those guys a killing time duck in**, but since it's running errands, it could also qualify as an Errand Duck-in. And if you're a first-timer, you'd be in a "They Serve Booze Here?!" situation as well.
**what terrible name would that mall bar be called? Shopping A Round? Shop N Hop?
2. They Serve Booze Here?! Duck In (a.k.a. What the Duck?!)
Rarely seen, and impossible to predict by nature, these duck-ins are unique in that you've ducked in without even knowing it. Every now and then you go somewhere and are surprised to see the workers serving the good stuff in addition to sodas and waters. Ferry rides, small outdoor concerts, art galleries, and movie theaters tend to fall into this category.
There are pleasant surprises, and then there is learning you can make your ferry ride that much better by getting a $9 bloody mary.
Unfortunately, these duck-ins are becoming increasingly rare since you can find every detail on earth on the internet. When you happen into one of these situations and don't complete the duck-in, you're letting down the entire ducking community.
3. Mowing the Lawn
FranT & Uncle Mike have "The Errand" covered, but I had to add this:
My buddy's dad used to pull the "mowing the lawn" stunt at the local Elks Lodge, which is basically just a hilarious collection of old dudes that like to drink.
Bartender: What's on the docket today, Kib?
Friend's Dad: Mowing the lawn
Bartender: Oh, so you'll get that done later before dark?
Friends' Dad: Not exactly. I'm doing it right now.
Friends' Dad: I go out, turn the mower on, cut for a little while and keep it running. Now I'm here. I'll go back and finish up eventually, and my old lady just thinks it's a 3 and a half hour job.
How many times did that actually happen? No one knows. But that story became a symbol of the Errand Duck-In as well as the Sneaky Duck-In.
4. Non-Televised Game Duck-In
When I learned midway through last NFL season that I got the NFL Network channel and could therefore watch the Thursday night games, I was just a tiny bit disappointed. Having the NFL channel meant that I no longer HAD to hop down to the L Street Tavern if I wanted to catch the Thursday night game. Like the bus connection, sometimes it's nice when your environment forces your hand a little bit and nudges you toward the bar.
When there's a game you're dying to see that your cable package doesn't carry, it's time to do the Non-Televised Game Duck-In. It doesn't matter what time of day it is or if you're alone. It's a very friendly, camaraderie heavy duck-in.
Like the "They Serve Booze Here?! Duck In", this species is becoming more of a rarity in the digital age when so many games are televised or easily available for streaming.