Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Groundhog Day - WTF?
OK whaaat the heck is this all about?
I think I offended some of my colleagues today by saying “what’s with this giant rat that pops up from the ground and predicts the spring? I thought America was a nation of TV weather people. Can’t they do a better job than a lousy rodent?”
“It’s not a rat; it’s a groundhog,” replied one.
“Is that some sort of over-stuffed hamster?”
“No. It’s a groundhog. It’s Punxsutawney Phil.”
“What that bald phony who advises people about their marital problems on TV? I knew he’d gone to ground but….”
“No. That’s Dr. Phil.”
“Well what is it? Is it a prairie dog?”
“More like it.”
An outbreak of shoulder shrugging.
Officially Punxsutawney Phil came out of his cozy den on Wednesday, also Groundhog Day, to make his much awaited annual weather forecast in front of thousands who braved muddy, icy conditions. His handlers declared that Pennsylvania's prophetic rodent had not seen his shadow. Questions on whether Phil needed a pointy stick up his backside to be roused were politely ignored.
"He found that there was no shadow," said Bill Deeley, president of a club that organizes Groundhog Day in the western Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney. "So an early spring it will be."
Sorry, Backtrack. Rewind. How the hell does he come to that conclusion? How does he even know the rat-thing didn’t see his shadow? Even if he knows he didn't see his shadow why does that an early spring make?
And how dumb is the rat to predict an early spring when half of America is freezing in a giant snowstorm? It's 70 degrees here, though (smugly).
Apparently this tradition goes back 125 years and is traced back to a German superstition. I don't even want to ask why he lives in a place called Gobbler's Knob.
And I really can’t believe Phil is this old.
Thank goodness we don’t have this sort of silliness in England. If you discount the community where they chase a cheese down a hill and break their legs.
Or the burning tar barrels or mud snorkeling. I’ll quit while I’m ahead.