Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Groundhog Day

Some days my mind is as blank as the monitor screen before the computer has been fired up. The image at the left, from Mike Baldwin's comic strip, Cornered , illustrates that.

Then sometimes salvation comes from the least likely of sources! With impeccable timing they've crawled out from under some rock to rear their heads filled with another hair-brained outcry!

PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals) ... oops! People for Ethical Treatment of Animals have forced themselves into the headlines again!

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — An animal-rights group wants organizers of Pennsylvania's Groundhog Day festival to replace Punxsutawney Phil with a robotic stand-in.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it's unfair to keep the animal in captivity and subject him to the huge crowds and bright lights that accompany tens of thousands of revelers each Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney, a tiny borough about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. PETA is suggesting the use of an animatronic model.

But William Deeley, president of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, says the animal is "being treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania." The groundhog is kept in a climate-controlled environment and is inspected annually by the state Department of Agriculture.

Deeley says PETA isn't interested in Phil from Feb. 2 on and is looking for publicity.

Apparently Punxsutawney Phil himself feels the same way. The angry celebrated star of the traditional Groundhog Day festivites has even taken up arms and has threatened to defend his job to the death if necessary.

When learning that an animatronic gopher who starred in the movie Caddyshack had applied for his job, Phil claimed he was locked and loaded.

He was quoted as saying, "I'll blast that thing into a pile of nuts and bolts. Besides he's not even a groundhog. He's nothing but a f**kin' toy gopher!"

Meanwhile, Phil's wife, Phylis has announced that she's standing by her man. "It's his livelihood," she exclaimed to reporters. "Who are these people and what gives them the right? Not one of those PETA people talked to us. Not one of them asked how we felt about this?"

"I like my job," stated Phil, "and my record speaks for itself."

After checking historical records it was learned:
Of 112 predictions on record so far, Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring 14 times (13%). As to his accuracy, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle, he is 100% accurate.
When shown a report generated by the StormFax Weather Almanac, which claims that since 1887 Phil's predictions have been correct just 39% of the time, Phil was quick to dismiss its records. He claimed that PETA must have bribed them to falsify the report.

Phil then puffed out his chest and proclaimed, "Who knows what the weather will be?" He then revealed a poster that supplied the answer:

At least we can take comfort in the fact that another of PETA's misguided efforts will fail.

On the second day of February, whether a shadow is or is not visible, there will be a real groundhog making that observation.

Now that I have come up with a post for Tuesday, I sit with a blank mind staring at a blank screen wondering what I can post on Wednesday!



Sandee said...

I think with a record like Phil's he's qualified to run for President. Just saying.

Have a terrific day and it's another six weeks of winter. Drat. :)

Jack K. said...

Folk lore is great.