Thursday, February 03, 2005

Punxsutawney Puss-out!

So today (well, yesterday) is Groundhog Day. That holy mother of bizarre holidays where we look forward to pulling a fat rat out of a hole in the ground so that he can supposedly “predict” what the remaining years winter weather will be like. This year’s prediction: another six weeks of winter. Well, I don’t know about you but I’m fucking convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt!

Umm, did they base this little natural factoid on any actual scientific evidence, or did somebody just spot a reservation for a ‘P. Hog’ on Flight 389 to Aruba leaving from the Punxsutawney Municipal Airport next week?

I’m not exactly sure how any of this ridiculous urban folklore bullshit got started in the first place, but I do know that if I were that unfortunate groundhog who was so rudely roused from my slumber to be rudely yanked out of my warm bed into the cold February air, I too would probably have been startled by my own fucking shadow. Just as I may have been by all the flashing cameras, the large crowd of anxious onlookers, and those assholes in the Windsor knots and top hats for that matter too! What a stupid tradition. I’d be so pissed off at being disturbed that I’d just automatically piss all over their fancy tuxedo coats and leave vicious bite marks in which you could bury all my resulting repressed memories!

So how then did this madness ever come about in the first place anyways? It sounds like something that would have been concocted by C.S. Lewis after one too many pulls off his hookah. Apparently however, after a little research I discovered that this particular lame tradition traverses over centuries of similarly delusional dimwits all humorously worshipping an underground dwelling rodent.

“The very origin of animals waking on specific dates is clouded in the mists of time of many ethnic cultures”.

Pardon? What do they mean “many ethnic cultures”? Pfft! I’d say they all came from the same long genealogical line of idiots if you ask me. It’s as clear as day. What’s so “clouded” about that?

As the old tradition goes: if the groundhog sees his shadow, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole. But conversely, if the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground instead. So let me get this straight: at some point in time, mankind decided to put his faith in predicting meteorological phenomena with a simple-minded, docile, and extremely jumpy varmint? Shit, that was ever a forward stroke in an age of dawning Enlightenment, was it not?

Where has the Christian Church been while all this has been going on? Man, don’t they oppose and set out to subdue with extreme vengenance exactly this kind of ritual pagan practice? I doubt very seriously that the looking to groundhogs to predict future events, as opposed to the very Creator of the Universe himself, mustn’t have sat very well with the Pope at all! The Christian Church has accused and burned innocent women at the stake for witchcraft, imprisoned intellectuals who had hard-ons for the unchristian notion of a heliocentric universe, and had been responsible for the slaughter of entire races of people simply because they preferred to use a different secret handshake in their church service worship. Yet, somehow this Groundhog Day tradition has continually slipped under the radar of the ruling superiors for Spiritual Fundamentalism for centuries.

Perhaps these groundhogs are actually more clever than which I’m currently giving them credit for. They have in fact afterall, managed to establish a lasting and reputable air of mystery over themselves for centuries like the other infamous institutions as the Knights of the Templar, the Freemasons...or even Deadheads. Those are some pretty fucking smart groundhogs, don’t you think?

Where Groundhog Day really begins to root itself into North American culture is with the German (whom, had carried the tradition that had been passed down from their ancestors, the Teutons, who picked up the practice from Roman legionnaires) settlers that established their homes in the state of Pennsylvania. They then determined that the groundhog, resembling the European hedgehog, was a most intelligent and sensible animal and therefore decided if the sun made an appearance on Feb. 2nd, so wise an animal as the groundhog would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground hole for another six weeks. See what I mean? Completely fucking nuts! Who would ever assume that a groundhog was a most “intelligent and sensible” animal? It digs holes in the ground, raids backyard gardens in the middle of the night, and who may be found electrocuted after trying to chew through underground power lines. That’s an intelligent animal? A groundhog couldn’t generate enough brain waves to power a 12w light bulb.


In more recent modern times, our society has embraced Punxsutawney Phil* as its Ambassador of Bad Weather forecasting. Through recent years, Phil has received more and more attention in the public eye. Beyond merely predicting future seasonal climate changes, Phil has also taken it upon his infinite groundhog wisdom to also deliver prophetic political forecasts as well from the comforts of his home in Gobbler’s Knob, PN. Hey, this is one fucking smart rat remember? So great, now we have to look forward to an obligatory ‘Final Thought’ from a groundhog as well as from Jerry Springer? How intelligent do you feel right now?

Among these noteworthy highlites:

  • During prohibition, Phil threatened to impose 60 weeks of winter on the community if he wasn’t allowed a drink. So, if it wasn’t bad enough that we were listening to a groundhog, now we’re listening to a groundhog with a drinking problem.
  • In 1958, Phil announced that it was a United States ‘Chucknik’ rather than a Soviet ‘Sputnik’ or ‘Muttnik’ that became the first man-made satellites to orbit the Earth. Huh? Just further proof for the delusional rants of an alcoholic groundhog I guess.
  • In 1981, Phil wore a little yellow ribbon in honor of the American hostages in Iran. Awwww, isn’t that cute?
  • Phil traveled to Washington, DC in 1986 to meet with President Ronald Reagan. Wow, a groundhog, and a half senile Alzheimer’s sufferer…that must have been a real meeting of the minds huh? There, they were joined by Groundhog President Jim Means, Al Anthony, and Bill Null. Sounds like a real ‘League of Losers’ if you ask me.
  • Phil met Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburg in 1987. Governor who?
  • Phil appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1995. I’m sure Phil seized the opportunity to get in some good diet tips and to make his recommendation for Oprah’s ‘Book of the Month’ club.
  • Phil starred in a largely successful movie with Bill Murray. I guess we can forgive him for that one.

In summation: this fucking alcoholic rat has tasted more of life than I can ever hope to ever experience in own meager lifetime. Where’s the justice in that? Shit, I can be scared of my shadow too! Lord knows I’m on par with the groundhog intellectually anyways.

While we’re at it, why don’t we just collectively throw in the sanity towel and just declare Phil as the supreme ‘Commander in Chief’ of us all and just complete our downward progress toward total madness and ritual paganism? At least I’m confident that Phil has more alert consciousness than the current Pope John Paul II, and definitely more common sense and intelligence than President George Bush.

What the fuck do we have to loose? If this groundhog is so friggin’ prophetic and brilliant, lets put him in charge! At least we could count on ‘ol Punxsutawney Phil to perform as expected at least once a year. It couldn’t possibly be any worse than it is now, unless we decide that we’d rather honor and worship a marmot instead or something.

* Or Wiarton Willie if you’re a Canadian. Apparently, the Mexicans are to fucking smart to put any stock in this horseshit.


Blogger Kim said...

I have never met Phil... but have hugged you!

5:49 AM  
Blogger donald w said...

yeah, but Bill Murray nailed it in the movie....

7:03 AM  

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