I have no love for groundhogs, nor will I ever as long as any sort of sanity is within reach, easy or otherwise. Groundhog Day is no better predictor of future weather than the idiots and idiotesses between the news and the sports. Come to think about it , they are all about equally accurate, but that’s a rant for another time. Right now I’m fixated on four legged varmints, or at least the things done to them. Lately, accuracy of the forecast has been getting worse and I know why.
Most of us have witnessed the inhumanities cast upon Punxunctawney Phil, televised annually from outback Pennsylvania, which pretty much includes the whole state except Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Scranton too, if you squint just right. Hell, they even made a movie about him. Put that together with all the attention given the Rocky movies and you can understand why Bullwinkle and the other mooses avoid the place out of disgust. Again, another injustice to be addressed in the future.
Some of you may not know other places present imposters in their own cities. One of the worst examples is New York City.
They trot out, or I guess drag out, a critter they call Chuck. Evidently some genius there knows that groundhogs are sometimes called woodchucks, and is a little short of better material in his humor file. Anyway, a few years ago, Chuck got tired of being included in the fraud so he bit the Mayor effectively enough to draw blood. It was one of the best ceremonies ever. Now he wears heavy gloves; the mayor, not Chuck. In fact Chuck was secretly replaced and has since gone the way of all good ground hogs. Charlene replaced him in secret. Nobody ever thought anybody would ever do a gender check. That would be creepy.
Last year Charlene also got tired of the ceremony and the mayor found out how hard it is to handle a delicate squirming woodchuck while wearing an unwieldy pair of gloves. It’s probably about like trying to unsnap you girlfriend’s bra while wearing the things. That’s an accurate mental image no matter how you picture it. Anyway, he dropped poor Charlene. She didn’t drop well and, probably out of spite, died of internal injury a few days later. Her death certificate says she died of natural cause.
The story leaked out and now some people don’t trust politicians, or their minions. One small mistake and a class of mostly lawyers has lost respect. Life is often unfair like that. On the other hand it can be understandable to see why you might not want to tell the family you are bringing a girl home when they are expecting a boy. And the less truth known about how exactly that girl you dropped really died, the better, I guess.
All of that aside, the real point is you can’t fool the weather. Ever since the switch, prediction of when winter will give way to spring has been really wrong. It must be like trying to measure distance with a quart jar, or volume with a leadline. Now, what’s coming for next year? Will they rename the Mayor Chuck and bring him out to find out if he can see his shadow? Will it be a year with no spring at all? More likely they will grab Chester, the neutered ground hog, and tell you he is Chuck, trusting most of you have not heard the real story. Some weathercaster on TV will explain why the prediction didn’t work, again. You, however know the truth.