Okay, okay, now that all the hullaballoo over Groundhog Day has died down, it’s time for a little fact-checking. See, here in America, and in most other parts of this world, you need a degree in Meteorology to predict the weather – which we can be almost certain old Punkasstawney Phil doesn’t have, as he hasn’t the thumbs requisite to write University admissions essays.
In fact, people with such degrees, plus highly-tuned meteorological equipment and years of experience in tracking weather systems and patterns only feel that reasonable predictions can be made out to about 10 days – so what gives a rodent who can’t even read the audacity to try and bust out predictions that extend more than a full month past that?
Now ¼ as accurate as some bastard woodchuck!
I’ll tell you what it is – it’s drugs. Let’s break this little cultural phenomenon down, shall we? First, the rules of the game are simple: On the morning of February 2, a groundhog is taken from his or her home, and thrust into the public spotlight for a brief moment. If it’s sunny outside, and he sees his shadow, so the legend goes, he foretells 6 more weeks of winter. If it’s cloudy, raining, or he is otherwise precluded from seeing his shadow, an early spring is coming.
So, first off – bullshit. Guess what’s always more than 7 weeks away from this day? That’s right – the vernal equinox, a.k.a., the first day of Spring. So even if this piece of shit marmot is right this year (he did see his shadow), he’s wrong. Secondly, why don’t we just blind him? I mean, sure, it seems kind of cruel to go poking the eyes out of some animal, but let’s think about this in terms of the Greater Happiness Principle – what’s going to incur more suffering, one blind landbeaver, or the entire population of the Northern Hemisphere freezing their asses off for 42 days?
That’s right. No seeing, no shadow.
Umm, we’re looking for our cousin Phil?
Third, and possibly most importantly, what happens to this sonofabitch whistlepig the other 364 days of the year? The state of Pennsylvania’s tourism board seems to agree that he mostly just rides around some mansion on a tricycle going mad with cabin fever (and possibly syphillis), which I’m actually okay with. Personally, I think he sits around watching reruns of Mister Wizard, but that’s another blog entry altogether.
So, why all this animosity, you ask? Because at this point, I’m way more than ready for winter to be over and done with, yet this little bucktoothed savage had the audacity to come out and see his shadow, probably because nobody’s taken my aforementioned blinding advice. I mean, NOAA figures that he’s probably right about as much as random chance. But still, it’s nice to have something cute and cuddly to blame for the fact that I’ve been sick for the last week, and probably will be for the next 7 weeks.
That little fucker.