I don't know about anyone else, but I had basically forgotten all about Groundhogs Day since, oh, I graduated kindergarten. When I did pay attention, it never occurred to me how improbable it is that this bizarre myth is really replayed every year in Punxsutawney, (yeah, I had to copy/pasted that) Pennsylvania. Of course, the residents of Punxsutawney and the membership Punxsutawney Groundhog Club (yup, groundhog.org) want you to believe that this rodent character really does have some kind of weird power... and judging by all the insanity which surrounds him, he probably does.
Take for example, the crazy press release from this year's crazy celebration:
So, they admit it: Phil doesn't actually look at his shadow at all! This "seer of seers" just "consults" with some top hat wearing loon, and "directs him to the appropriate scroll" which proclaims the putative weather forecast? And does this all have to happen on "Gobblers Knob?" I don't know, I like to think of myself as a tolerant person and everything, but why the hell does this crap end up in our nations schools? Because teachers are lazy and groundhog.org offers a "lesson plan for teachers," that's why. Songs about groundhogs sung to the tune of christmas carols and games which are exactly like normal games only played with "a stuffed groundhog, or a picture of a groundhog taped to a stick" do not a curriculum make.
Here Ye! Here Ye! Here Ye!
On Gobbler's Knob on this fabulous Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2008
Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators,
Rose to the call of President Bill Cooper and greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths.
After casting a weathered eye toward thousands of his faithful followers,
Phil consulted with President Cooper and directed him to the appropriate scroll, which proclaimed:
"As I look around me, a bright sky I see, and a shadow beside me.
Six more weeks of winter it will be!"
I'm taking a stand here people: it's crap like groundhogs day that makes kids end up like this: