Today is Groundhog’s day. I absolutely love this day because it’s so silly. Listening to an animal for the weather forecast is probably not that crazy as I’m sure many of our ancestors used that method. However the royal treatment given to the two main groundhogs in the Northeast cracks me up every year.
The two offenders are Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck. The people of Punxsutawney were dressed in top hats, bow ties and coattails awaiting his prognosis. The mayor (I believe) said he held a special stick that allowed him to understand Groundhogese so that he could understand what Phil’s prediction would be. This made me chuckle. Then the mayor encouraged the crowd to join him in waking Phil up. They called his name and then the mayor used the groundhogese stick to knock on Phil’s door. Poor Phil – what if he was sleeping when all the commotion was going on outside. I’m sure he was scared out of his sleep. Can he really do his job when he wasn’t even given a chance to have some coffee?
The handlers pulled Phil out of his little burrow and presented him to the community in front of him. There were cheers and screams. Meanwhile poor little Phil looked like he needed to make a visit to the bathroom. He looked uncomfortable and half-asleep. They proceeded to put him on a tree stump covered in a red carpet (he gets the star treatment alright). The mayor whispered in Phil’s ear (at least I think groundhog’s ears are on the side of their faces) and Phil looked like he was still in LaLaLand. Eventually Phil uttered that there would be 6 more weeks of winter (He didn’t tell the mayor this in his ear. He just pronounced it in front of all in Groundhogese and had the translation services done by the mayor).
Over at the Staten Island Zoo, the handlers knocked on Chuck’s door and opened it immediately. He rolled out of the door as if he was caught by surprise while going to get his newspaper. Mayor Bloomberg (with his massive gloves on to avoid being bitten again) held him for all to see. Chuck looked very perturbed. The mayor held Chuck up to his ear and waited while Chuck notified him that spring was coming and that the Giants would win the Super Bowl. Chuck mesmerizes me every year – he is now a bookie for sporting events! (I guess everyone and everything needs numerous skills in this day and age!) And I had no idea that he spoke in a Bostonian accent so that the Mayor would understand him. Mayor Bloomberg didn’t need the special Groundhogese stick that was needed in Pennsylvania to understand the creature’s weather forecast.
The mayor then handed Chuck back to the handlers and held up a banner saying ‘Spring is Coming’ as well as mentioning the furry foretelling. I have to say that of the two predictions I hope that Chuck is correct but it has been such a mild winter that I hope that Phil might be right. I am already experiencing allergies symptoms in February. I’d hate to be on medication from now until summer. It’s long enough when it’s from April to June!
Overall, it is a big day in the animal kingdom – humans and other species alike. I wonder if there are bears sitting in trees somewhere watching all this coverage and deciding on whether they should hibernate for longer or if they should get out and get moving. Beach season is soon approaching if the groundhogs say spring is coming. They only have so much time to lose weight and fit into those bikinis or Speedos. So many decisions rely on what these groundhogs tell us.