I wrote the following obituary last year around this time on Facebook notes, and I thought I would repost it here, ’cause I’m feeling lazy today (shame on me, I know).
Punxsutawney Phil died at noon on February 1, 2011, the day before he was scheduled to make his annual prediction of whether or not spring is around the corner. One of his handlers, Ben Hughes, found him with his nose poking out of his hole on Gobbler’s Knob. According to legend, he was 125 years of age, and given a special Groundhog Punch, or elixir of life, every summer. Cause of death is unknown, but it is assumed that either he ate something poisonous or that his heart, at long last, gave out. Punxsutawney Phil was very much beloved and celebrated in the town of Punxsutawney, PA, and Americans across the country and by Canadians too. He will be greatly missed. He is survived by his mate Phyllis, who will likely take over his Groundhog Day duties.
I can just imagine this if it was true, and we had to give up Groundhog Day because there was no groundhog to come out of the hole to see whether or not he could see his shadow. It doesn’t really work anyway. He’s wrong more often than not. But as long as there is Punxsutawney, there will be Groundhog Day, and there will be a Punxsutawney Phil. Winter will last however long it lasts, and so will the other seasons. I find it kinda funny that people keep wanting to make accurate weather predictions when, in fact, they’re wrong most of the time. I don’t claim to understand meteorology, nor do I want to. It’s all very complicated, I think, and also a waste of time. I wouldn’t want to say one way or another what’s going to happen tomorrow, because I have a fear of being wrong, and worse than that, laughed at.
What do you think of the whole concept of Groundhog day? Do you acknowledge it or is it just another normal day to you? I would think that if you lived in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, it would be a pretty big deal. But what about the people who lived in other parts of the country? Do they feel left out? I don’t really. but that is just me, introvert by nature. Plus, it’s February. Not my idea of fun to go to an outdoor festival in the middle of winter.