Punxsutawney Phil strikes again
It looks like the weather is on a rampage once again across the U.S.A. as the week opens up with rains on the West Coast setting records for amounts received plus snow in the Northeast piling up like leftovers at the church pot-luck dinner which, even though good at the time, begin to smell if allowed to accumulate for too long.
I do not think that the weather occurrences we are currently having are any worse than we have had in the past. It's just that now we have non-stop reporting on the same coming into our homes and phones like never before. And as I said in an earlier column, the events are also blown way out of proportion by the media trying to gain market share.
One happy event occurring on Jan. 2 in a small town in middle Pennsylvania was Groundhog Day. And for those of you that do not know or are so old you have forgotten, Groundhog Day is a day set aside in that State to allow Phil, the local groundhog, a chance to predict the coming Spring weather or lack thereof.
He is named after the town, and they root Punxsutawney Phil out of his man-made den and then some appointed groundhog holder lifts him up like Aaron's Rod in front of friends, family, and others to see if he can see his shadow. If he doesn’t, it means spring will come quickly. If he does, it means that the winter will drag out like a cat bringing in dead mice to the house.
All the news outlets saved us this year from such an awful fate of more winter by announcing that Phil didn't see his shadow thereby guaranteeing an early Spring for which Ol’ Dutch is certainly thankful.
This tradition started way back in the 1880s, so we begin to understand that there were some not so sane people around even back then and their descendants have carried on the tradition of hosting Groundhog Day ever since. Of course, it has now grown into quite an event with parades and vendors selling all sorts of confectionaries and other eatables, T-shirts, memorabilia, and autographed photos by Phil himself.
There is a great movie about this day with the title “Groundhog Day” and if you have not seen it then you need to dial that puppy up on Netflix or Disney or whatever you subscribe to as it's a funny flick. It's good enough that even Ol’ Dutch would consider going up there one of these days just to be a part of such a celebration and maybe just maybe get caught up in some of the same antics that Bill Murray does in the movie.
And before you try and pour cold water on my dreams and say it was “just a movie” and did not happen there I have to ask you if you have been there and if not, then how do you know? Ol’ Dutch still likes to have some dreams and those also include Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, so if you are simply a spoilsport who likes to go through life with dull expectations, then so be it but leave us free thinkers alone.
Maybe I am like the old farmer who went to the movies and in one scene saw some ladies across the railroad tracks undressing to go swimming. And just as they were about to reveal their full glory of nakedness to the viewers, a train comes along and blocks the view. The farmer had gone to the same movie over 40 times and when asked why, he said that he was hoping that sooner or later the train would be late. Got to love a dreamer.
So, you all can celebrate with me the great news that Phil brought to us about an early Spring and rest easy knowing that he is always right — about 30% of the time. Which is probably a tad better than the local weatherman at least where I live.