Posted by: deadmousediaries | February 2, 2016

All Hail the Groundhog!

   It’s election year again. I say it’s time to get Punxsutawney Phil on the ticket. With today’s good news, he has as much chance as other candidates at getting the nod. After all, he’s already meteorologist to the masses and today, Groundhog Day 2016, his popularity soared. For the 18th  time since 1887, that cute little varmint has promised us an early spring.
   We all know Phil doesn’t have any special powers in terms of weather prediction. That’s just silly. What he does have is a huge fan base and great PR. His super power is getting into our heads.
   As humans, we’re starting to understand the flow of energy generated by the collective consciousness and the influence positive thinking has on an outcome. How do we calculate the power of that one, big sigh of relief we all release on those days when we get his good news? How could the universe not respond with beautiful spring weather when that’s what’s on everyone’s mind — and all because a whistle pig left his dark burrow to brave the sunshine.
   Phil’s annual pronouncement is supposedly linked to Candlemas, a European celebration that falls between winter solstice and spring equinox. I don’t know if Phil is well-read in his British lit or not but I uncovered this English saying that he might be following for guidance: If Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight. If Candlemas has clouds and rain, Winter will not come again. With that wisdom, even I could predict the next six weeks and without ever leaving the house.
   Most of the year, Phil leads a pretty cushy life down at the Groundhog Zoo, also known as the town library. He’s a kept hog thanks to the generous taxpayers and tourists of Punxsutawney. In the wild, groundhogs create tunnels that are so elaborate that each one also has its own bathroom chamber. I have to wonder how plush the flush is for an icon like Phil while he’s in his man-made condo.
   It used to be that Phil only worked one day a year but now he’s into guest appearances and endorsements. Ever heard of Woodchuck Hard Cider? Rumor has it that Phil posed for that label as a rookie without an agent or a contract. He learned his lesson and drives a harder bargain now after missing out on all those residuals.
   This year, Phil stepped up as spokeshog for the launch of a new golden lager, Punxsutawney Philsner. Not only did he make an appearance at some meet-and-greets in his hometown, he has traveled to Pittsburgh to brew up some publicity for the suds in local pubs and at a Penguins game.
   On May 28, 2016, another gang of groundhog groupies will gather to party on Phil’s hallowed ground. The Hogtoberfest craft beer festival is again being hosted by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, complete with a home brew competition and free beer tastings.
   Groundhogs normally eat one-third of their weight in vegetation daily. The diet of the average Joe consists of apples, bark, clover, flowers and vegetables from your garden including beans, peas and carrot tops. I read recently that Phil is two inches longer and five pounds heavier than the average groundhog. Well, of course he is. I have yet to read that he has a personal trainer and celebrity bloating is an epidemic. Between the stress of being in the spotlight, road trip junk food and all that lager, a beer gut was inevitable.
   Also inevitable is Phil’s expanding presence in social media. Groundhogs not only whistle, they also tweet, apparently, so if you like, you can follow him on Twitter at PunxsutawneyPhil@GroundhogClub, He’s all over Instagram, too, so if you’re tweeting or pinning him, don’t forget to add his hashtag #GroundhogDay.  I admit it; I sent Phil a FaceBook friend request on the chance he’s looking to hire other publicists because he has a good thing going but if you’re old school and prefer a website, check him out all year long at www.groundhog.org.
   I say: All Hail the Groundhog! I’m happy that he made time this February 2nd to grace us with his presence and send out the good news. He could have made the choice to forego all the hoopla and stay inside to spoon one more morning with the missus.
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Responses

  1. Informative and funny! :o)

  2. Phil’s handler, the gentleman with glasses that you see on T.V. and photos holding Phil up during the festivities, is an old I.U.P. fraternity brother of mine.Those folks are serious about their celebrity!


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