Punxy Phil can suck it

Well kids, it's that time of year again: Groundhog Day 2012. I know you were just squirming with anticipation, as the world’s most famous and admired groundhog (I think he's the only one, really), Phil, emerged from his sleepy burrow this morning...
image via
Yup, lucky us. That furry jerk saw his shadow, allegedly. We’re in for six more weeks of winter. Not that this winter has been all that bad, I guess. But still, who is this Phil character, and how can he read the seasonal future?

As you know Phil is a groundhog- also known as a wood chuck, a whistle pig and a marmot.

I know a few farmers who have other names for these critters (particularly my father in law). But they aren't very nice names. So, I'll move on and say that Phil's kind are basically giant squirrels that dig holes and peeve the agriculturally inclined.

But why and how has that been considered a prerequisite for weather prediction since the late 1800's?

I mean, that's just silly.

And honestly, I never really thought twice about this strange superstition until I came to the area in 2004, when my glorious college days began at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

You see, Phil's home at Gobbler’s Knob, a hill outside of Punxsutawney, Pa., is about 45 minutes from here, so I know all about Phil and this beloved tradition of vermin weather reporting... I just don't get it.

I'm all about tradition and I think the Easter bunny is just adorable, but this 'holiday' is absurd. Let's get real, Phil is just a glorified pet, spoiled by a bunch of bearded, tuxedo and top-hat wearing men.

Yet this 'holiday' draws thousands of people to the area each year. Why do that many people get up that early in the morning to frigidly await the word of rodent handler, dressed up like Abe Lincoln?

Seriously, someone explain this to me.


  1. a groundhog is also called a marmot!?!?! hilarious.

  2. LOL!! You almost made me spit my drink out. Lily kept saying it was beaver day. The little ones are more interested and for some reason the schools have to talk about it when the kids are little....I personally think it's silly and a load of bunk.


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