Posted by: pyeager | February 2, 2011

Anti-Ode to a Groundhog

By Paul Yeager, author of Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

I’ve been keeping a secret for the past three decades, and I can hold my tongue no longer: I HATE PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL.

There. I said it. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true.

Punxsutawney Phil

The evil Punxsutawney Phil

Anti-ode to Punxsutawney Phil

Oh, how I hate thee, Punxsutawney Phil. Let me count the ways:

  • I hate that you’re from a town whose name I can’t spell. The word has two u’s, a w, and a y. Who thought that was a good idea?
  • I hate the fact that people have asked me about your forecast ever since I started college. I mean, seriously, whether you see your shadow? And they make dart-board jokes about me.
  • I hate all of the stories written about you every year. It’s like groundhog day, I mean…never mind. But serious journalists cover the fake emergence of a domesticated groundhog for respected national publications. (The first three stories on a Google search are the LA Times, Boston Herald, and ABC News.)
  • I hate all of your little impersonators–Billy the Beaver from Georgia, Betsy the Badger from Wisconsin, Willie the Woodchuck from Vermont–or whatever their names are.
  • I hate it that your name is supposed to make an alliteration, but it doesn’t. Ph sounds like an F, not a P! Why not Punxsutawney Pete?
  • I hate it that your Web site is more popular than mine.
  • I really hate that one of your cousins–and her nine children–decided to take up residence under my deck a couple of years ago.

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