You Know What? Screw Punxsutawney Phil AND T.S. Eliot

(Author’s Note: neither handsome quarterbacks nor their fans were harmed in the creation of this post)

Groundhog co-handler Ploucha holds up groundhog Punxsutawney Phil after Phil's annual weather prediction on Gobbler's Knob on the 130th Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney
Fig 1.1: That smug sonofabitch.

It’s time for the question I’ve asked myself about this time of year for 38 of the past 46 years (lived in D.C. and Maryland, 1989-1996): “Why the f*** have I chosen to live in this cold, bleak wasteland?”

[Speaking of the Wasteland, T.S. Eliot was wrong — “April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.” Nope, February is. Every four years it sucks 1/28th more.]

Photo courtesy, in as much courtesy as can provided when I steal something off their site. This shirt can be yours for the low price of $19.99 plus shipping and handling.

But in my effort to sound wicked smaht, I have to share something about which I feel, well, less wicked smaht:

Tomorrow is Groundhog’s Day. And now I’m going to face up to my fears and vulnerabilities and admit something:

I don’t see a huge difference in the two potential outcomes based on Phil’s emergence from his groundhog hole.

According to my good friend Wikipedia:

According to the tradition, if Phil sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he has predicted six more weeks of winter-like weather. If Phil does not see his shadow, he has predicted an “early spring.”
Six weeks from tomorrow would be March 16, which makes me wonder:

  1. Wouldn’t we in the northeast actually celebrate the end of winter weather on March 16, what with the April Fool’s Day Blizzard of 1997 and the June “Year Without a Summer” in 1816 in which it snowed on June 6 and 7 (OK, I had to look that last one up)?
  2. In the hellscape-on-earth that was Winter 2015, Boston’s municipal snow pile didn’t melt until JULY.
Winters Transportation Toll
In 2015, Boston’s municipal snow pile didn’t melt until July. Two points of clarification: 1. July? Really? 2. We had a municipal snow pile, and no one really found that odd.

3. Is the concept of “an early spring” simply the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce, as Phil’s mouthpiece, hedging its bets?



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