Boycotting Groundhog Day

After four major snowstorms, a week’s worth of school closings and delayed openings, and enough freezing temps to make me actually look forward to global warming, I’m trying to figure out if I can bribe a certain groundhog not to see his shadow this year.

Not that I am given to put my forecasting faith in a large, cranky rodent, but after such a spectacularly rough winter, I’d be willing to believe the Keebler Elves if they assured me we would have an early spring.  Falling on a patch of black ice and taking out my knee was the final straw in my winter of discontent.  I decided that if the groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter, I was going to hold a sit-in and refuse to leave my house until all the snow melted.  This might present a few problems because the kids would have to be home-schooled, the dog would have to be trained to use the toilet, and we would all have to live on Spam for four months.   But other than that, I think it is a good plan.

Still, I was optimistic that since we got off to such a rough start, it meant that winter would run out of steam and end early.  However, I thought it would be a good idea to see what the groundhog’s track record was in this situation.

I did some research and discovered that since 1887, Punxatawny Phil has seen his shadow 99 times and not seen it 15 times, with nine years unrecorded. First of all, I have to say, that is one old, freakin’ groundhog. Secondly, what the heck?  He predicted a longer winter 99 out of 121 times?  Those are really stinky odds!!

Sure, what does he care… after they wake him up to do the shadow thing, he goes back to sleep until the spring. It’s the rest of us who have to suffer with his lousy predictions.

Of course, Phil is not the only groundhog on the block.  Staten Island Chuck is also called upon each year for his winter prognosis.  But Chuck is a lesser weather woodchuck.  He’s a Punxatawny poser and his predictions just can’t be trusted.

While I was trying to decide if the time had come to put a hit out on the groundhog, my dog barked to go out.  As he did his thing, I noticed that it was overcast out and the dog had no shadow.  At that moment, I decided my dog has just as much right to predict the weather as a stupid groundhog and regardless of what Phil or Chuck see, I’m going with the dog’s prediction.

It may not be scientific, but it beats the heck out of four months of Spam.

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