i can't let this one go by.
i've been bothered by this for years, and now that i have this venue, i feel the need to vent a little bit. bear with me.
yesterday, we are all to believe, is the annual event known as groundhog day. you all know the drill. it's all about punxatawnee phil, the little rodent from the town of the same name in pennsylvania. it seems that tradition has it, that every february 2nd, he pokes his furry little head out of the ground, and if he sees his shadow, (i'm guessing it frightens him), he goes back inside, and the united states of america is stuck with six more weeks of winter. hmmmm. if he doesn't see it, he stays out and what? basks in the overcast? heads to the beach on a cloudy day? am i the only one to realize that this entire process has nothing to do with the groundhog and is simply a matter of is the sun out today? why, i repeat, why, do we need the groundhog? why can't we just be adults and say, if it's cloudy on february 2nd, winter is over, (even though that's a thoroughly moronic thing to say), and if it's sunny, winter is not? are you following me on this? it's been going on since the mid 1850's, and i'm sure by now, the little furball is old and tired of being blamed.
the winter of 2011 is already going down in the history books as among the most brutal in a very long time. storm after storm has pummelled the nation, people are snow weary, snowbound, snow blind, snowed in, and snowed under. seems the only word with snow in it, that's nice, is snowbirds, the smart ones who escape. (did i mention i was outside in the pool yesterday for an hour, swimming my new year's resolution laps? the water was toasty, and it was 82 degrees outside. ah winter in south florida, but i digress.)
i was watching diane sawyer and her world news last night, and the snow is a bigger story than the demise of that egyptian guy, whatshisname? it was the number one item on the news. so the fact that the little rodent was celebrated as the harbinger of spring seems foolhardy at best. i saw in that broadcast that there is another storm on its way to dump more snow across the nations middle section. calendar-wise, there are six more weeks until the actual first day of spring, and this little roadkill creature is supposed to cheer up the frozen millions? people slipping and falling on sheets of ice in atlanta should be soothed? twenty-seven thousand tons of snow were moved by snowplows in chicago. think they feel any better about old punxatawnee phil's marvelous prediction? i'm very mistrustful about this whole business, and have been for years.
maybe we should devise a new method of determining when winter is over.
how about this: we send old farmer brown out with a pick. he raises it over his head and strikes the ground with it as hard as he can. if he hits dirt, winter is over. if he hits an impenetrable sheet of ice, it is not. no? too simple?
how about this: we put the cat out on the night of february 1. in the morning, if the cat is ok, winter is over. if the cat is frozen solid, it's still winter. that might work.
wait, wait, i have it.
we take a bucket of water and put it outside on february 1st. when we wake up on february 2nd, if the bucket of water is sitting in the shade, winter is over, (and it's probably a bucket of ice), and if the bucket is in the sun, winter is not. much easier. that way we can retire old phil, and let him live out his golden years in miami. and like all the other snowbirds down here, he won't look at all odd, even though he's still wearing his fur coat.