Thursday, February 02, 2006

Groundhog Day

What a glorious day! Today the world received further revelation from the great groundhog prophet, Punxsutawney Phil. Thanks to this particular rodent's underwhelmingly impressive ability to observe his own shadow, we should expect 6 more weeks of winter. Five weeks maybe? No - six. The future's already been foretold. Please, don't question Phil.

I decided to look into the history of this "holiday," hoping to find a morsel of sense in this great heap of madness. That bit of sense came from an 1841 journal entry written by James Morris, a Pennsylvania storekeeper. He wrote, "Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate."

Did you catch the phrase that cleared up my confusion in this matter? "According to the Germans." There it is. I'm surprised I didn't consider that. Normally when I find myself wondering, "Why would anyone think that?" or "Why would someone do such a thing?" - I automatically fall back on the same answer: They're probably Germans. It's like wearing long, dark socks with shorts and sandals. Germans think and do lots of stuff the rest of us will never understand. It's too bad we don't get paid vacations on all of our dumb holidays like the Germans... that's probably another reason they came up with this one.

So - Happy Groundhog Day, everyone! Get your groundhog some flowers or maybe some fragrant soaps. He needs to know you appreciate him, whether he uses his shadow-seeing ability to predict the weather or to simply host his own shadow puppet theater... today's that groundhog's day.

No comments: