February 11, 2011

Phil is an optimist...or maybe he just needs glasses!

Well, Groundhog Day has come and gone (a wonderful movie by that same name came out a few years ago), and the venerable groundhog sage, Punxsutawney Phil (who made an appearance in that movie looking quite handsome!), came out of hibernation, saw no shadow and predicted an early Spring. Or so he says! Frankly, I’m a bit skeptical. Phil’s buddy, Woodstock Willie in Illinois, had to cancel giving his prediction because a snowstorm blocked his burrow and he couldn’t get out (well, we can figure what Willie’s prediction would have been!). North Carolina’s Sir Walter Wally, Louisiana’s Pierre Shadeaux, and Michigan’s Woody the Woodchuck, all saw their shadows, forecasting six more weeks of winter.

So is Punxsutawney Phil just an optimist? Did he miss seeing his shadow because he needs glasses? Hmmm....Let’s have a nice mug of hot cocoa to warm up a cold day, while we ponder the question.

"Well, it's Groundhog Day... again!"
"There is no way this winter is ever going to end, as long as this groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don't see any other way out. He's got to be stopped!"
~ Bill Murray, Groundhog Day

Ole Phil has been in the “early Spring, or forget about it, six more weeks of winter!” forecasting business since 1887...that’s right, 1887...well over a century of emerging from his cozy burrow every February 2 to let us know which way the season will go. He’s quite senior for a groundhog, ancient in fact. According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog website, there has only been one Phil throughout all the years. Phil’s lifespan, much longer than any groundhog in history, has been magically extended by sipping a secret groundhog punch called the “elixir of life” every summer at the groundhog picnic. (Hey, will that magic punch work on humans???)

Rumors are circulating that Phil may have lost his edge, gotten a bit too comfy. After all, his record has been spotty in recent years, having made accurate predictions only 39% of the time. Slipping there, Phil!

Here’s what I think: Groundhog Phil has been quietly spending his time in a cozy cabin (no burrow in the ground for him!), warm and comfy, munching on veggie chips, and sipping perhaps a wee bit too much of that groundhog punch. So his predictions may be a bit skewed sometimes. But Phil deserves respect at his ripe old age, and he is rather loveable in a big, furry rodent sort of way. So we’ll see how accurate Phil is in the coming weeks. And so what if he’s wrong and we end up with six more weeks of winter? Spring will still come again...one day!          

© 2011 JerseyLil’s 2 Cents. All rights reserved.


  1. I agree with Bill Murray. He has to be stopped because if he is truly in a cozy cabin somewhere, how much wood can a woodchuck chuck after all.

  2. Good one, thanks for the comment!