Image courtesy of Wikipedia
You know the story – every February 2nd at 6AM the alarm goes off and … wait, wrong GroundHog Day! Anyway, each February 2nd in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the world watches as the groundhog called Punxsutawney Phil either sees or doesn’t see his shadow, which will tell us whether we’ll see an early spring … or six more weeks of winter.
The tradition itself seems much more centered around the top hat-wearing ‘inner circle’ with the groundhog as a sideshow, despite thoughts of ‘Punxsutawney Phil Fans’:
Punxsutawney Phil fans say that there is only one Phil (all the other groundhog weathermen are imposters), and that he has made weather prognostications for over 120 years as of 2009. They say that every summer, Phil is fed a sip of the mysterious Groundhog Punch, which magically lengthens his life for seven years. This is done by Inner Circle members. According to the Groundhog Club, Phil, after making the prediction, speaks to the Club President in “Groundhogese”, which only the Inner Circle appear to understand, and then his prediction is translated for the entire world.
So … this year PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) proposes that Phil be replaced
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it’s unfair to keep the animal in captivity and subject him to the huge crowds and bright lights that accompany tens of thousands of revelers each year in Punxsutawney, a tiny borough about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh. PETA is suggesting the use of an animatronic model.
And here is one rendition of what this new Phil might look like if things get a little rough at Gobbler’s Knob:
Image courtesy of Ecorazzi
So what is the opinion of the local organizers?
Deeley says PETA isn’t interested in Phil from Feb. 2 on, and is looking for publicity.
And what does Bill Murray think?
Source: USAToday (via Stargazette.com)