Potvin Newsly

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Groundhog Day

Today is of course Groundhog Day, a culturally significant holiday wherein whether or not a groundhog sees his shadow determines how much longer winter will last. This day is celebrated by people observing a groundhog and seeing whether or not he sees his shadow. Exciting!

Clearly, this is one of the most important holidays in North America. Everybody wants winter to end as quickly as possible, and the groundhog has the answers. He knows, I mean, he really knows. But there is a heated dispute among groundhog experts. The cause? This may come as a shock to some, but there are more than one groundhogs living in North America. Which groundhog can we trust?

There are four particularly famous groundhogs that are looked to most in predicting the weather: Punxsutawney Phil from Pennsylvania, Wiarton Willie from Ontario, Staten Island Chuck from New York, and General Beauregard Lee from Georgia. But which one should we watch in lieu of Candlemas?

Experts will tell you that these clearly supernatural animals that can see into the future are “inaccurate” and “wrong over 60% of the time,” but that’s just stupid. Obviously groundhogs know more about the weather than meteorologists; they’ve been around longer.

Punxsutawney Phil has been predicting for 122 years. Impossible you say? Well I have some news for you, this groundhog cannot be killed. He’s like the marmot Highlander. In fact, he can probably sword fight pretty well.

Punxsutawney Phil, The Highlander
There can only be one!

Clearly, Phil here is a competent woodchuck.

What about Wiarton Willie? He’s pretty good, I guess, but he is from Canada; that’s strike one. Also, he died in 1999. I believe that’s strikes two and three. I’d rather put my faith in the immortal Punxsutawney Phil, thank you.

Staten Island Chuck lives in the Staten Island Zoo and is the most well known marmot in all of New York City. A gritty, yet glitzy rodent, Chuck is known for beating up cab drivers on the way to see Broadway musicals. Chuck is also well known for killing fire department dalmatians in order to display his dominance over other city animals. He is also the High Chancellor of New York rodents, making all sorts of executive decisions that impact sewer rats in all five boroughs. He seems like a good candidate, but he has failed to give us an exit strategy for Iraq. Because of this, I highly recommend that you do not listen to Staten Island Chuck.

General Beauregard Lee has a 94% accuracy rating and two doctorate degrees. These are mighty good credentials, but he is named after two American Civil War generals, both of whom fought for the Confederacy, i.e. P.G.T. Beauregard and Robert E. Lee. These men were highly esteemed military leaders, but they lost anyway. These namesakes do not reflect well upon the land beaver in question. Also, Georgia’s pretty far south to be taking in all of this “six extra weeks of winter” stuff anyhow. I would promptly disregard any predictions made by the good Dr. General.

So that’s it. Take advice only from the whistlepig in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. This is his day. The Kurgan be damned!