An interview with the world’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil.
Everyone is done with winter and is wondering when spring will arrive. Well, there is some good news. On Groundhog Day (February 2nd) Punxsutawney Phil came out of his burrow and THANK THE LORD, he didn’t see his shadow, which means that spring will arrive early. I happened to be at the event and afterward I had a chance to speak with the portly seer.
Me: Phil, can I ask you a few questions? And may I call you Phil?
Phil: I prefer Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinaire, but sure you can just call me Phil. Now ask away.
Me: Ok, Phil, you just predicted an early spring. How confident are you?
Phil: I’m 100% sure because I’m always right. I can forecast better than anyone because I’m intelligent. Some people would say I’m very, very intelligent. You see, I have a very large brain which even the Chinese know and respect. Just so you know I also have big, beautiful paws and there is no problem with the size of anything else. I can guarantee you that.
Me: I’m sure that you have a big brain but the National Oceans and Atmospheric Administration claims that there is actually no correlation between your predictions and the weather for the rest of the winter season. They say that Accuweather‘s predictions are 80% accurate while you are only correct 39% of the time. There are even other groundhogs that seem to have a better track record than you.
Phil: Believe me that’s fake news, okay? I have been treated very unfriendly by the mainstream weather media. I can tell you that.
But I alone can predict the weather. People love me and know that I have been very successful. Everybody loves me that’s why I get such tremendous crowds every Groundhog Day. I’m pretty good at estimating crowd sizes as you have probably figured out. The crowd at this year’s rally, I mean celebration, was bigger than they’ve ever seen before. There were many, many more people than at Obama’s 2012 inauguration. I have made Groundhog Day great again. It’s now a fantastic holiday and everybody is talking about it. It’s unbelievable.
Me: Well, you have been predicting the weather since 1887 so some say that you are getting a little long in the tooth and maybe your age is affecting your ability to do your job.
Phil: You needn’t be concerned about my age, a lot of people are saying that my health is astonishingly excellent, okay. I am frankly the healthiest groundhog to ever forecast the weather.
Me: What about all the other woodchucks around the country that also try to predict winter’s end?
Phil: It’s become a pretty crowded field. There are more weather prognosticating groundhogs today than there are Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination. There was even a llama in Michigan named Zac who got into the weather predicting business. I called him Nostrollamas. But to be perfectly honest, they’re all losers.
Me: People say that a paunchy groundhog in Atlanta named, General Beauregard Lee, has a 94% accuracy rate when it comes to predicting the end of winter. He has even been awarded a Doctor of Weather Prognostication and has a degree in Southern Groundology.
Phil: I don’t know where he went to military school but he is as dumb as a rock. Frankly, I know more than the generals, believe me. By the way, I think I would have been a good general but I didn’t enter the military because of a bone spur in one of my back paws.
Me: Okay, what about Balzac Billy the pudgy woodchuck from Balzac, Alberta? His predictions are usually correct.
Phil: He’s a disaster. He isn’t even a groundhog. He is a man in a groundhog costume. And it’s easy for him to predict the weather in Canada. They never have an early spring. Their winter will end sometime in the summer. Sad!
Me: Some people like Jimmy the porcine woodchuck from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.
Phil: Jimmy is wacky and deranged. In 2015 he bit the mayor’s ear. He is the Mike Tyson of woodchucks. It was disgusting. There was blood coming out of his ear, blood coming out of his whatever. Jimmy has zero natural talent.
Me: Well, what about Unadilla Bill the plumpish woodchuck who hails from Unadilla, Nebraska?
Phil: I read in the failing New York Times that his predictions are correct 83% of the time. How can low IQ, crazy Bill predict anything — he is a stuffed animal. This is just more fake news.
Me: Others think highly of Sir Walter Wally the ponderous groundhog from Raleigh, North Carolina. He claims that his Groundhog Day predictions are correct 68% of the time.
Phil: He is a moron who has the title, “Sir.” So a lot of people are saying that he might be British. How can he be good at predicting American weather if he is English? I’m not sure how he even got into this country in the first place. He might be in our great country illegally. We may need to lock him up. We’ll see what happens.
Now I need to go to my big beautiful burrow.
Me: Are you going back to hibernate until spring?
Phil: It’s not hibernating. It’s EXECUTIVE TIME!
Me: Oh, ok. See you next Groundhog Day.
Phil: Enjoy the early spring.
All characters appearing in this article are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons or groundhogs, living or dead, is purely coincidental. That I can tell you.
John C. Wade
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