Happy Groundhog Day!

It’s February 2 — Groundhog Day — and somewhere east of here, Punxsatawney Phil has already been summoned from his burrow and failed to see his shadow.  That means we’re in for an early spring.

Much as I admire Punxsatawney Phil and his prognostication abilities, when I think of Groundhog Day I think of the classic Bill Murray movie of the same name.  In my view, Groundhog Day is one of the best movies made in the last 25 years — alternately hilarious, moving, and thought-provoking, too.  It also sounds some very interesting religious themes, such as in this scene, where Bill Murray admits that he is just “a god, not THE God” and speculates that perhaps God isn’t omnipotent but just has been around so long he knows everything there is to know.

A Head Full Of The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father Theme Song

Humans never truly know whether they are normal or weird.  Although we may have many friends and close family members, we still live largely within our own heads, perceiving the world in our own way.

The only way to know for sure whether we are unusual or pretty much like everyone else is to ask other humans pointed, and embarrassingly self-revealing, questions.  Like:  does anyone else occasionally find themselves replaying the insipid theme song to The Courtship of Eddie’s Father in their heads, for no apparent reason?

People let me tell ya ’bout my best friend . . . .

I always despised that show, with its cloyingly cute little kid and Bill Bixby as the prototype ultra-sensitive Dad and the blatant attempts to elicit “Awwww!” reactions from the audience.  I hadn’t thought of the show in years, but yesterday morning there it was, the chipper, annoying, Harry Nilsson theme song, playing through my head as I walked up the back stairs of our building.  And once it was bouncing around in there, it was impossible to get it out.

He’s my one boy, my cuddly toy, my up, my down, my pride and joy . . . .

Some cue caused the brain neurons to fire and retrieve the theme song from an awful ’60s TV show.  But what the hell was it?  And, even more disturbing, what other trivial bits of stray popular culture lie locked securely within my brain tissue, ever to be forgotten?  The names of all members of the original cast of Laugh-In?  The words to The Monkees’ Auntie Grizelda?  The precise dialogue of the disturbing dinner scene of Eraserhead?

Whether we’re talkin’ man to man or whether we’re talkin’ son to son . . . .