Richard’s been in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania for hours, reporting on the hoopla surrounding Punxsutawney’s Phil’s celebrated weather forecast. You can read his tweets from the Gobbler’s Knob here.
Alas, today Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. I’ve got news for him — we really can’t take six more weeks of winter. In fact, the last four weeks of winter have felt like four months of winter. If we have six more weeks like that last four weeks, the stolid people of the Midwest will need to be dipped in buckets of lard to try to repair their brittle skin, moved wholesale to the Caribbean to bring a little sunshine-induced vitamin D to their lives, and subjected to mass counseling to convince them that the world is not an unremittingly gray, wet, windy, and brutally cold place unfit for extended human habitation.
Fortunately, the toothy, tubby rodent is not a proficient prognosticator. According to an analysis, Phil is right only about 39% of the time. This better not be one of them.
Punxsutawney Phil might be cute, in all his plump, furry, buck-toothed, rodentine glory, but he should be called Suxutawney Phil in view of his pathetic weather prognostication abilities. Overnight, we got several inches of heavy wet snow — when the Punxster predicted that winter would end several weeks ago.
No longer will I trust the forecasts of the furry fiend emerging from his burrow on February 2! From now on, I’ll rely on the weather auguries of Rochester Ralph, the floppy-eared rabbit forecaster who foretells the length of winter based on whether he eats lettuce or carrots on January 26, and Hanover Hal, the happy hedgehog who rolls into a ball when prodded with a stick on February 5 and veers right or left to predict how much snow will fall in the next two months.
In the meantime, Kish and I have declared that we just can’t take much more winter weather. When spring finally gets here, we’ll return from a quick trip to Pennsylvania and celebrate with a delicately flavored, nourishing groundhog stew.