31 January 2010
Notes from the underground
No one could ever be more grounded - or perhaps UNDERgrounded - on the changing seasons than Punxsutawney Phil. He alone knows what lurks in the heart and mind of Mother Nature when he pops up from his legendary burrow on Feb. 2 and proclaims what the next six weeks will bring:
More harsh winter? Could that even be possible this year, when many of us have already overdosed on all things frigid and gloomy?
An early spring? Don't make us laugh, Phil. Please.
Still, the power does rest between him and his shadow, as the wakeful woodchuck rises from his Rip Van Winkle style nap and emerges at Gobbler's Knob in Pennsylvania, the eyes of the world upon him.
And why not?
Everyone knows: if you want a good deal on a product, go to the underground. If you want to learn a deep, dark secret about someone, look to the underground. If you want to get a dirty job done, take it to the underground. No one will be watching. Not even the groundhogs who, at this time of the year, are usually sleeping.
By now, though, it's an old story. Phil is likely weary of it too, partly because his notorious shadow is quickly eradicated by the glare of the network TV cameras surrounding this poor soul as he rubs his eyes and slowly makes his way above ground.
Ah Phil. Seems that on Groundhog's Day morning the only thing he may be able to reliably predict is six more weeks of publicity.