Today was Groundhog Day -- like you really gave a crap. For some schoolkids, Groundhog Day also means Day Two of having to sit through yet another lecture on how George Washington Carver invented peanut butter, and how Little Richard and Chuck Berry were ripped off by the man, and the crack epidemic was a CIA plot, but look at the bright side: you only have 26 more days of that contrived, over-hyped torture left to endure.
A little history lesson for those who don't know what Groundhog Day is, and are too fucking lazy to even do a Google search:
Legend has it, although just where this legend originates -- and just how much liquor and how many successive generations of inbreeding were involved in it's creation -- is unclear. Suffice to say, that somewhere along the line some moron with more time on his hands than brains decided that the actions of a groundhog were more than just the instinctual activities of an oversized rodent; they were an omen of the future, and specifically, about the weather.
If you ask me, a groundhog looks like a fucking rat with a thyroid condition. I wouldn't think it had any special talent for predicting anything, let alone what the temperatures might be six weeks from now. By all appearances, groundhogs do little else besides dig, eat, fuck and shit, and if I really needed to observe the behavior of some beast so as to divine the state of the weather, I'd think I'd pick one I could ask directly, and hence, communicate with.
We have literally thousands of such people here in New Yorkistan, people who do little else besides dig, eat, fuck and shit, and if we turned to them for weather forecasts more often, they'd at least be earning that fucking welfare check. But I digress...
Then again, it has just occurred to me that my description of groundhogs -- a rat with a thyroid condition that does little useful work, and is associated with auguring the weather -- sounds a lot like Al Gore. Maybe I'm being unfair to the groundhogs when I make that association?
Anyways, about Groundhog Day...
Personally, I don't see the point of the whole thing anymore. Yeah, it sorta-kinda made sense one, maybe two hundred years ago, before there was anything like indoor heating, weather tracking satellites, Al Roker, or 24-hour-a-day weather reports (it's fascinating to me that he Weather Channel somehow makes money by basically repeating the same information to you 24 hours a day...then again, that's what they do at (P)MSNBC, and they're broke, so make of that what you will).
In the Old Days (as they say) the guess of a hedgehog was as good as it got, I guess. Science, as we would understand it, was in it's infancy (I've seen enough episodes of Gunsmoke, Davy Crockett, and The Andy Griffith Show to know what I'm talking about! The groundhog was smarter than Goober, for certain!), and mankind being able to predict the weather was probably one of those things that people routinely dismissed as being impossible. Folklore, in many cases, was considered more reliable than this new-fangled science bullshit.
In any case, the need to consult a furry little mammal, on anything, not only seems primitive, but a complete waste of time. I think the only reason why anyone still makes a fuss out of this is that it's become a tradition (some tradition; the only thing lamer and gayer than Groundhog Day is an Obama State of the Union Address, or maybe Justin Beiber. It's a toss-up). It's one of those traditions that probably deserves to fade away.
Mostly because the whole idea is fucking stupid.
The supposed Heavyweight Champ of Prognosticating Prairie Dogs is Punxsutawney Phil, who, we're told, has not seen his shadow this day. Judging from Phil's prodigious midsection, he probably hasn't seen his feet or balls for some time, either, so what's the big whoops? Not to be outdone in the Theatre of the Absurd and Cheesy, a local boy, Staten Island Chuck, likewise did not see his shadow, and unfortunately did not bite Mayor Bloomdouche again this year.
So far as I was concerned, digging his buck teeth into Mayor McCheese was probably Chuck's only redeeming quality.
So, two adumbrative guinea pigs have agreed that in the next few weeks our long nightmare of successive snowstorms, freezing winds, and icy rains will be all over, on their ways to becoming distant memories. Good riddance; I'm sick of snow, cold rain, slush, a coating of ice under every footfall, and getting soaking wet after stepping five feet from my own front door, already. I would love to see that -- warmer weather in six weeks -- happen. I just don't believe that placing all your hopes for an early spring upon the actions of a brace of furry vermin is the smartest way to go.
Especially not when some douchebag in a top hat and tails, who hasn't gotten the message that mutton chops are definitely out, is involved.
Still, people always need hope and encouragement in the darkest depths of the winter of our discontent -- there's staggering unemployment, our economy is in tatters, the world is going to hell around us, and we've finally come to the painful realization that we've elected a man to run this country who's only remarkable talents are for punting on first down, no matter what the issue, and going on vacation -- so I figure hope is where you find it.
Sunnier days ahead. Warmer weather. It's amazing sometimes how so simple a thing suddenly becomes so important to so many, and then you begin to realize how typically American it all is; that a tradition which John Q. Nosepicker -- Man in the Street -- could care less about, means something after all, at least when we're all in misery, even if it is all so fucking gay, and reeking of pagan superstition (one imagines that at least half of those doofuses in top hats are probably pastors, and their Calvinist predecessors would have burnt them at the stake for any witchcraft that involves the use of an unclean animal to foretell the future).
Then again, in the current state of affairs, simple things are about all we have left to look forward to, so I guess we'd better be grateful when we get them, and perhaps not ask too many questions about where they came from, either.