Sadly, February 2 was not a Tuesday. But, this story, while inspired by the strange customs of that Candlemas Day, can be told at anytime.
The harder part is that I’m battling some fatigue today, and fighting the urge to give up and just go to bed, but I’m pushing through. Who needs sleep, right?
One other note, about last week’s word, I have learned from one of my readers that, in ballet, contretemps means “counter-beat,” which in ballet, contretemps means “counter-beat”.
Scandal has erupted in the increasingly political world of big money groundhog gurus.
Representatives of Sir Thomas Hastings, the prognosticating marmot of Hastings, Nebraska, have started an investigation into allegations that the most well known among their rarefied rodent celebrities, Punxsutawney Phil, has been selling his “prediction” to the highest bidder.
Sir Thomas’ handlers alledge that Phil is in the pocket of the winter sports concerns, who depend on extended winter seasons for their livliehood.
“It seems fishy that Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter 87% of the time. Since 1889, Phil has had a long record of siding with all those people who want winter to last as long as possible. He’s only right 39% of the time! That’s worse than most meteorologists.” said Julie Merkle, spokesperson for Sir Thomas.
“Take this year, for instance. Of the more than two dozen woodchuck seers, two-thirds of them said spring was coming. But Phil? Nope. He’s one of the minority with the opinion that it will be a longer winter,” Merkle notes.
Handlers for Staten Island Chuck, who like Sir Thomas, Patty Pagoda, Buckeye Chuck, and General Beauregard Lee all reported that we’re looking for an early spring, have been looking for a way to engage in a bit of revanche ever since Phil got a big head when he became “top hog” simply because he sold out to Hollywood.
Phil’s handlers, outraged at these accusations, have denied that they are selling Phil’s predictive powers. In their own statement, issued yesterday, they call this move “a petty attempt to cash in on Phil’s well-deserved fame,” and hint that their motives are “purely derived from spite and jealousy.” While the town of Punxsutawney has profited greatly from the publicity generated by their town’s favorite rodent, they insist that it is their tradition’s longevity that puts them into the spotlight, not that “delightful movie starring Bill Murray.”
I think the fame and money has gone to Phil’s head. It used to be about the weather, but, he’s a changed ‘chuck.
revanche / re VAHNSH / revenge; especially a political policy designed to recover lost territory or status