Saturday, February 02, 2002

Happy Groundhog Day
A few friends and I were chatting about Punxsutawney Phil, the Official Groundhog, who apparently predicted six more weeks of winter this morning. Now they're going to ask him who'll win the Super Bowl. (No, I'm not kidding.) This is the first year they've been able to do that, since this is the first year the Super Bowl has been played after Groundhog Day.

From AP news via AOL:
"Officials prepared for larger crowds than normal because Groundhog Day fell on a Saturday, and concerns about rowdy drinkers coupled with the Sept. 11 attacks led to stepped-up security at Phil's home. For the first time ever, organizers sold all 38,000 bus tickets to the event."

[Emphasis mine.] Well, if an innocent groundhog can't waddle out of his den to find a little female groundhog action (what, you think he's looking for his shadow?), then The Terrorists Have Won.

(Insert your own joke here about OBL's al-Jazeera interview surfacing so close to Groundhog Day.)

Thirty-eight thousand tickets? To see a groundhog? (I wonder how many of those people were reporters?)

Here in Atlanta, we have our own groundhog, thanks: General Beauregard Lee, who makes his home at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn, GA, near majestic Stone Mountain. This is the General's 22nd year, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And admission is free, so there, Phil.

But wait a minute. According to my sources, groundhogs rarely live longer than 8-10 years. (I can't believe I'm looking this stuff up.) There's obviously a scandal here waiting to be investigated. Either the General is a world record long-lived groundhog (if so, why not mention it in the publicity?), or they've been slipping ringers in all these years. Ah, the death of innocence!

Next I'll be looking at satellite photos of the North Pole trying to find a gingerbread cottage. Some things just shouldn't be questioned.

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