Happy Groundhog Day, everybody. This is, of course, one of those crazy rituals that blizzard-addled easterners perform to give themselves a reason to live until spring comes. Like football.
For rodents, groundhogs are pretty cool. You know the “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck…” tongue-twister? Woodchuck is another name for groundhog. (I guess “How much ground could a groundhog hog if a groundhog could hog ground?” doesn’t trip up the tongue as well.) Animal Planet has a spiffy site about these cute critters, including info on the pagan origins of the Day. And don’t miss groundhog.org, the Official Site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. If I were still reading Robert Anton Wilson on a regular basis, their whole Inner Circle business might give me the willies.
The groundhog is also a member of the club Rodents With Which Bill Murray Makes Funny Ha-ha (“Mister Gopher” of Caddyshack fame being emeritus, naturally). But as Murray says in Groundhog Day the Movie: “This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.”
Yeah, I guess apart from the Movie, the Day doesn’t have much to offer Southern Californians — except as an exercise in eye-narrowing, lip-pursing wonder at those wacky snow-people back east and their paganistic hubbub.
But as for me, there’s a SoCal annual animal-related event I’m waiting for next month. Six more weeks of winter or no.