Friggin Rodent

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day and I don’t have to give a rat’s patootie about it for the first time in many, many years.

Flea-bitten vermin in several storied parts of North America, including up in Wiarton, will emerge from their frosty foxholes (where they were stuffed into mere moments before – you’d rush back out too!) and supposedly indicate to otherwise intelligent people whether there will be six more weeks of winter or an early spring.

I loathe the ritual, I really do!  In fact, it’s a dreaded time of year for most newspeople.  It’s, well, it’s like Groundhog Day, it keeps coming back over and over and when you break it down, it’s pretty ridiculous.  One year we sent our meteorologist up to Wiarton and he announced live on air that the groundhog had died, prompting tearful outbursts from children and shock from the rest of us.  But it was true.  The little guy went paws-up on his one big morning.  Not very professional.

So men will don top hats and give a hearty “hear ye hear ye” as if they’re welcoming royalty and TV cameras and radio mics will gather round to see whether the frightened fat little furry guy will see his shadow or not.  It’s his one day of work a year.  The rest of the time it’s catered dinners and babes as he rests on his haunches.  Some year I will have to care again, no doubt, but this Groundhog Day I am tickled to remain oblivious to whatever the road-kill-in-waiting decides to forecast.  In fact, I hope I can sleep right through it.