January 30, 2020

Groundhog Day star Punxsutawney Phil should retire and be replaced by a robot, PETA says

Dana Mathewson

This is obviously a story of timely interest, and refers to the upcoming holiday, not the movie of the same name.

Punxsutawney Phil undergoes "great stress" every year on Groundhog Day and should be replaced by a robot, the leader of PETA says.

Ingrid Newkirk writes in a letter to the furry celebrity's Groundhog Club that Phil deserves a break and should be allowed to retire.

The request, posted on PETA's website, comes ahead of Sunday's annual ceremony which will determine whether spring arrives early this year.

If Phil sees his shadow this weekend in the small Pennsylvania town, he will retreat and winter will continue for six weeks. If Phil does not see his shadow, spring will be here soon.

It is a burden that Phil should be spared, according to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Frankly, one of my fondest wishes is that PETA would retire as a group, and that each member find something actually constructive to do. In the article https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/groundhog-day-star-punxsutawney-phil-may-retire-and-be-replaced-with-a-robot-after-peta-campaign you'll learn that P. Phil lives better than many people in the area, and apparently the mid-winter excursion doesn't cause him that much of a problem.

I know that groundhogs have a reasonably long lifespan for small animals, but I've been hearing about Phil for many years now, and I'm sure that there has been a long line of Phils, just as the current Dear Abby is the foxy daughter of the lady who was writing the column back when I was in college. But I'm sure PETA thinks of Phil as a doddering, senile old cripple (like most of them) -- kind of a rodent version of Bernie Sanders.

I'll bet you Phil has accumulated a good bank account, or perhaps a nice 401(k). And at the very least, Medicare, if not a nice private health insurance policy. Those people in Punxsutawney aren't going to mistreat him, and getting up once a winter is the least he can do to thank them.

Here's an interesting slant for you: most of us think about that "Six more weeks of winter with an Oh, darn, six more weeks of winter feeling." But a few years ago I worked with a gentleman who was born and raised in Duluth, MN, a couple hours north of the Twin Cities, where the winters are, shall we say, formidable. And he told me that their approach was always "Oh, goodie; ONLY six more weeks of winter." It's all how you look at it.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 04:43 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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1 Maybe Punxutawny Phil ought to run for President under the Democrat banner; he's "from the Heartland" as Mayor Pete would no doubt cheer, and he's a minority (ground hog). He could probably beat Elizabeth Warren. And think of how useful he'd be in promoting Global Warming theory if he would cooperate...

Actually, I remember Punxutawny Pete, Phil's predecessor. I imagine there have been quite a few groundhogs to predict the weather.

Speaking of stupid Democrats, my wife Cathy worked with a bunch of them once. They had an argument over whether it was a ground HOG or ground SQUIRREL. Once they resolved it was a squirrel they then argued if it was six weeks or six more MONTHS of winter. Turns out it is six months, so winter will end some time around August.

And these people vote!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at January 31, 2020 06:45 AM (REahl)

2 Woodchucks are certainly related to squirrels, not pigs. That much is certain. But I think you might get some arguments as to whether Pennsylvania qualifies as "Heartland." It's pretty far to the Northeast for that.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at January 31, 2020 10:33 AM (LVmqo)

3 I know this may not be accurate, but for years I've had this impression that Ol' Phil is already pretty much retired from the normal daily groundhog routine. Maybe he gets on his exercise bike once in awhile -- or maybe he has a treadmill -- but I think mostly he sits around fat and happy, in his recliner, with his brandy and cigars, lettuce, carrots or whatever he likes, just waiting for the one day out of the year that everybody notices him and makes a big deal of him. Take that away and he'll waste away like... well, like Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden should be doing.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at February 01, 2020 01:27 PM (B85Mr)

4 You just described a Democrat perfectly, Dana!  He IS on the government dole.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at February 02, 2020 08:07 AM (6w/6a)

5 Yep, I suppose I did. At least he's on the Pennsylvania dole.

Back years ago when Martha and I did a lot of subbing at a Unitarian "church," one Sunday we parked behind a parishioner (it must have been) who had a bumper sticker that said "Your pet is better than you are." As we came out to go home, my hostility level was up due to the negative level of Christianity we'd had to tolerate, and I started thinking about a riposte I wish I'd been able to give the driver of the car (and luckily didn't have the chance to). Something like "Yes, he's good -- gives us unconditional love, in fact -- as long as we feed him, care for him, take him for walks so he doesn't have to pee and shit in the house, love him, give him veterinary care (expensive) as needed, etc. But how good would he be if I turned him loose on the street and expected him to fend for himself like you do? How long would he make it? He couldn't apply for a job. He couldn't apply for welfare either. He'd be totally lost, and hungry, and scrounging for food anywhere he could find it. He'd get pretty savage, because he wouldn't know what to do. In short, he'd shortly be worse even than YOU, you effing a$$hole liberal!"

Or I could have just said "That's even more stupid than 99% of the other bumper stickers on liberals' cars" and let it go at that.

Geez, Tim, if it was convenient to have this site divided into sections, we could have one for "Crazy Bumper Stickers We've Seen." I saw one back in Buffalo that said "I Gave Up Smoking, Drinking and Sex. It Was The Worst Hour of my Life." Now, I just HAD to have a look at the driver of that car, so I went in pursuit. Turned out to be a really, really ugly broad; couldn't imagine she'd ever had sex more than once. (Of course, maybe it was a stolen car...)

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at February 02, 2020 09:29 PM (VVe40)


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