Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Thing on NPR Today That Made Me Wonder

Every day, it's something, even if only how stumbly, fake-cheerful Chicago Public Radio morning announcer Lisa Labuz has managed to keep her job for the past seven years (after following me here from Milwaukee. But anyway.)

How does Puxa --oh, crap, how do you spell this anyway...?--Punxsutawney Phil (thank you, cut-and-paste) see his shadow? Or, rather, how do we know that a groundhog has "seen" his "shadow?"

.08 seconds later (thank you, Google) I have some answers. Well, not answers--information. Weird, slightly disturbing, Frank L. Baum-like information.

Well, apparently there's a group of grown Pennsylvanian men who dress like the little guy from Monopoly, minus the monocle, known as the "Inner Circle" , who plan the annual February 2nd hullabaloo in Gobbler's Knob (yes), PA. They care for the fuzzy prognosticator during the year and sport titles like "Big Flake Maker" and "Fog Spinner" and "Burrow Master." Yes, it sounds just as much like a cross between a fraternity and Watership Down as you think it does.

Whether the wise woodchuck spies his shadow is not divined; Phil actually tells the leader of the the top-hatted brotherhood, "in "Groundhogese"(a language only understood by the current president of the Inner Circle). His proclamation is then translated for the world."

You're as excited as Phil himself would be in front of a pyramid of Whole Foods organic lettuce heads, so look here for answers to more burning FAQs about Groundhog Day.

And look at those choppers. Phil looks drunk, if you ask me.

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