GOBBLER'S KNOB, PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa., Feb 2 - Br'e Groundhog - the Punxsutawney one - saw his shadow today and, legend has it, presages six more weeks of winter.
Chiefs of the Punxsutawney Groundhog lodge announced the woodchuck emerged from winter hibernation proptly at 8:19 a.m. (Central Standard time). Several inches of snow covered the stoney ridge above the woodchuck's hole.
The "Sage of Gobbler's Knob," as woodchuck is known hereabouts, hustled back into his snug burrow, leaping over his shadow as he went, members of the lodge averred.
Government Weather Observer W. S. Orotzman said in Pittsburgh it was "all hooey."
"How is a groundhog," said he with disdain, "going to see his shadow when there isn't any sun? The sun wasn't shining today anywhere in this area."
The legend of Gobbler's Knob started 41 years ago when several men got together, bought a keg of beer and climbed to the Knob to hunt groundhogs. The routed one, fried it in butter, and ate it.
The liked the jaunt so much they founded a club that eventually grew into an organization of 500, including many notables.
Over in the eastern part of the state, there are rival groundhog "prophets" at Quarryville and another in the Lehigh valley at Allentown.
The Quarryville lodgemen, as custom dictates, pilgrimaged at dawn to their woodchuck's hole but they will not announce the forecast until tonight.
Lodge members at Quarryville voted Vice President John Nance Garner an honorary member this year.
This is the most fascinating piece of writing since "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" but in reverse. This is a secret expose from our intrepid reporter Mr. A. Press writing "Sorry, Virginia, Your Magic Woodchuck is Drunken Man Dinner." Let's expose the seedy underbelly of this messed up story.
The first three paragraphs are your normal GH-Day good times punched up with city words like "presages" and "averred." If I had skipped the headline, I would be asking my grandma to stop spamming my email with this crap from her childhood.
Then, boom. There goes the dynamite. We get rocked by the news that some government weasel has proved that groundhogs cannot predict the weather. Government Weather Observer W. S. Orotzman woke up, read his morning news, went to work observing government weather and began calling bullshit about what was happening in Gobbler's Knob because he reckoned nobody was seeing any of this "shadow" nonsense on such a cloudy day.
Imagine this scene if you will. It is a snowy Christmas Eve. The family is huddled around the television, the kids drinking hot chocolate, dad has a soda, and mommy has her special mommy grape juice.
The local newspersons are bantering back and forth when the anchor, Chet Rodberry, puts his left hand to his ear and says "This just in: Hey, we got radar lock on Santa over Chicago"
"Wait," a voice says off camera. The weather man, John Stormington, calmly walks out and says, "No, you don't, Chet. You don't have radar lock on Santa Claus over Chicago. Wanna know why? There is a blizzard in Chicago right now. If there is anyone flying in that area, may God have mercy on their souls because whatever magic demon reindeer juice they have is not going to save a fat man and an elf or two during this weather. How stupid is it that reindeer fly, anyway?"
Yeah, that year sucked.
Anyway, back to the article and away from traumatic childhood. I would not be so critical if the article did not say he says so with "disdain." This man clearly wants you, the reader, to know that the folks at Gobbler's Knob are full of crap about a groundhog predicting the weather. Re-read that last sentence aloud.
Of course, this article could not stop there. Now we are on a mission to disprove the climatology-inclined rodent. Let's go after the history. Apparently, Bill Murray in Groundhog Day was right: they used to pull the thing out and eat it. With a keg. They had so much fun drunkenly talking to and eating a woodland animal, they started making shit up. "Hey, wouldn't it be *hic* cool if this woodchuck could tell us if it'll stay cold?" Everyone drunkenly agreed and we have a holiday. That seems to be the basis for most holidays, if you think about it. "Dude, I totally think it would be cool if we had a rabbit that crapped chocolate eggs instead of crap."
This is where the article takes a dark turn. What could have been a cute article now begins to take conspiratorial overtones when the questions come out. Whose "prophet" groundhog is the correct one, Gobbler's Knob, Quarryville or Allentown? How do we choose a successor when we eat this one? How far up the ladder does this thing really go? If the Vice President of the United States is made an honorary member, what obligations does that entail from either party? Can he call the Quarryville groundhog lodge to war when the U.S. starts fighting Hitler?
We may never know because the article seems to end rather abruptly. It was as if someone did not want