The Groundhog and the Chicken

One thing that makes this country great is our sense of tradition. Granted we’re homing in on only 240 years of tradition and not the thousands you see in Europe or the tens of thousands in the very cradle of civilization but I’m still quite happy with our couple hundred years. And now it’s under attack – and it’s under attack by some of our very own people, the marshmallow peeps people who are trying to take over the groundhog’s God-given right to tell us when spring will begin.

Yes, the folks at Just Born Candy, makers of those cloyingly sweet, overly sticky, artificially colored candy barnyard animal facsimiles are trying to dethrone Punxsutawney Phil as Pennsylvania’s, as America’s, as the world’s number one prognosticator of the commencement of Spring. For 230 of America’s 239 springs, Phil has been the constant by which people have determined whether it’s safe to venture out or remain sheltered for six more weeks.

So universal is Phil’s attraction that official chapters of the Groundhog Club are found across the globe. So loved is Phil that over 30,000 people visit the small town of Punxsutawney situated in western Pennsylvania not far from the Allegheny National Forest to catch a glimpse of Phil emerging from his tree stump on Gobbler’s Knob.

Now the eastern Pennsylvania candy-makers claim their mascot is the true sign of the coming of Spring coinciding with the arrival of their marshmallow Peeps in stores. What a bunch of greedy hogwash if you’ll excuse my frankness. Those silly, sickly sweet confections are in the stores year round. There are peeps masquerading as marshmallow ghosts, Christmas trees, hearts, cherries, bunnies, and snowmen. Phil knows when his job is done he gets to take a well-deserved rest and chill out for the rest of the year content in the knowledge that he doesn’t have to try to invade our lives lest we forget his contribution to society.

Peeps versus Phil. How ridiculous! We’re supposed to substitute a fake chicken for a real groundhog? Ludicrous. Who ever heard of a ground chicken? Hmmm, ground chicken. Now that might be worth pursuing!

That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?

Clearly you can tell I’m more than a bit passionate about Punxsutawney Phil. So much so that the only picture in the entire blog is of him, sort of. That little guy has made it into close to a dozen RRSB posts making him a Real Reality frequent flyer. See his debut – and his “picture” – here (Six Weeks, Feb. 2, 2012).

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