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Date: February 2, 2016

Groundhog Day in Climax

by Ira McComic

Today is Groundhog Day and, as usual, there’s the hoopla in Pennsylvania surrounding the emergence of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog celebrity who’s alleged to be an authority for predicting the remaining length of winter. However, folks in Climax, Texas, are more than skeptical of that assertion.

In fact, Climaxians don’t understand why anybody would rely upon a rodent for anything, including a weather forecast. From their collective experience, rodents as a species have a notorious reputation for undependability and irresponsibility. For example—and you can ask anyone—rodents rarely show up for work on time or hardly ever provide their children with lunch money. Furthermore, when it comes to behavior, groundhogs are the worst of the rodent lot, the men especially. You’ll often find them hanging around street corners in bad neighborhoods, drinking from bottles in paper bags, and wolf calling at innocent women beavers walking by.

As for that Punxsutawney Phil specifically, who’s billed as a weather forecaster, folks in Climax hold the opinion that he’s nothing but a shill for the money interests fueled by the tourist industry up there in Pennsylvania. And statistics show they have a solid basis for that opinion. “Punx”, as we Climaxians refer to Mr. Phil, has properly prognosticated only three times out of his last six attempts. He’s no better than tossing a coin.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t personally mean to entirely libel him. Mr. Phil may be quite capable of predicting things like winning lottery numbers and the exact day, perhaps sometime in the next two decades, that we might see John Kerry crack a smile, but—and let’s be clear about this—that’s not his job. This bucktoothed critter is being paid the big bucks to forecast how much longer winter will last, and for that, he’s a miserable failure.

Folks in Climax would never trust a groundhog for such an important job as forecasting how much longer winter will last, and fortunately, they don’t have to. Climaxians can depend upon a more reliable source or prognostication.

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