It’s Groundhog Day, February 2nd. Over the years it has grown into a huge marketing extravaganza. Punxsutawney Phil and here in Canada Wiarton Willie (who seems to have passed on) are media icons on this day. Once a year, in front of scores of media, the groundhog emerges from his hole and, if he sees his shadow and ducks back inside to safety we are in for six more weeks of winter. However if he isn’t startled and hangs out on his front stoop, perhaps singing a little Doo-wop, and offering to pose for selfies – for a fee of course – then we are assured of on early spring.
T-Shirts, posters and God knows what will be for sale with Phil’s furry face emblazoned on them. When you only have one day to flog your wares, you better hustle.
Never one to miss an opportunity I decided to conduct my own meteorological animal experiment. Here I am hoisting Ferguson the 20-pound Tabby à la Punxsutawney Phil. I’m not certain what the outcome will be weather-wise, but I have a feeling it’s going to take a good six weeks for the scratches and claw marks on my arms to heal! Ferguson was not amused, and wandered off muttering something about ” … goddamned rodents.”
A mere six more weeks of winter would be nothing short of a blessing in Montreal. So the whole time-frame ought to be rejigged for Canadian audiences.