Groundhog Day

One of my all-time favorite movies is the 1993 classic Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. For those of you who have been trapped in a burrow hibernating and have not heard of this movie let me give you a brief synopsis. The premise is that a egotistical self-centered weather man finds himself trapped in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania where he relives the same day over and over and over. The day of course is Groundhog Day where a furry rodent is retrieved from his den and comes out to see if he can see his shadow. Legend has it that if a groundhog spots his shadow it will mean 6 more weeks of winter. Here in Phoenix that could mean that we will have 42 more days of temperatures in the low-60’s and sunshine. If the groundhog does not see its shadow it foretells an early spring which in Phoenix means 42 days of temperatures in the mid-70’s and sunshine. You can therefore see how important this holiday is to the inhabitants of Arizona after all we are getting kind of tired being bundled up and running those seat warmers that came as an over-priced option on our cars. I don’t mind it so much as it is the one month that I can justify buying that car that had seat warmers. It is extremely difficult to explain that buying decision in July when temperatures are hovering at the 114-degree level.

So every year on this date we have a mini-celebration at our house to celebrate Groundhog Day. Trina and I have the same discussion each year as I take this opportunity to get on my soap box and campaign to make Groundhog Day a more prominent holiday. My arguments usually center around how unfair society is at choosing which holidays to place importance upon. I mean really how can you justify that we have nearly a month long celebration between the end of November through most of December culminating with a holiday who’s main character is an obese man dressed in fur and red velvet who proudly proclaims that he is responsible for an infinite number of cases of breaking and entering? Or how exactly did we as a people choose to add additional importance to a holiday where the festivities are represented by a chemically-engineered rabbit who suggests that all poultry dairy products should be hard-boiled and colored with non-toxic dyes then hidden to be found by children before they go rotten – the eggs not the children. Given these two examples is it really that far-fetched to suggest we bring a weather-prognosticating rodent to the center stage? Tomorrow in Glendale Arizona at the outskirts of Phoenix the National Football League will celebrate their title game with the playing of Super Bowl XLII which for those of you who are Roman Numeral-challenged is 42. There are reports that this event will bring in millions of dollars and that as a whole more than a billion dollars will be spent by wagering, partying, or watching this annual event. If people can get that enthused about watching a group of large men fight over an inflatable dead pig you would think that we could somehow find a way to move Groundhog Day to a more prominent role. This is definitely something that warrants a letter to the Hallmark Corporation who as we know are the keepers of the calendar. Until that happens I will have to be content with my own little celebration where we gather as a family and watch the movie Groundhog Day while munching on sausages and egg rolls (hey it is the only thing I could think of to eat that included ground hog meat). At the end of the day my family will be forced to listen yet again to a list of the days I would love to re-live over and over again. Funny, every one of the days I have on my list are related to baseball. Who could have predicted that?

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