Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me”
by Comedian John Knight
Assignment: Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Gobblers Knob, which sounds like the title of a bad porno movie. l was sent here to cover the annual Groundhog Day celebration. If that sounds like a good time, you really need to get a life.
For one day each year, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania becomes a hotspot destination. All eyes are on the events that unfold there the morning of February second of each year. That’s when large groups of people on an all night drunk, wait for a guy in a top hat to pull a rodent out of a hole. Yeah, I know, if you put it that way it sounds really stupid. That’s because it really is.
Legend has it that if this giant, rat-like creature sees his shadow, there are six more weeks of winter ahead. Punxsutawney Februarys are usually cold, snowy and cloudy. There probably isn’t enough light to cast a shadow anyway. Somehow, the big rat always sees it and we are cursed with six more weeks of winter.
Groundhogs are hibernating animals. So Punxsutawney Phil, that’s what they call the giant rat, was planning on sleeping a couple of more months. Then on this day, he is dragged from his slumber and held up in front of the drunken mob. I don’t know about you, but if somebody wakes me up an hour early, I’m not in the best of moods. Imagine if you were hunkered down for a couple more months of snooze time? Then all of a sudden a guy in a top hat is holding you up in front of a horde of intoxicated morons. Are you going to give good news?
“Do you want an early spring? Kiss my ass and let me get back to bed!”
I arrive around six AM at my destination because, you want to get a good seat to see the rodent. It’s not even daylight yet, no living creature should be awake at this hour. People are already passing the bottle around. I take a few swigs. You know, when in Punxsutawney. A drunk guy with a mullet approaches me, gets right in my face and yells,
Speaking of needing to get a life… Somebody hands me a bottle and I take another swig. I mean at this point, why the hell not.
We have groundhogs that live in the top part of my yard. They sit there defiantly on their hind legs eating apples from the tree as they stare at the house. If I come outside when deer are in the yard they freeze and fear I will put a bullet through them. It takes a few minutes for them to realize they are safe and to go on grazing. Not the big rats though, nothing bothers them. They just stare at the house like,
“That’s right, I’m eating your apple and if I can figure out how to get inside, I’ll eat your food and drink your beer.”
Most years it’s bad news, six more weeks of winter. The thing is, this year we really haven’t had much winter so far, thank you Global warming. So it’s no surprise when they pull the big rodent out of the ground and announce an early spring. The whole thing is as dull as it looks on TV. I notice the guy that yelled groundhog at me vomiting into some bushes. Well, it’s a Tuesday, not like he had to work today or anything.
People cheer like they just won the Powerball. I don’t know if it’s the alcohol or there’s not a lot of excitement in Punxsutawney, but I don’t see what the big deal is. I know I complain as much as anybody about people’s sudden need for constant gratification, but this was beyond dull. It needs something to kick it up a notch.
I think I have an idea. Wait until next year. I don’t think many people will care how many more weeks of winter lie ahead when the guy in the top hat pulls a rabid raccoon out of that hole. Now, that’s drinking until you puke entertainment.
Follow John on Twitter @jknight841