You Don’t Need A Groundhog To Know Which Way The Wind Is Blowing

I forgot again. Every year I swear I will
write a Groundhog Day essay about my experiences working as a News
Writer in the CityPulse news room in Toronto on this day. However, the day always
seems to creep up on me. Maybe because I’d prefer to forget.

In the CityPulse [sic] News Room,
on BreakfastTelevision [sic], I was put on GroundhogWatch [sic] every year
because — after doing it just once — I already had experience writing
about rodent weather prognosticators. 

I think I wrote about Groundhog Day a total of 8
years in a row and it always seemed a lot like the movie.

Canada has its own Groundhog, of course. Wiarton Willie
is the buck-toothed mammal who Canadians turn to when they want to know
when Spring will end. This always complicated the story for me because
Wiarton Willie and Punxsutawney Phil made their predictions at THE EXACT
SAME TIME!!! This necessitated holding open two telephone lines, one to
Wiarton, Ontario, and the other to Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania,
waiting for word from the animal kingdom on whether there they saw their
shadows. Because Citytv had no budget to send people to Gobbler’s Knob
and Wiarton, I had to find — and then dragoon — news people in the
field at each scene who could relay the word to me so I could get it
before it hit the wires.

When I wrote all those Groundhog Day News Stories I tried
to include the words “Gobbler’s Knob” as often as possible

Because when you are covering
groundhogs YOU NEED TO BEAT THE COMPETITION!!! You not only NEED TO GET
IT RIGHT, YOU NEED TO GET IT FIRST!!!

Then there was that one
year when Wiarton Willie and Punxsutawney Phil were at (pun intended)
polar opposites in their predictions. It threw the entire newsroom into a
tizzy, but I’ll save that story for next year.

Since I got out of the Groundhog Game™, some new weather groundhogs have arrived on the scene. Shubenacadie Sam hunts for his shadow at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park in the town of Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia.

However, all those Male Marmota Monax™ are going to have to move over for the new girl on the block. Dundas Donna is from Toronto and is taking the Weather World™ by storm. See what I did there?

About Headly Westerfield

Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.

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