It’s that time of year again. Groundhog Day. Also known as the woodchuck, the whistle-pig and even the notorious thickwood badger, groundhogs are accomplished hibernators, capable of holing up to live off their own fat and sleep for up to six months. (Is it weird that I’m jealous of the groundhog?). And thus, since 1841, they have been traumatized annually with the tradition of forceful extraction from their protective winter burrows for the sheer purpose of human entertainment.
Also known as Groundhog Day.
(Humans are such assholes.)
Truth? My kids and I have been following this tradition for years. Even though our hearts are always bleeding for the trembling varmint, who is always named “Phil.” We enjoy watching the annual televised festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania so much that, many years ago, we actually fashioned a little version of our own to observe the special day in our household. Of course, we don’t own a groundhog.
You guys already know where I’m going with this, right?
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you … Punxsutawney Milo.
Here’s how it goes down. All family members must congregate with Milo (typically against his will) in the laundry room. The doorway to that room is a central point in an adjoining hallway. Prior to this congregation, a tasty treat has been placed at each end of the hallway. One is labeled Spring and the other Winter.
Here’s what we went with today.
With a simple count of three, Milo is placed on the floor of the laundry room as we wait “quietly” until he is ready to leave. Whichever direction he turns upon exiting determines the coming weather for the next six weeks. It also determines what treat we get to tear into at that very moment.
Editor’s Note: At one time, I considered putting a TASTY treat on one end of the hallway and SOMETHING MOST UNSAVORY (e.g., canned spinach, a list of household chores, a pile of cat poo, etc.) at the other end … to make things a whole lot more interesting. But that just seemed mean. And it also could jeopardize Milo’s safety in the years he chose poorly.
So, what did Milo predict for this year?
Bundle up, buttercup. Looks like we’re in for six more weeks of Winter. And cookies for breakfast!