Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Defending My Favorite Holiday

My favorite holiday falls on this day every year. What's that you say? This is not a holiday. Well then, it should be and anyway I treat it like one regardless. There is no better makebelieve or real holiday in all the year as far as I am concerned. Of course there are some great days to enjoy throughout the year such as: my daughter's and son's birthdays, my wife's birthday, our anniversary, my own birthday, Christmas Eve and Christmas - and before I forget Halloween and Thanksgiving are right up there - in fact Thanksgiving is my favorite real holiday bar none (well maybe except for Festivus - that is a real one, isn't it). I should point out though that there is no other holiday real or fake that comes close to Groundhogs' Day - it is my favorite holiday among them all even if it is only a holiday in my mind. "Why is that?" you may ask.

It is because on Groundhogs' Day no one expects anything from me. I do not have to remember, at my peril, that it is my anniversary or another important day in someone else's life. I do not have to worry about hurthing someone's feelings by forgetting their special day. I don't have to worry that I may suffer an eternity in hell for missing church on a high holy day or for not having remained religious. I don't have to look for the card with the religious saying or witty little jingle or the phrase saying how much I love someone or how much they mean to me or about how much I hope they enjoy the holiday or their birthday. I do not have to shop for the perfect gift(s) for weeks on end only to find out - after shopping for it, buying it, wrapping it and remembering to give it on time - that the other person already had what I got or that said person loathed that perfect gift that I picked out. I don't have to worry about wishing somebody a happy birthday only to find out I made them feel older. I do not have to worry about choosing between Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah and finding someway to offend someone no matter how hard I try to get it right. I don't have to starve myself in anticipation of some great and festive meal only to find out the turkey is dry as a sun bleached bone or the lamb has so much garlic in it as to make you gag. I don't have to figure out how to put on a smile while chewing and then lick my lips and say: MMMMmmmmmmmmmm Gooooooooooooooooood to whomever prepared a feast fit for Frankenstein. I don't have to worry about overeating when the holiday meal turns out great (and mind you most of them turn out better than that) and then having to sit around with my pants open because I overdid it. I don't have to worry about the strain and stress of getting the whole family together and then someone (used to usually be me but I got better for the most part) opening his or her mouth over something stupid and ruining the meal for everyone. I do not have to worry about getting dressed up (never really do anyhow but do try to look somewhat better on holidays). I don't have to worry about only having one or two drinks early on because I may be the one stuck driving home later on from a relative's home. Heck, I do not even have to worry about driving to the relatives' home at all cause none of them celebrate this holiday. I don't have to worry if we got enough food, or enough wine or beer, or desert. I don't have to worry about a gosh darned thing because today is my favorite holiday and a makebelieve one at that - today is Groundhogs' Day - and I don't have to do a thing to enjoy it except to celebrate it in my own private way while the Groundhog does all the work.

Celebrating it, at least for me, means doing nothing at all special - well except for making sure to be up fairly early to hear the announcement as to just what the fat furry short tailed burrowing little buck toothed bastard
rodent had to say about how long winter will last. Of course, I go with the expert, the one, the only Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania and of legend. He may not be right all of the time, some say he is on track with his predictions as few as 39% of the time see here. Others give him an on target percentage of 80%, see here. How ever many times he gets it right or wrong, I can tell you this, listening to a pretty much mindless Groundhog, about the weather, is as good as or better than giving any credence to most meteorologists and weathermen. In fact, or maybe in fiction, the groundhog's forecasts are undoubtedly much more accurate than any predictions of doom and gloom as presented by Al Gore and the global warming lunatics (or should that be climate change lunatics now that the little adorable rodent has predicted 6 more weeks of winter).

Now of course, Punxsutawney Phil has his detractors. There are several other imposters out there such as Staten Island Chuck in NY and others across the nation, some of whom actually disagree in their forecasts and who have tried to tell us that spring is just around the corner. Ask anyone up in the northeast what they think of that, and of global warming right about now! I think they will agree that Punxsutawney Phil has got it right again! Then there is also PETA - the wacko (as I see them) animals rights group that reportedly wants to see Punxsutawney Phil replaced with a robot. No folks, I am not making that up, click on
this link and see for yourselves.

Detractors or not, Phil and his holiday are okay by me. I mean I look at it this way: The little fur ball does all the heavy lifting today; there is nothing expected from me regarding this holiday and that is why I like it so much. He has to stay awake, come out nice and early, confront the camera and cheers of the throng who come to see him, make his prediction under pressure before the masses, and he has to put his own reputation on the line each year when he predicts whether or not we will have 6 more weeks of winter or not. And if he is right or wrong - who cares. It is not like he ruined any one's day by getting it wrong - is it? Well at least he hasn't ruined any one's day who is older than about 5 or 6 or with an IQ above the minus levels. It is a day all in fun, meant to be mildly festive with no stress or strain on anyone except maybe Phil and the guys who pull him out of his hole at an all too early hour - and if that stresses them out a little bit - heck it only happens one day out of the year. Just looking at the little brown booger will tell you this - he is well cared for, and just about as happy as a woodchuck groundhog could be. I can tell you this, while those (in my opinion) bums at PETA may someday lobby successfully to make it illegal to ever again enjoy a medium rare hamburger smothered with fried onions and slathered with real Cheddar cheese, I will fight tooth and nail to prevent them from taking the groundhog out of Groundhogs' Day. Replacement with a robot indeed - what sour pussed weenies they all must be to even hint at such a thing!

This is without a doubt the best holiday of all time. With that, I wish you all, each and everyone (except you folks at PETA and like groups):


All the best,
Glenn B