This is an Alpine Acres News special expose’ on the truth behind the horrid winter weather gripping the heartland of the USA as well as the Northeastern and Southeastern states and the connection to America’s most famous rodent Puxatawney Phil. Our intrepid and chill resistant reporter, Willard Willis is here tonight to lay out the sordid details about how this seemingly benign and beloved rodent created a never-ending alliance with some of America’s greatest retailers and manufacturers.
We know you will find this story as surprising and distressing as our editorial staff did when Howard pitched it to us seven days ago. So sit back, relax and prepare to hear a story you never expected. Without further ado we turn this over to Willard Willis.
Hello my fellow Americans! I am so happy you have chosen to join me tonight for what I believe will be the most shocking news you have ever heard concerning Winter, the industries that make their living serving us within it and the beloved rodent of Puxatawney.
Over years of investigation I noticed several troubling trends and began to dig deeper into these anomalies. Finally this summer we made a major break with the apprehension of a key member of the Groundhog Alliance, a groundhog that goes by the name of Alpine Al. Alpine Al withstood several weeks of intense interrogation before finally realizing he had no recourse but to come clean. Through a special arrangement Alpine Al agreed to speak to me in an interview. What follows is the transcript of that session.
Willard Willis: So, for the record, your name is Alpine Al?
Alpine Al: You know it is.
WW: You are a member in good standing of the Groundhog Alliance?
Alpine Al: Again, that is old news.
WW: I would like for you to walk me through what you told me on September 24th of last year.
Alpine Al: Do you always talk so formal?
WW: Come on, you agreed to this, for the stay of execution.
Alpine Al: Yeah, yeah. Spill my guts to you or you spill my guts for real, I got it.
WW: So let’s hear it!
Alpine Al: Jiminy Cricket, okay, okay! So here is the way it was told to me by my grandfather many years ago. Puxatawney Phil the First was minding his own business on February 2nd, 1886 when all the sudden this dude in a funny looking hat reached in his hole, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and pulled him out into the freezing air. To put it mildly Puxatawney Phil the First was caught off guard and kind of stunned that he had been so rudely ripped from his warm abode.
He told his tale that the humans were gathered as if there was something they wanted from him. That first day there was only a few people from the surrounding burg and one photographer. They mentioned something about winter and a shadow, but he never heard enough to understand. What he could recall was that suddenly the humans cheered and this fellow in the hat hoisted him over his head. Puxatawney Phil the First wanted to empty his bowels and bladder, but he had a terrible fear of heights.
WW: Heights? He couldn’t have been more than seven feet off the ground.
Alpine Al: Well we aren’t called Air Hogs are we?
WW: Another thing, must we speak of this first Phil as Puxatawney Phil the First every time?
Alpine Al: What would you suggest we call him?
WW: How about Phil or PP1?
Alpine Al: You will afford Puxatawney Phil the First his due or we are done here!
WW: Fine. You can continue to call him Puxatawney Phil the First, just get on with it.
Alpine Al: As I was saying Puxatawney Phil the First wanted to let the Hatter have it with all he had but his fear of heights overtook him. When he regained his wits he was being stuffed back in his hole and that was the end for then. But within a few days he began to hear the people grumbling because they blamed him for the winter weather. He thought what the heck do they expect, it is mid-February.
He investigated and understood the people decided since they did not see his shadow spring was near. There was no sun! How could they see his shadow?
WW: You are surely taking long enough to make this interesting. Fast forward to Puxatawney Phil the Twelfth.
Alpine Al: Fine. So the year is 1970 and my brethren, the Groundhog Alliance, have been organized. In our annual meeting we heard a proposal from Boston Bob about an agreement to work with the winter clothing manufacturers of New England. If we agreed to cast the shadow or not cast on their order we could benefit very well financially. Within another five years we had snow plow manufacturers, sleds, snow boards and every other thing on board. Puxatawney Phil the First would have been proud. We found a way to execute his wish to soil the humans.
WW: So you admit All the Puxatawneys are complicit in this?
Alpine Al: It puts food on the table.
WW: SO the winter gear manufacturers would what contact Phil, I mean Puxatawney the whatever and give him the word?
Alpine Al: It all depended on the November to January sales figures.
WW: Okay, but what about the weather. Surely Puxatawney Phil had no direct control of that.
Alpine Al: Control, no. Evidence against Mother Nature that Father Time would love to see? Definitely!
WW: So what about Boston. What did they do to deserve what they have to withstand such an onslaught?
Alpine Al: Boston Bob the Seventh was blessed with an overactive libido. Ten little groundhogs have to be fed and educated. Also there is the gambling debt. You see Boston Bob the Seventh fell for the lie that Tom Brady was done and bet his entire nest egg on the Seahawks. The word is he nearly chewed through his paw when Wilson through the interception.
WW: So there we have it my fellow Americans. The most famous rodent in America is now exposed as a merchant of misery, a purveyor of pain, the grand master of disaster. Puxatawney Phil the Eighteenth could not be reached for comment, but I imagine he will be discussing the next moves with his law firm, Dewey Cheatum and Howe in Boston.