How many of you have gained all of your knowledge about the big holiday Hoo-ha today from the movie?
You know, Groundhog Day, the Lay’s Potato Chip of a flick starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell from 1993 that you couldn’t help but watch over and over again?
Of course sometimes Hollywood (loosely) bases its best work on fact, and the late, great Harold Ramis was no different as he co-wrote and directed this comedy that became legend.
And so on this Feb. 2 here on The Blog of Funny Names I offer you the hard truth about Groundhog Day.
It all started in 1887 at a place called Gobbler’s Knob in Punxatawney, Pa. That’s where local newspaper editor Clymer H. Freas, a member of the Punxatawney Groundhog Club, decided that the furry groundhog they all called Phil was America’s true weather-predicting furry.
And if that’s not enough to earn a spot in the BoFN, I’m crawling back into bed for the rest of winter.
The legend we all repeat again and again says that if Phil sees his shadow, he’ll scurry back into his hole, and we’ll face six more weeks of winter. But if it’s cloudy, out he’ll come to cavort, and we’ll be in for an early spring.
It’s all based on science instead of shadowy smoke and mirrors, of course. Groundhogs — or hedgehogs, if you prefer — hibernate for the winter months, and come out for spring.
In any case, Happy Groundhog Day. I’m rooting for a cloudy day over there in Gobbler’s Knob and an early spring over here in Syracuse, N.Y.