Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy Groundhog Day!

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today so that means six more weeks of winter. My question is: When did winter start?

To help you get through that horrible news, I’ve put together some random Groundhog Day trivia/Q&A/useless knowledge tidbits. Enjoy...

- The groundhog is also known as a woodchuck (Marmota monax) and is a member of the squirrel family eating such things as dandelions, clovers and various grasses.
- Did you know? That the first Groundhog Day was observed in Punxsutawney, PA in 1887.

Top 10 Groundhog Day Movies
10 - Groundhog Day
09 - Groundhog Day
08 - Groundhog Day
07 - Groundhog Day
06 - Groundhog Day
05 - Groundhog Day
04 - Groundhog Day
03 - Groundhog Day
02 - Groundhog Day
01 - Groundhog Day

Nice list huh? What do you expect with what I have to work with?

Top 10 Reasons to Celebrate Groundhog Day

10 - It's on nearly every calendar
09 - It helps relieve Cabin Fever
08 - Spring or not, it's still six weeks till St. Urho's Day
07 - Forecast is no less reliable that any other Weather Service.
06 - At least one of them critters is bound to see things your way
05 - Valentine's Day is just too damn depressing for nerds
04 - Unlike the Easter Bunny, he keeps his dirty paws outside
03 - As was said on the 'oldtime' radio show back in the 'olden days': “The Shadow Knows
02 - It's fun to say “Punxsutawney”
01 - If a rodent can bring us an early spring, more power to him

Random Groundhog Day Musings:
Allow me to get political with this next one:
Q: What's the difference between Groundhog Day and President Bush's State of the Union Address?
A: One is a meaningless ritual wherein we look to a creature of little intelligence to prognosticate for us... the other involves a woodchuck. [rimshot] (Thank you, I'm here all week, try the veal... or the Groundhog)

And this one:
“On Groundhog Day, old timers think they can predict whether it's going to be an early spring or six more weeks of winter by whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow, or, as President Bush calls it, ‘reliable intelligence’.”
- Jay Leno

“The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and then disappears.”
- Bill Vaughn

What else has happened on February 2 throughout the years?
1653 - New Amsterdam (later renamed New York City) is incorporated.
1709 - Alexander Selkirk is rescued from a shipwreck on a deserted island. This would inspire the writing of the book "Robinson Crusoe" by Daniel 'No Relation to Willem' Defoe.
1880 - The first electric streetlight is installed in Wabash, Indiana.
1940 - Frank Sinatra debuts with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra.
1945 - World War II: US President Franklin D. Roosevelt & British Prime Minister Winston Churchill leave to meet with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference.
1979 - Sid Vicious dies of a heroin overdose.

How about a Groundhog Day drinking game?
This is a very simple game. Watch the movie “Groundhog's Day” and take a shot for every new ‘day’ that Bill Murray lives again. Especially fun is the multiple slapping scenes. Each slap is obviously another day, so you may have to count the number of slaps, stop the tape and catch up. This all happens when he tries killing himself over and over, and over and over and over and, well, you get the idea. (Hint: By the end of the game, each participant should have done 42 shots. Remember, as with any drinking game... know your limitations)

Did you know?
… that Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow the last 7 years.
… that the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois.
… that like the shadow disappearing after the groundhog sees it; Andie MacDowell’s career suffered the same fate after appearing in this movie?
The story of Groundhog Day.
That pig farmers have never done well in the United States as most Americans prefer beef to pork. Granted, hamburger is an American favorite but, in a little known secret, actually contains no ham whatsoever.

The porcine raisers were hopeful to see a significant increase in their business after the health scares about beef and Upton Sinclairs novel “The Jungle”, but most of those benefits had gone to the poultry and fish industries and sales of ham and bacon remained virtually unchanged.

Because of this, The National Porcine Association hired a major Madison Avenue advertising firm to boost sales of pork products and they decided on an intensive campaign to saturate magazines, television and radio with ads urging people to eat pork patties. The campaign was given an extra boost when Congress was convinced to designate the second of February as the day when every family would be urged to eat pork sausage. That day would be celebrated nationally, of course, as Ground, Hog, Day.

To get a real history of the day, click HERE.
And consider this...
...and one day, sick and tired of having to showcase themselves on every February 2nd, the Groundhogs rose up and attacked their human masters...

2 comments:

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Kemp, are you some sort of Groundhog Dayologist? Wow.

MetroDad said...

Way more information regarding Groundhog Day than I ever needed to know. As usual though, Kemp, you are uproariously informative. Thanks!