I had an opportunity to interview my namesake, Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog who’s a rock star every Groundhog Day, via phone last night after his big prediction.
He’s a little difficult. Here’s the transcript:
Phil: Thanks for your time.
Punxsutawney Phil: No prob.
Phil: So I understand you did not see your shadow today, which means an “early spring.” I just looked outside my window and we’re getting snow and ice and sleet today. Can you clarify for us what constitutes “early spring?”
Punxsutawney Phil: It means "early spring." What more do you want?
Phil: Can you elaborate? I mean, “six more weeks of winter” puts the calendar at March 16. But does “early winter” means that today is the first day of spring, or does it mean spring will begin, say, Feb. 25?
Punxsutawney Phil: Jeez, you and your specifics.
Phil: I think the people have a right to know.
Punxsutawney Phil: Fine, spring begins today.
Phil: What constitutes spring anyway? Here in New England, we usually get one or two snowstorms every spring. It’s not like snow will end once spring is officially declared.
Punxsutawney Phil: Man, why you gotta be such a ball-buster about this?
Phil: So, according to your Web site, you’ve been doing your predicting for 121 years. Groundhogs only have a life span of 6 to 10 years. Care to comment on this?
Punxsutawney Phil: I drink Groundhog Punch. It’s a top-secret formula.
Phil: Oh, so you’re on steroids?
Punxsutawney Phil: No comment.
Phil: Maybe there should be an asterisk next to some of your predictions.
Punxsutawney Phil: I don’t know if I like this line of questioning.
Phil: When I spoke with your agent I told him this would be a tough interview. I’m not here to lob a bunch of softballs at you.
Punxsutawney Phil: I’m gonna have a chat with him.
Phil: According to the Stormfax Weather Almanac, you’ve only been right 39% of the time. That’s kind of a mediocre record.
Punxsutawney Phil: It’s not like that’s any worse than Pete Bouchard. Okay, I think I’ve had just about enough of this interview.
Phil: You can’t hide from your record, you know. If I don’t ask, someone else will.
Punxsutawney Phil: I’m done. You can go fuck yourself. (Hangs up.)