It is almost here, folks.
And a good portion of the population will have their ear tuned to the prediction that some half-sleeping rodent will presumably foretell.
As much as I hate to admit it (because I don’t like rodents, especially groundhogs), I too, will be listening for the flea-bag’s prediction. But I’ve learned a thing or two about the groundhog’s method. It would seem that if the rodent sees its shadow (like on a freak, sunny, mild day), then 6 more weeks of winter is due. The clichéd ‘calm before the storm’. A cloudy day, however, equates to no shadow, a content rodent and a sooner-than-expected end to this mud-slop-rain-snow-ice garbage.
How timely that the greasy, grimy gopher should choose the mid-winter thaw to awaken from his sleep and stumble to the surface for a snack and look-see around.
And if the rodent’s timing is off, well, there are a bunch of guys in top hats that will probe the groundhog’s den, snag the critter by a leg and drag it up to the surface in what amounts to a forced prediction.
In preparation for this event, I usually festoon the rodent hole next to my shed with barbed wire and drop large rocks into it. On occasion I have been known to park a load of firewood on top. All in the name of keeping the fat weasle’s head down in the sub-soil, away from any shadow producing light. This year, however, a badly timed ACL injury is keeping my ass firmly planted indoors.
But that won’t stop me from bitching about it.
- I don’t like groundhogs.
- I don’t like people extracting slumbering groundhogs from their hidey-holes and using them to predict the remaining grip of winter.
- I don’t particularly like the word ‘Punxsutawney’
- Not big on ‘Phil’ either.
It is around this time that I make my annual prediction on the arrival of spring. This year, I am going to say that spring will come early.
As always, I must state the caveats, to ward off potential criticism. I am NOT saying that it won’t get cold again, or snow, or sleet, or ice. It is still winter and those are the inherent characteristics of the season.
I am also NOT saying that any/all of that crap can/will fall from the sky after spring officially arrives (March 20 at 1:14 am, the earliest time in 116 years).
The seasonal weather, unlike the expiration date of milk, is not exact. Although your milk will immediately turn to sour cream at the stroke of midnight of the date stamped on the container, the seasonal weather tends to ebb and flow before becoming fully settled.
What I am saying is that the weather, in general, will turn milder and proceed positively in that direction more sooner than later this year. And by ‘sooner’ I mean somewhere in early March. I also think that by April, we will be experiencing some nice weather.
I think this is a good time to trot out my proposal to eliminate the month of March all together. I’m sure we can all agree that March is a crappy month. It is a transition month, when the seasons change and as such runs the gamut of snow, ice, cold, rain, wind, mud and groundhogs. Occasionally there might be some sunshine. Or a dead skunk.
It’s a difficult month to deal with. Sure, spring officially arrives in the third week, but you would never know it by the weather. The only bright spot on the calendar (besides your birthday, Mom) is St. Patrick’s Day. And how exactly did that glorious feast day land in such a miserable month? (maybe so the beer stays cold??)
My proposal is simple. Delete the month of March entirely and distribute its 31 days to more favorable months. Slap ten days on the ends of September, October and April. Kinder, gentler months. Add the last day onto the end of May, so we can have a really decent weekend holiday.
When you think about it, the only thing holding us to this ’30 days has September, etc.’ hoopla is the fact that a bunch of high shaking Roman heads got together and named months after themselves. And what the fark did they know? Lounging around in the warm Tuscan sun, snacking on olives, drinking wine and throwing toga parties is a hell of a way to make a living.
How many times do you think they had to shovel the chariot out of a snow bank, squish across the lawn in their sandals to retrieve a waterlogged news scroll or sit in traffic along Hadrian’s Wall because the lazy-ass DOT-R (Department of Transportation-Roma) wouldn’t salt the viaduct?
When you think about some of the other mind exercising variances we put up with (Daylight Savings Time, Leap Year, right turn on red, meat/no meat?), what diff would it make to have a 40 day April, September and October? I even made up a new rhyme –
Thirty days has November,
but not April or October
and not September
and March does, too
So we moved things up more close to June