Saturday, February 2, 2013


Today should be a big day.  Huge!  Aside from a few farmers and a couple of wrong-footed cows, who doesn’t love a groundhog?  Cute little dudes, otters of the land. Unfortunately, Groundhog Day creeps up on us and comes and goes with little fanfare.  No greeting cards, no costumes, no parties, no cake.  Tragic, really.  I am sure whoever first dreamed up the occasion had a grander vision.  Somehow everything went amiss.  The lowly groundhog isn’t even as popular as the penguin...and there isn’t even a Penguin Day.  If a groundhog surfaces today and appears a little disgruntled, surely we are to blame.

Had Groundhog Day made it on the August calendar, I am certain it would be a Big Deal.  Parades, groundhog-shaped chocolates to outsell hedgehogs and, yes, cake.  August really needs a Groundhog Day.  Forget the winter schminter gimmick.  Let’s let the little critter forecast an endless summer, delaying the red leaves of autumn.  And consider the legacy of the movie “Groundhog Day”.  Who wants to experience a day in February on repeat mode?  August 2, over and over, has a much greater appeal.

Alas, Groundhog Day got relegated to the second day of the second month of the year and, like the animal, the day lives forever in the shadows of a bigger beast:  Valentine’s Day.  Driving my dog to the vet this morning, I had to exercise my fine motor skills, ping-ponging back and forth from radio station to radio station to tune out an ad about a Radio Valentine campaign, a florist’s dollar-eyed pitch to remember your loved one and a disc jockey’s community announcement about a Love Ball at the dreary town hall.

Sadly for groundhogs and non-hunky bachelors like me, love is all around.  While the official love-fest is over and done midmonth, the love hangover stretches right through the month.  It’s the shortest month of the year,...why bother with any more hoopla?  The Haves can stretch things out with cake and, maybe even better, chocolates. 

If only the Irish and Hallmark got together to kick the Saint Paddie plans into higher gear.  Who doesn’t love a leprechaun?  And gold!

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