Commentary – Those silly, crafty groundhogs

Jeff Burgar

If groundhogs are on any payroll anywhere, probably many people responsible for hiring are thinking of de-hiring those fuzzballs.

The problem of course, is winter. At the end of March last week, winter was very obviously still with us all here in Alberta. The last big indicator of this was the 70-vehicle pileup on the Trans-Canada highway east of Calgary. Heck, those guys are usually planting corn by this time aren’t they?

Certainly, they aren’t digging themselves out of snow drifts and thawing vehicle motors.

So, we aim our pointy finger at one of the obvious targets: groundhogs. Not CTV weather forecasters. Not the people at Environment Canada who give us almost hour by hour forecasts on our websites. Not the people at AccuWeather who feed our cellphone. Nope. It’s those dang, pesky, uncaring and snarky groundhogs!

Slave Lake Sally, Kinuso Kenny, Falher Freddie and Peace River Patty, and all your brothers and sisters, cousins and grandparents, a pox on ye all!

Your esteemed writer here surveys the Men of Knowledge Version 3 crowd at Donna’s Glorious Grease Spot over mid-morning coffee. The consensus between all us experts – all two of us – is not much of a consensus. John reckons the groundhogs were correct.

He reminds this to the rest of us, which was pretty well just me. The rest of the crowd either thinks I left early, or hadn’t yet showed up. No matter, we are just as wise as the rest of them all put together. When we agree that is!

This time, not so much agreement!

John says, “The rule is, if the groundhog sees his shadow, then it’s six more weeks of winter. Skies were cloudy and overcast. No shadow in these parts. And sure as ducks quack and geese goose, spring came at the end of February.”

“But, but,” I quack, “Look outside. You call that spring?”

“That doesn’t count. That’s what you get once in awhile. Remember the old saying, ‘March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion?’ Well, all this is the last roar. And nothing at all to do with groundhogs. Heck, that’s two months back.”

He continues.

“My wife won’t even let me blame her for something she did four days ago, never mind eight weeks. Of course, I got one up on her because I just never tell her how much it cost to fix the latest dent in my truck. Silence is golden, you know.”

So, we had a standoff. Mexican Standoff? Or a McLennan Mashup? But it must be resolved. Our Gold-Plated Reputations were at stake.

And as we all know, he who gets the last laugh at morning coffee showdowns, well, he has bragging rights for about five hours. Even if everybody else thinks, as they say, “That guy still tries to put stamps on his emails.”

Donna finishes the argument. She pours us each a refill. Then throws down a twig in the middle of the table.

“Pussy willows and spring already here. End of story.”

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