Man Overboard

Weather or Not

Feb. 2 has come and gone and once again, we have foolishly entrusted a large rodent with six weeks worth of weather forecasting. This year they had a whole entourage of guys who wanted to cram into the Groundhog Day action, but there’s one head groundhog aficionado who’s in charge when they open up Punxsutawney Phil’s cage. Both man and beast are dressed to the nines, one in a top hat and tux, the other in a full-length fur, flaunting it in the face of PETA. Both wearing tails. There is a strict formal dress code at the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

I guess the guy with the hat is the president of the club, although without the groundhog, it’s just a bunch of overdressed dudes running around looking a little too happy to be at the party. I wonder whether, when the groundhog takes a plane trip, he’s allowed to bring the guy in the top hat along for emotional support.

A groundhog is the same as a woodchuck, so you could call it Woodchuck Day if you want and no one would fault you for it. It is a species of marmot, which is a large rodent similar in nature to a squirrel, only with larger nuts. A hedgehog is a different animal, however, and if one of those comes up to you and tries to forecast the weather, I would call the cops.

Sign Up for E-News

Top Hat is grinning from earmuff to earmuff as he holds his weather associate aloft for all to behold. The groundhog doesn’t seem too into it, but why should he smile? He’s just been woken up possibly SIX WEEKS early from a perfectly good hibernation. Hey, Top Hat, stick me where the sun don’t shine! Wouldn’t you just see your damn shadow so you can sleep in? Filibuster until the sun comes out from behind the cloud. Tell a few hedgehog jokes, maybe a witty anecdote you heard at a party from a raccoon-teur.

I’m distrustful of those who smile too much while they work. You never saw Don Rickles smile once when he was doing his best stuff. Newscasters beaming while they read the news do not boost my confidence that what they are saying is true. If I get into a cab and the driver looks too happy, I know he’s going to try to talk to me, making eye contact with me through the rearview mirror. Who’s making eye contact with the road?

I also have concerns regarding animals vis-a-vis weather prognostication. I actually don’t know what “vis-a-vis” means, but it makes me look smarter to use important sounding words and not know what they mean. Which is brave, but I also don’t know the meaning of the word “fear.”

Why ask a groundhog what the weather is going to be like? Why not use a giraffe? If you paraded a giraffe out there, it could look right up into the clouds and provide a more accurate assessment. Not only would you get the weather report, you could get the current time, as well, if you knew how to read a sundial.

I remember recently they were using an octopus to predict things like the sex of the royal baby. That seems far less useful than predicting the sex of adults, which is hit or miss, speaking from personal experience. The modern way to forecast the weather is to use the “European model,” but the last time I asked her if there was going to be an early spring, she said, “Your hair is BOR-ing.”

Say hello at:

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sammy Has Crossed Rainbow Bridge

“Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.”



Fifteen years ago, son George adopted six-week-old kittens he named Sammy and Roxy. Sadly, Sammy recently became ill and George had to make the decision most pet owners dread at some point: ease his ...

Calling All Pitchers and Catchers

In early February, from somewhere deep in Florida, near the principal’s office, a call comes out over the PA system: “Pitchers and catchers please report as soon as possible!” And from all over the land, they drop what they’re doing and head to the Sunshine State, the only people under 50 to arrive in large numbers without their grandparents first complaining that they ...

The March Wind Doth Blow

Thanks to New York State Electric & Gas and Mother Nature, I spent last week in New Jersey at my daughter Lisa’s home. Her sister and brother-in-law, Ilene and Curtis, drove me there on Saturday, then went back to Somers on Sunday, March 4.

Although I dislike talking about my health, the main reason I was in New Jersey is because I sometimes use oxygen and the machine needs ...

It's Good to Cheat!

OK, you know that I am working on losing 10 pounds before summer vacation and every weekend I cheat on my diet. I felt a little guilty about that and invariably yelled at myself every Sunday night. I found out that this is not unusual and may actually help us wannabe skinnies stay on our program in the long run. 

Two trusted authorities told me that it’s actually GOOD to cheat! A ...

Reading Across America With Dr. Seuss

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’m a school librarian and I wanted to remind your readers that March 2 was “Read Across America Day.”  Teachers, librarians and others who read with children encourage schools, libraries and parents to celebrate this day with their children. This special date was chosen because it is the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the adored children’s author. That ...

To Harrison, L'Chaim!

At long last, the smile of spring approaches, as an angry winter recedes into good riddance. Our spirit is ready to be re-charged. Damn the power outages, full speed ahead!

For my wife, Elyse, daughter, Elissa, and me, this otherwise exuberant time of year brings a confusion of mixed emotions. In 2003, on the opening day of spring, March 20, which happens to be my birthday, our 15-year-old son ...

When It's Not OK to Ask If Everything's OK

There is this thing that I do that annoys the heck out of my family. Well, to be honest, there are a lot of things I do that annoy the heck out of my family, but I am thinking of one thing in particular.

Whenever someone is in the bathroom for what I determine to be an abnormally long period of time, I stand outside the bathroom door and yell,


I ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

OAC Steamer Co. Firehouse, Ossining

2018 Living Art Event

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sun, March 25

First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown, Yorktown Heights

Holy Week at First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown

Religions And Spirituality

Accounting for Illegal Immigrants

March 7, 2018

To the editor,

The latest report from FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) is a detailed analysis of federal, state and local programs that are available to the nation’s illegals (12.5 million) and their U.S. born children (4.2 million) or accessed via fraud. The total cost to the nation’s taxpayers: $135 billion.

What we pay for: As a result of a 1982 Supreme Court ...

Paint Along with the Painted Ladies!

March 9, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: “Paint Along with the Painted Ladies” at The Palmer in Cuba, NY.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Theater Manager Michele Conklin at (585) 209-5512.

On Tuesday, March 20th at 6:00-8:00 PM come and “Paint Along with the Painted Ladies”!  Cost for the class includes Supplies to complete a Painting.  Beer, Wine, ...

Lacking Leadership, Town Struggles Through Another Series of Outages

March 14, 2018

I just gained power today, and because we have a whole house generator I was able to offer showers to residents of Heritage Hills. What got to me is that for them to seek showers at this time in their lives is terrible. Even more so because much of this could have been prevented, or at the very least, reduced in impact.

We can blame the utilities for a double whammy here, increased rates and ...