Common Sense Comes to Town!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. (Descartes)

Groundhog Day

Posted on | February 2, 2011 | No Comments

February 2 is of course groundhog day. As tradition now has it, we all gather on this day around the burrow of one of these troglodytic mammals in order to get its opinion on a handful of topics, chiefly weather. For not only is discussing weather a favourite pastime of humans, but we have to carry this kind of conversation with our pets as well.

Fortunately, these farseeing groundhogs happen to make predictions about pretty much anything. For example, the now famous Punxsutawney Phil, in the USA, not only predicted an early spring but a Steelers win at the upcoming SuperBowl. I suspect that this Pennsylvania groundhog might by slightly biased.

In Quebec, we quickly drafted a rookie groundhog called Fred. Despite the optimistic name of the village it lives in (Val d’Espoire, “Hope Valley”), Fred saw its shadow and proclaimed 6 more weeks of winter. I suggest that we move the entire experiment to Baie des Chaleurs (“Warmth Bay”) next year – that might be more appropriate.

Even exotic countries have begun to follow this tradition. In Cairo, Egypt, Yusuf the Groundhog wandered out of its burrow this morning. An anxious horde of reporters inquired as to whether we would have an early change in government, or if we had to endure six more weeks of protest. Unfortunately, Yusuf was then hit by a stray rubber bullet and fell halfway across its hole, leaving puzzled witnesses pondering the meaning of this omen.

It seems that another groundhog exited its hole on the parliamentary hill in Ottawa. According to rumours, it had clearly answered a question about the upcoming federal elections. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Harper refused to give the information to the media and opposition parties, who had to resort to the Access to Information Act. We should get our answer in a few months.

 What predictions may come, I have to accept that winter isn’t over yet, and that I need to shovel snow out of the driveway yet again. I should eat a little something to boost my energy levels. By the way, are groundhogs edible?


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  • Photographie par Patrick Meunier

    Tous droits réservés, Patrick Meunier, 2010

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