Here in the affable offices of The Curmudgeon, we enjoy an amusing anecdote, a charming custom, and all things homespun. We are in fact, highly agreeable co-workers – as far as co-workers go – and yet there are some employees I would like to change for animatronics, since they appear to be slightly mechanical anyway. I think PETA would agree with me, probably because of the cruelty and suffering I force upon them, like actually working for their pay.
In fact, PETA has many things they would like to substitute animatronics for, but this time they’ve really gone off their rocker. Gemma Vaughn, PETA’s Animal Entertainment Specialist, fired off a letter to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club asking them to retire the two groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil and his understudy, Staten Island Chuck, and replace them with animatronics. Oh, PETA, now you’ve gone too far. I would love to be in a PETA staff meeting: “Who should we go after now?” “I know. Ant farms!”
In their own words, PETA said the treatment of the groundhogs was “cruel,” and pointed out that Phil was “forced to be on display year round at the local library and is denied the ability to prepare for and enter yearly hibernation.” Um…yeah, but they don’t have to hibernate, instead living in forced opulence and comfort. PETA added that “Tradition is no excuse for cruelty.” Yeah. I’ll think about that the next time I have to go to a wedding.
Not accustomed to dealing with controversy, Punxsutawney Groundhog Club called the request “crazy,” and blundered the following statement: “Phil is probably treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania. He’s got air conditioning in the summer, his pen is heated in winter … He has everything but a TV in there. What more do you want?” Holy Moley! Are you saying the average child in Pennsylvania doesn’t have air conditioning, heat, or perhaps the biggest cruelty of all, television? Okay, I’m sure he didn’t mean that. They at least have television, right?
But perhaps the groundhogs agree with PETA. Last year, Phil made several escape attempts from his home at the Punxsutawney Library, and Staten Island Chuck bit N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a Groundhog Day celebration. Bloomberg wasn’t hurt, but he did refer to Chuck as a terrorist rodent. But these episodes aren’t that big of a deal. The average child in Pennsylvania also makes several escape attempts every year, and over of the kids bite their parents.
I have made my own prediction. I walked out of my house today and saw my shadow.
I predict 6 more weeks of this particular PETA nonsense.