Pulse: Chatter: Kill Phil

Is it time to take out Punxsutawney Phil? The ubiquitous rodent — who each February 2nd draws media hordes upstate for Groundhog Day — failed to see his shadow this year, predicting an early spring. Recall what happened next?


Is it time to take out Punxsutawney Phil? The ubiquitous rodent — who each February 2nd draws media hordes upstate for Groundhog Day — failed to see his shadow this year, predicting an early spring. Recall what happened next? February’s temps plunged seven degrees below normal, an ice storm struck right before St. Patrick’s Day, and April was horribly cold, aided by a walloping nor’easter. (For the record, Ol’ Phil predicted early springs in ’97 and ’99; we got hosed then, too.) “Phil is incapable of error,” insists Michael Johnston, one of the Groundhog-ians who stage Phil’s moment in the sun (or not) each year. “It’s Mother Nature who’s confused.” Mmm-hmm. If Phil’s not careful, the next shadow he sees might be his — in a chalk outline.