MAIN STREET—February 10, 2011 by Roger Allen,publisher

February 2 and Phil

Here in Michigan we were enjoying the snowstorm on the day of the ground hog. I saw Punxatawney Phil on TV but can’t recall if his handlers mentioned that he’d seen his shadow or not.

Roger Allen, publisher.

Phil probably doesn’t remember me. We were never close, although I have been to Punxatawney. The town is in the mountains of Pennsylvania and has not much going for it, except Phil, their only celebrity. They have a city park and a town library. That’s where Phil lives. He has a comfy window with a little house to hide in. He was sleeping in it when I was there. It’s probably an exaggeration to say I “met” Phil.

The park, complete with bandstand, is where officials hold their annual event with Phil. The rest of the time, he just hangs out at the library.

We’re more evolved than woodchucks and we pay the price. THEY figured out that sleeping all winter beats shoveling snow. Phil has a good life, with free room and board.

PETA and Phil

Some beg to differ on Phil’s “good life.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced this year that they’d like Phil to retire. They’re saying it’s time to take Phil “to a sanctuary and replacing him with an electronic groundhog.” They cite the stress Phil must feel, what with gawkers and handlers and once a year the bright lights of TV cameras.

A groundhog robot instead of the real Phil?? Technology has gone too far.


“This is your captain speaking. On behalf of my crew, I’d like to welcome you aboard flight 602 from New York to London. We are currently flying at a height of 35,000 feet over the Atlantic.

“If you look out of the windows on the starboard side of the aircraft, you will observe that both starboard engines are on fire.

“If you look out of the windows on the port side, you will observe that the port wing has fallen off.

“If you look down toward the Atlantic Ocean, you will see a little yellow life raft with three people in it waving at you.

“That’s me, the copilot, and one of the air stewardesses. This is a recording.”

Men and women

Researchers have found differences in the behavior of men and women. This will not be news to most people.

A couple of examples:

• A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel. The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337. A man can identify no more than 20 of these.

• A woman knows all about her children. She knows about their dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears, and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

Last word

A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

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