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An Open Letter to PETA, from Punxsutawney Phil

January 30, 2010

Dear PETA, 

It has recently come to my attention that your people are fixing to crash my party this Tuesday. Where do you get off, anyway? They say you’re concerned for my welfare; that I’m somehow being treated “inhumanely,” what with the large screaming crowds, the flash photography and the excessive handling. They say you’ve suggested replacing me with a robot groundhog! WTF! If you ask me, all those rutabagas you’re eating have gone to your head. Maybe you could use a little leather in your lives. 

Herewith, my own personal point-by-point refutation of your charges: 

Large screaming crowds? Please. They don’t bother me. The screaming at my annual appearance is a declaration of love. It’s like a Beyonce concert, or the Jonas Brothers. They aren’t screaming at me; they’re screaming with me. Or something like that. I have to be honest, it really pumps me up. I get stoked. I want to grab the mic and scream back, you know, something like “I love you, Punxsutawney!” But it would just come out sounding like “Grunt! Grunt! Whistle, squeal, bark!!” So I refrain. Oh, by the way – the caterwaul you’re confronted with wherever you go – jeers of derision. 

Flash photography? Really? Have you seen my smile? I’ve been practicing it all year. I had a little work done, a few crowns replaced and some whitening. But mainly, I think I’ve got the whole “looking natural” thing down. The trick, my coach informed me, is to look down then up again right before the flash goes off. And it works too! I look like a supermodel, like the Linda Evangelista of groundhogs (am I dating myself?) 

Excessive handling? Listen, in my opinion, I don’t get handled enough. You think it’s easy, living the life of a celebrity? Things are cold and lonely down in the hole; I can’t trust anyhog. Half of them think I’m ego-tripping, acting all “fucking superior” (their words, not mine); the other half just want me for my autograph. And don’t get me started on the badgers, the weasels and the voles – philistines and cretins, all of them. No one understands me. No one appreciates me for me. I put my pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of them, or like we all would anyway if we wore pants. You people, with your big hands and your warm smiles, your fawning affection and your odd inclination to anthropomorphize we creatures of the Marmota Monax taxonomy (look it up) – it’s fan-f’ing-tastic, I say. Put me in a petting zoo, let children feed me handfuls of kibble all day long, dress me up in a cowboy hat and tiny chaps. That doesn’t sound like a half-bad situation. By the way, when you buy those chaps, I know it doesn’t look it, but I’m a size petite. It’s all fur. 

Robot groundhog…now there’s an idea. You mean like Rosie on the Jetsons, right? Or those creepy little animatronic children at Disneyland, singing “It’s A Small World?” Wait till my union gets their hands on this. The Screen Actors Guild is not going to be happy when they learn of your nefarious plan to replace entertainers with industrial machinery! Where will it end? First: Punxsutawney Phil. Next: Harrison Ford?! Well, he already is a little robotic, and maybe not the best example, but you get what I mean. Man, the day they successfully design and manufacture a robot groundhog realistic enough to fool the people of Punxsutawney, that’s the day they’ll probably figure out how to accurately forecast the weather. Until then, six more weeks of winter. I hope you lose one of your gloves. 

Don’t get me wrong, I like what you stand for, at least in principle. When you rescued those rabbits from the hands of cosmeticians at Mary Kay, that was impressive. And when you picketed the Vegas strip, and then that tiger, inspired by your support and emboldened with a renewed sense of self-worth, took a bite out of Siegfried (or was it Roy? I always get the two confused), well, my entourage and I had to stand up and applaud. Great stuff. But this time, I think you’re pushing it. This whole “Save The Groundhog” movement smacks of grandstanding and shameless self-promotion. I mean, it’s Groundhog Day. In the annals of animal mistreatment, this amounts to little more than heavy petting. 

So what I’m trying to say is – suck my Gobbler’s Knob! I don’t need your saving. Let me do my job. Let the good people of Punxsutawney have their fun. And if you do show up on Tuesday, beware. You know what happens when twenty vegan hipsters clad in synthetic fibers and skinny jeans clashes with one thousand meat-fed Pennsylvanians? They get devoured, that’s what. Quicker than a bowl full of buffalo chicken wings down at Cookie’s Caboose. You have been warned. 

Most sincerely, 


4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2010 7:11 am

    that’s good stuff.

  2. February 1, 2010 9:03 pm

    Brilliant Phil!! Loved it. ;=

  3. Bill permalink
    February 2, 2010 1:13 pm

    Phil. Calm down. Let your agent handle this.

    Also– I thought both the tiger chaps were named Siegfried… Wasn’t Roy the tiger?

  4. Peg Beck permalink
    February 4, 2010 3:10 pm

    Hilarious….I loved this one!

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