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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Comedy · #2147892
Punxatawney Phil speaks For the Cramp
NEW PROMPT: As today is Groundhog Day, write a story or poem about Groundhog Day - the day, the classic Bill Murray movie, or both.

I’ll tell you, when folks think you’re a dumb animal, you can get away nearly anything. Yeah, I don’t look smart, but I do look good. Those geezers in black—-not so much. But no, they’ve gotta yank me out of the zoo once a year and hold me over their heads. Did I see my shadow? Is it six more weeks of winter, or an early spring? What does Phil know that we don’t?

Lemme tell you, Phil knows a lot humans don’t give him credit for. I can tell what each of the geezers had for breakfast on G Day, especially that guy with the liver spot on his left hand. He always stands too close and I can’t avoid the stink. This time, it was a Hatch Chili breakfast burritos with chorizo. Phew. Still, it’s an improvement over last year’s scrapple omelet; it took me three days to recover from that.

I know this weather gig is hokey, but it’s a sweet deal. I only work one day a year, and it involves nothing but hanging around and getting my picture taken. I like it, but the missus says I’m too “around,” for her taste. I don’t know if that’s a slur on my weight or not, but when she threatened me with buying a Bowflex, I decided to get out of the zoo more.

I decided there was plenty of Punxsutawney to investigate. I started in the library, mostly because I live there. I located maps and learned where the streets are. I wanted to check out the nightlife available, maybe break into someone’s garden for a snack and leave a few holes behind as a memento. Humans need to be reminded they’re not the only ones around, before they get smugger than they already are. But I found something better.

I overheard the local town mucky mucks saying they needed statues of me, a lot of them, to spread out all over town. Six foot tall statues that went with the businesses and shops in Punxsy: the post office, the bank, the library. I felt excited and a little flattered, y’know? After years of being thrust into the air by a fogey dressed like Abe Lincoln, I knew a real photo shoot was coming. I imagined lights, props, and cameras around me, getting my best poses. My big chance to be somebody. No more being a prop—this time, people would meet the real Phil. Handsome, strong, and virile, with a sense of humor and a sensitive side. Complete and unfiltered whistle pig greatness. This was my time.

Then I heard the plan. They would not use a live model. No photo shoots for Phil. No cameras, no lights, and no publicity for the star of these statues. I didn’t even have a stunt double. They opted for the unimaginable: artists.

Unbelievable. I’ve seen plenty of artsy folk at the library. They bring in lattes and occupy the computers for three hours instead of the twenty minutes they signed up for. They wander into events and eat the finger food. They hog the best furniture and yack about how creative they are. Worst of all, they have no original ideas. If you want something regurgitated, get an artist. If you want it to be good, do it yourself.

So I took charge. These statues were too important to leave to amateurs. So, I snuck around and listened to them. If I got one alone, I’d announce myself as the muse, convince them I’m real, and squash the horrible ideas. Goth Phil, Disco Phil, and Butt Crack Phil were the best of the awful, if that helps. I became the best muse out there. I offered ideas that they couldn't ruin. I told them their statue would be the star. I planted information while hiding behind furniture. I whispered and slunk. When the work became too difficult, I told them to take time off from the work to retreat or meditate or anything else that drove them away for a few days and let me rest.

It worked.

The artists revealed their statues of Phil to a rapt audience. I looked cute, smiling and idiotic. It was quaint. It was charming. It was entirely unlike me.
None of the statues reveal the real Phil. I refused to let those hucksters get me wrong. Not while I’m waiting for my big break.

But I did get my revenge. I chose the most clueless and unoriginal creator there and planted the germ of an idea. His statue would be different from the others, I promised. He didn’t need to create a Jewelry Store Phil or a Seafood Restaurant Phil. He would focus on Phil’s animal nature and create a statue suited for anywhere in town. I told him to showcase Phil with a nature setting. I recommended a single flower in his hand. I told him it would draw more attention than any of the others. I played on his technical skill and lack of any self awareness. Finally, I made sure no one saw it before the unveiling ceremony.

I didn’t lie to him, not even a little. His statue is unique and attracts the most attention. People look for it when they come to Punxatawney. Locals take their friends to meet his Phil. It’s probably the most photographed statue, and is the one most people search for online. He even has a nickname.

Phallic Phil.

Author's note:

There really are Punxatawney Phil statues in Punxatawney, PA. Phallic Phil does exist. The men who haul him out once a year do dress formally, complete with top hats. Legend states that Phil is the original Groundhog. In reality, we’re up to number thirteen. But for the purposes of this story, I’m going with the legend. I hope Phil’s okay with that.

Also, Scrapple originated with the Amish and Mennonite communities as a way to use every part of a hog. Scrapple is made from every bit of pork people would normally throw away. Nuff said. Ugh.


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