It was with great excitement that I emerged from my slumber before dawn to take a short trip from my home to the city’s Pass Arboretum (that’s where they keep fancy trees). It was Ground Hogs Day, which according to legend if the Ground Hog Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow we have six more weeks of winter.
Last year at this time I met “Tipp Hill George” the Ground Hog who claims to be Punxsutawney Phil’s cousin. I entered the tree preserve rounded the huge oak tree and tipped quietly behind his living quarters, then I placed a leather glove on my hand and slowly drove my arm into the stump where Tipp Hill George lives.
“Ouch!, the mutha bit me!” I cried.
Again I went after Tipp Hill George, “got cha” I exclaimed as I hoisted his wriggling body for others in my party to see.
“Will we have six more weeks until spring?” I asked. George’s terse response, “No you idiot, you live in Syracuse, New York. Have you ever believed anything my cousin Phil says? He’s a celebrity and will tell the cameras anything.”
Tip Hill George’s tone then turned mocking… “Six more weeks until spring, yeah right. Make it eight weeks until you get a hint of spring, 12 weeks until the daffodils and crocuses peep out.”
George was pacing as if he were at the helm of a lecture hall at OCC, “A better guess might be one full week until the next shooting. Mayor Driscoll will get a position in the Obama Administration, and Joe Nicolletti will be Syracuse’s next Mayor and Van Robinson will become the next President of the Syracuse Common Council in spite of having a disastrous record on that very council.”
Stunned, I dropped my Starbucks Latte and asked, “So what about the new Mall?” George, licking his fur as he motioned with his paws, “Over here you have the new Mall and over there you have the old Mall, like Trading Spaces all of the old tenants will move into the new Mall.”
Slightly stunned I said, “Okay Tipp Hill George, back into the stump from which you came… until next year, when I’ll see you again, and unlike your cousin Punxsutawney Phil, I’m gonna hold you to these predictions.”