It’s A Good Day To Play It Safe
HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!
Unless you live in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania today is just another Friday. If you do live in Punxutawney, Pennsylvania then this is the one day in the year that anyone gives a hedgehog’s patoot about your town. Today is the day when the Network Morning Shows will give you a 90 second live cutaway to see the annual Groundhog ceremony…and then that’s it until next year.
If you want any more attention you’ll have to pop the DVD of the Bill Murray movie into your TV. That’s it, I’m sorry. 90 seconds a year. Either accept it or move to someplace like LA
LA lives in a mirror. It spends every day looking at its own reflection and thinks that it’s real. New York City is like that to a degree only their mirror needs cleaning.
A few years ago New York City must have been feeling inadequate so they tried to stage their own Groundhog Day Extravaganza. The Mayor took his limo to the Zoo and stood in front of every live TV camera in town. On his cue the Mayor picked up the sleepy Groundhog. That was when things started to go wrong. It was pathetic. The Mayor of the biggest city in the country was trying to upstage a small Pennsylvania town. It went from bad to worse when the Mayor, not a
noted Groundhog wrangler, panicked when the Groundhog squirmed. He dropped the poor animal. The Mayor of New York City murdered the Groundhog. It reacted poorly to being picked up, the Mayor went sissy and the furry little creature took a header to the concrete sidewalks of New York. Way to go Mr. Mayor.
That incident in New York reminded me of another tragic mess in Cleveland involving my late Aunt Annette and her efforts to bond with one of her grandchildren.
It was a warm Spring day and my Aunt was babysitting for a couple of grandchildren when she violated one of the cardinal rules of the Universe – “Don’t try to impress a 10 year old boy if you are a 70 year old Lithuanian woman.” (That is Rule #7239. I looked it up.)
It being a nice day the boy wanted to play outside. He had his skateboard and wanted to try out a few new tricks in his Grannie’s driveway. Of course his Granny was sure that if he went outside by himself he would immediately be kidnapped by a band of roving Russian Gypsies. There had been no reports of any Russian Gypsies in the area since…since forever, but you can’t be too careful she thought. So, she went outside to guard him and to watch him ride his skateboard. That was when things went South in a hurry.
The kid was pretty good on the skateboard. He had skill. What he did not have was good judgement which he demonstrated by turning to my 70 year old Aunt Annette and saying, “Do you want to try out my skateboard, Grannie?” This was back in the 1970s so, thankfully, the 911 emergency line was already in place.
Everyone knows that 70 year old Lithuanian Grandmothers and skateboards do not mix. Nor do 70 year old Lithuanian Grandmother’s hip bones and concrete driveways. It took a while for her to admit that her decision to hop onto the skateboard was her own fault and not part of a Russian Gypsy plot. She survived, albeit with a bit of a limp, until her late 90s.
Perhaps, if this story about my Aunt had gotten a wider audience a few years ago, the Mayor of New York City might have seen it and gotten the message in time to avoid his lethal encounter with the Groundhog.
The lesson to be learned isn’t all that complicated or tricky. It is that sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone. More crudely put: Don’t screw around with stuff you don’t know nothin’ about.
Happy Groundhog Day