WHY, PHIL, WHY
“Dude, are you gonna do it?”
“Yes, I’m gonna do it,” Todd whispered to Garrett, who whispered “He’s gonna do it!” to Katelyn, who whispered it to Jess, who whispered it to Brad, and they all giggled like idiots.
They had good reason to be punchy. It was 7:03AM, they were out in the bitter cold (at a place called Gobbler’s Knob, for God’s sake), they were surrounded by drunks (did I mention it was 7:03AM?) and looky-loos, and they were all anxiously awaiting the moment a few dudes dressed to the nines in top hats pulled a groundhog out of its pen so one of the top hat guys could deliver a flowery speech about the weather.
A few minutes later, the moment arrived. The designated top hat man gave his speech, declaring that the groundhog had, in fact, spied his shadow and therefore: Six more weeks of winter.
That was Todd’s cue. He dropped to his knees, threw his hands to the heavens, and bellowed:
“NOOOOOOOOOO! WHY, PHIL, WHYYYYYYYYY?!”
Todd’s pals giggled and snorted and pretended they didn’t know him. Some laughs rippled out beyond the circle of Todd and the gang; Todd smiled mischievously and laughed.
And then a terrible thing happened.
Maybe he had strained himself screaming, maybe it was nasal drip from his frozen sinuses out in the Arctic cold, but something caught in Todd’s throat as he laughed. Whatever it was, it triggered his gag reflex and the next thing he knew, Todd lurched forward and vomited into the snow.
The crowd around him quickly cleared out as the cops moved in. Todd spent the next forty-five minutes convincing the officers he was not drunk (which was true; unlike many of the revelers, Todd and the gang were stone sober).
Todd and his friends went home shortly after that. The vomiting had awkwardly cut their celebration short. Other than a few hushed “Dude, you OK?”s directed at Todd, barely a word was spoken the entire trip back.
And when they got home, they discovered that a local news team had managed to film Todd’s outburst and subsequent retching. Within twenty-four hours, Todd was all over the Internet and had been re-christened “Pukesutawney Phil”. He’d spend years living it down.
The moral of the story?
Do not make light of Groundhog Day. YOU WILL REGRET IT.