Punxsutawney Phil goes on strike right before Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day is right around the corner on Saturday, February 2, but the groundhog who we depend on for our weather forecast is on strike. Every year, Punxsutawney Phil is woken up in his temporary home in Gobbler’s Knob, two miles from the town Punxsutawney, Penn., and is made to check for his shadow. This year, however, Phil is going on strike in order to protest the capitalistic repression of his species.
In an exclusive interview with The Rival at C of C, Phil said, “Just think about my life! I did not choose this job. I did not choose this house. I don’t even keep the fruit of my labors. The capitalists have created a system where they benefit off of the labor of others, and I am fighting to gain back the worker’s power!”
As part of the strike, Phil demands more legislation on the protection of groundhogs and their workers’ rights. He also demands to be paid for his appearance in the movie, Groundhog Day, featuring Bill Murray and directed by Harold Ramis. While the movie was a big hit, Phil laments that he never received payment or royalties for its success.
For years, Punxsutawney Phil let America know whether there would be six more weeks of winter or if spring was coming soon. To celebrate the event, the entire town erupts in a celebration on Groundhog Day. The organizers of the yearly festival celebrating Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney have already paid for all of the food, musicians, balloons, and venue.
His caretakers are concerned about Phil’s well-being, stating that they did not see his strike coming.
“We feed him very well,” the caretakers told our reporters. “There isn’t really anything he can complain about.”
The Punxsutawney Mayor has also spoken out against the strike.
“He is a groundhog,” said the mayor. He refused to elaborate.
Phil believes that his strike speaks to a broader struggle faced by members of his species and others in his biological family.
“We are placed in zoos; our images are used in children’s books in ways that do not portray our real life struggles; we are woken up early in the morning by men wearing top hats and forced to predict the weather,” says Phil.
He also hopes that the strike will bring more attention to the prejudices associated with the name “groundhog.”
He told reporters, “Groundhog is derogatory to my species,” he says. “It makes us sound like we are dirty and that we are somehow related to pigs. We are rodents! We would prefer to be called the more respectful name ‘Woodchucks.’” He hopes that one day, Groundhog Day will be renamed “Woodchuck Day,” or for it to be no longer celebrated at all. His hopes are that the strike will bring attention to speciesism and improve human-animal relations in the future.
Phil also calls upon support from other species of rodents in the squirrel family Sciuridae that he believes have gotten the short end of the stick over human history, including prairie dogs, chipmunks, ground squirrels, marmots, and flying squirrels.
“Sciuridae of the world, unite!”
Regular tree squirrels, however, are not invited to join the strike due to them being “fat and lazy” according to Phil.
Article by Director of Communications Sarah Shtessel