Did you ever know that the movie “Groundhog Day” was written by someone who worked at the phone company?
In America people are vaguely aware of a holiday called “Groundhog Day”, and that somewhere there is a large rodent whose emergence from his burrow tells spectators whether or not spring is going to come early. But because of a writing job I had done years before for a Pennsylvania phone company I was one of the few people outside of that state who knew that the groundhog festival took place in a small town called Punxsutawney.
I enjoy some good Pennsylvania lore from time to time. Since I too had worked and written some things for a Pennsylvania phone company myself, this seemed like the perfect road trip to take. This is the story of my journey to Punxsutawney to meet the infamous weather predicting rodent named Phil.
I set my alarm for for 3am on 2/2/18. It snowed over night so there was a fresh coating that melted and then refroze. The roads were an ice skating rink. It took an hour to get to the Punxsutawney Walmart (where everyone was parking to get the bus). Thank god for my car’s GPS who helped navigate me to LITERALLY the middle of nowhere in Jefferson county. I’ll never complain about Sweet Valley again.
I had to get a ticket to the “Knob Bus.” to be taken up to Gobbler’s Knob. I am giggling like a school girl over the use of the word “knob.
Off topic, but there must be something about the name Phil. Phil Kessel is my favorite Pens team hockey player. We go together like hotdogs and prognostication. #FillThePhil #PhilTheThrill
Anyway, one of the quotes from the movie is “I’m not going back to Pittsburgh.” Its what Phil said in the movie “Groundhog Day” as a blizzard rolled across Punxsutawney. I found myself saying the same thing to myself after the main event was over because I had a Leadership Wilkes-Barre party to attend. The movie has many parallels to my life including how the producer used to work at the telephone company. He wrote Phil as a weather anchor (something I always wanted to do) in a blizzard which is some of my favorite types of weather. I like being snowed in.
Here’s a Snapchat round up of the event:
Phil Connors: You want a prediction about the weather? You’re asking the wrong Phil. I’m going to give you a prediction about this winter? It’s going to be cold, it’s going to be dark and it’s going to last you for the rest of your lives!
It was FREEZING that day, I had on 5 layers of clothes and a blanket and still froze my ass off. It was like visiting Sunday night football in November, but a hundred thousand times worse because I had to pee. The buses were over crowded and so I sought a ride back to the Walmart with a police officer to visit the porcelain throne. All in all it was a good experience and it was on my bucket list, so I can’t complain, but I still do. Would I go back? Maybe….if its warmer.
Back to the movie, 2/3 comes about a year too late for Bill Murray’s patience as well as my own. I am not sure how long this everyday of loathing my life because of my ex will take place. It still feels weird saying that, btw. It still doesn’t feel real. Pinch me, Phil!
Also, I have watched the movie a million times and have never picked up on the fact that Phil actually becomes the groundhog. How did I miss something so obvious? He has to get in Rita’s good graces to get to stop reliving the same day. The only way he can do that is to do his job well and be kind to others. It’s a lot like the lore of the princess kissing a frog.
In other words see below:
Something is different after Phil lived a perfect day. I’m still waiting for my perfect day. It’s getting closer, but we’re not quite there yet. Without further ado, I’ll link the rest of my photos from the day.
To close this blog post up, I’ll just leave one last quote from Groundhog day:
Phil Connors: Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.