For many people, it feels like we are stuck in a pandemic loop. Every day is just like the previous one, with no way of getting off this treadmill. When will it ever end?
I have seen it likened on many occasions to the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which tells the story of a weatherman caught in some sort of time loop, repeating the same experiences of the same day, February 2, over and over. It is enough to drive someone insane.
Like the rest of the world, I am longing for an end to this apparently unending crisis.” But when I think of Groundhog Day, my first thought isn’t the film. Today is the anniversary of my radio debut. I wrote about it a couple of years back, and thought I would repeat that post today.
If nothing else, it gives us all a break from the daily news, which seems to be just like the movie, same thing every day.
It is February 2, Groundhog Day, the day North Americans believe a rodent will emerge from its burrow and tell them when Spring will arrive. I don’t believe it. That is because I used to be a groundhog.
Before you wonder about my sanity or spirituality, I should say it has nothing to do with karma or reincarnation. I portrayed a groundhog in my very first radio appearance, on this date 40 years ago. Or maybe it was 41 – my memory is a little hazy.
I do remember it was a slow day on Special Blend, the morning program on Ottawa’s CKCU-FM. I think a number of interview subjects had canceled and there was airtime that needed filling. I was volunteering at the station, but had not been on air at that point.
I suggested to the producer that, given the date, an interview with one of the many groundhogs that lived on the Carleton University campus would be appropriate. Since everyone knows groundhogs tend to be inarticulate, I offered to write the script. For some reason (desperation?) she accepted my offer. The show host would do the interview and I would act the part of the groundhog.
I probably still have the script in a box somewhere, I don’t think it is the sort of thing I would throw out. After all, it was a career milestone, though I have never again been called on to do a groundhog impersonation. I still do some radio work.
I hope the interview was funny. That was my intention as I wrote it, but I have discovered over the years that my sense of humour is not always appreciated. I’d give some examples of what I said as a groundhog so you could decide, but I don’t remember any of it. Probably just as well.
What does that have to do with weather prognostication? Absolutely nothing. I would argue though that groundhogs have no more expertise in this matter than I did when I pretended to be a groundhog.
So whichever of the weather-predicting rodents you follow, this much is true.
If the groundhog sees his or her shadow, you can expect six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, there will be an early spring it will just feel like winter.
Take it from me, I know. After all, I used to be a groundhog.