North county hogs don’t see their shadows

It’s Groundhog Day and Donald Trump endorses Mitt “I Never Worry About The Poor” any day in the USofA Romney.I’m so excited…I think it’s time for a nap.Let me write this…very…slowly…for…you…Punxsutawney Phil has absolutely no credibility—shadow or no shadow. It’s kind of like the Three Stooges (maybe four) who are running for the Republican nomination for President. For the record, some overstuffed rodent in Pennsylvania with a serious overbite came out of his HogManCave on Feb. 2, saw the shadow of his obese carcass and proclaimed, “It’s never too late for a New Year’s resolution—more Pilates or maybe Weight-watchers…I’ve got to do something. I can’t see my feet anymore.”Yes, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which, according to some goofball legend, means we’re all in store for six more weeks of crummy winter weather.Just so you know, Phil and his inner circle of sycophants have a lot of competition. So there is always a second opinion.Yes, I do have one. I always have an opinion. Locally, yours truly trudged to a remote north Stevens County farm on the morning of Feb. 2 and watched as several hogs (or oversized pigs) cast nary a shadow anywhere. I was thinking pork tenderloins and pulled pork sandwiches, not whether or not we’re going to have six more weeks of winter weather. Yes, we are a local newspaper. The mantra is local…local…local. While the legend that is Phil and the sponsoring Punxsutawney Groundhog Club apparently cast a long shadow over the minions in Pennsylvania the morning of Feb. 2, there was no such shadow witnessed in northern Stevens County.While the announcement from central Pennsylvania was met with derision and more than a few boo’s, nary a discouraging word was heard on my foray to the hog grounds in rural northeast Washington.What’s Phil know, anyway? Don’t tell me that Spring Fever will have to wait. Winter may be mild here in the north country, but it’s still winter. We need optimism, not some non-verbal rodent’s wild guess. If I want wild guesses, I’ll turn on the six-o’clock news and watch the bubble-headed bleach blonde tell me about her occluded front and how she runs with the jet stream. Of course there will be six more weeks of winter. Do the math. Even a devout non-numbers guy like me can tell you that there are six weeks between Feb. 2 and the official first day of spring (March 21). I’ll go with our local Bob The Hog’s prediction. No shadow—no problem. And no crowds. Better yet. Now who’s got that email for PETA. I think it’s time they get involved with this piece of funky folklore and dragging a furry critter out of a hole ever Feb. 2.