Punxatawny Phil, Mr. Armageddon
We all know that when the gopher Punxatawny Phil comes outside our temperatures hang in the balance. If he sees his shadow we get six more weeks of winter. If not, we get spring right away. Up to now, Phil has alternated fairly well between producing spring and extending winter.
It’s all fine if this alternating continues. However, if Phil, for any reason, sees his shadow each and every February, then we’ll have long winter after long winter. Our Earth will plunge into a new ice age. Crops will fail. People will freeze. Economies will fracture. Countries will compete for scarcer and scarcer resoures. Wars will break out around the globe. Losing nations will launch nuclear weapons, if they have them. Between scarce resources, the ravages of conventional and nuclear warfare, and nuclear winter, we’ll all die.
Well, that’s a bummer.
The future stays almost as bleak if the bloody minded Phil never sees his shadow. We’ll have long-and-scorching summer after long-and-scorching summer. Our Earth will become a permanent furnace. Crops will fail. People will die of heat stroke. Economies will fracture. Countries will compete for scarcer and scarcer resoures. Wars will break out around the globe. Losing nations will launch nuclear weapons, if they have them. Between scarce resources, the ravages of conventional and nuclear warfare, and nuclear winter, we’ll all die. But maybe not all of us. If we’re lucky, the nuclear winter will bring the oven-hot temperatures back to normal. Still, we’d have to deal will slow starvation and bone-melting levels of radiation. Over all, this is still a bad scenario.
So what’s to keep a cantankerous Puxnatic Phil from unleashing climatic armaggedon?
We have to take Phil’s family hostages. Everytime forecasts the same way three times in row, shadow or no shadow, we off one of his family. Every similar forecast after that brings about another gopher-family execution. Harsh, I know, but eight billion people will die in Punxatawny Phil’s Mass Extinction.
We also need to worry about Phil going blind. Will he take his blindness as a never-ending gigantic shadow? Or maybe he won’t see, see what I did there, any shadow in the omnipresent blackness.
Either way, as we established above, the consequences will be armageddon.
We have to give Phil annual eye exams.
We have to take Punxatawny Phil’s existential threat seriously.
Have a nice day.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.