TMZ, you missed it. I found him and I got the scoop straight from the reclusive rodent who has been in hiding for weeks now.
Some might think that being the celebrity that Punxsutawney Phil is that he would winter in the Florida Keys or perhaps even somewhere in Brazil.
Can you imagine my surprise to spot him in a local cafe in Mayfair, Texas? At first I wasn't sure. It could have been any groundhog...wearing sunglasses. Then he ordered a "pop" with his Waldorf salad. The jig was up!
For one, NO ONE in these parts calls a soda "pop". It's always called a Coke, even if it's not a Coke but a Dr. Pepper you're wanting. Second, a Waldorf salad? Really Phil. You're worse at hiding out than you are at predicting the end of winter.
It seems the poor fella came here to Texas hoping that he could just blend in with the other prairie dogs, take in the local culture and eat some really good Tex Mex.
Turns out he's getting as much grief from the locals about his unfortunate announcement of an early spring. It's got him pretty stressed out and the Tex Mex is only aggravating his acid reflux.
So he is asking for his privacy during these confusing times and has issued the following statement:
To whom this may concern, which is apparently EVERYONE! I am but a lowly prairie creature who has been thrust upon a stage under the false pretense that I can predict the end of winter. By seeing my shadow or not seeing my shadow I am as the tradition goes, the decider of seed planting, garment storing and pedicure scheduling.
I am under no obligation to reimburse individuals for lost personal days scheduled for picnics in the park. Gardeners are on their own for ignoring instructions on seed packets that clearly state to wait to sow until 2 weeks after the last frost.
I am deeply sorry for anyone falling for such a silly charade. I'm a groundhog. Get a life people. And please, I respectfully ask that you leave me to live mine in peace.
I sorta feel bad for the little guy. We were elated, uplifted and singing Phil's praises back on February 2nd. For the first time in years, people were cheering his name. We all thought that we'd have an early spring.
Then this last blast of winter rolled through and we turned on him. We turned on him like potato salad in the sun. We turned bad.
I'm sorry Phil. And I promise not to disclose the location of your new whereabouts. I would just be weary if someone invites you over for gumbo.