Snapshot: Punxsutawney Phil


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ABOUT PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL -- As told to suburban editor Virginia Kopas Joe

ALSO ANSWERS TO: Marmota monax; “Basically, I’m a rodent."

AGE: 128 years-plus; “I started this predicting gig when I was a kit in the woods.’’

HOMETOWN: Gobbler’s Knob, Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, Pa.

JOB: Prognosticator of prognosticators; seer of seers

EDUCATION: Wildlife management courses, local campus of Indiana University of Pennsylvania

FIRST JOB: “Learning to stand on my own two hind legs."

WHAT’S IMPORTANT: “Keeping alive the magic that is Groundhog Day.”

WHEN YOU WERE A KID, YOU WANTED TO BE: A meteorologist and co-host "Saturday Night Live" with Bill Murray

HOBBIES: Hibernating; studying climate change

READING MATERIAL ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND: Robert Frost’s “A Drumlin Woodchuck,” vegan cookbooks

WHAT’S PLAYING ON YOUR TV: “A perpetual loop of the 1993 comedy ‘Groundhog Day.' ’’

WHAT’S ON YOUR PLAYLIST: " 'Rapsodie on a theme of Paganini.’ OK, I lied. It's really the 'Pennsylvania Polka.' "’

PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW: “I whistle when I'm mad — or mating. Also, I’m the master of roadkill jokes.’’

GUILTY PLEASURE: “The special elixir served up by members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle. It gives me powers. They like it, too. Hic."

GOALS: “Starting Monday, I plan to rest and fatten up. It takes a special brand of blubber to be a weather talent."

BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED: “Believe in yourself. Meteorologists are correct about 70 percent of the time, but groundhogs must always be right. People just don’t understand what is involved in this. This is an art form!"

FANTASY CELEBRITY DINNER GUEST: “Bill Murray and Andie McDowell from ‘Groundhog Day,’ of course. But also ‘Long Island Medium’ Theresa Caputo. I could teach her a thing or two about psychics — and we could swap mullet styling tips.’’

PROUDEST MOMENT SO FAR: “Figuring out how much wood a woodchuck chucks [answer: as much as he can] — and that woodchucks really can chuck wood.’’

BUCKET LIST: “Same time next year …’’


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