Article Categories
» Arts & Entertainment
» Automotive
» Business
» Careers & Jobs
» Education & Reference
» Finance
» Food & Drink
» Health & Fitness
» Home & Family
» Internet & Online Businesses
» Miscellaneous
» Self Improvement
» Shopping
» Society & News
» Sports & Recreation
» Technology
» Travel & Leisure
» Writing & Speaking

  Listed Article

  Category: Articles » Arts & Entertainment » Humor » Article
 

Old Phil Propagated A Good Old Hoax




By James L. Snyder

It began as all things begin n a long period of boredom with nothing exciting to do. Whoever said, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop," knew something of what they were speaking.

As the story was told to me, it went something like this: It was toward the end of January, a long cold January at that. A group of groundhogs who were supposed to be hibernating were afflicted with a bad case of insomnia.

You know how it is. It has happened to you many times, I am sure. You are supposed to be asleep but sleep is the furthest thing from your eyeballs at the time. Because of the lack of sleep, reality becomes a fading commodity.

These bored groundhogs had tried everything to cure their insomnia but nothing seemed to work. Finally, an old groundhog who had been quiet up to this time loudly cleared his throat and gained the attention of the others.

"Friends," he quietly began, "I've been thinking about something for a very long time. Perhaps now is the time to put this plan into action."

Because nothing else seemed to capture the attention of the others, the old groundhog was given absolute attention. After all, what did they have to lose? There would be about six more weeks before spring and they had to stay underground all this time.

"My idea goes something like this," the gruff old groundhog growled. There seems to be a sense of bitter sarcasm in his voice. "Let us put together a hoax on those humans who live above ground. They think they're better than anybody, so let's show them how superior we are."

Everybody knew the old groundhog, called Phil by everybody, did not particularly like or respect those creatures walking on top of the ground. "What's your idea?" everybody clamored.

Cautiously, old Phil examined his audience to make sure he had their complete confidence. "What we do is this, we tell those humans that whenever a groundhog sees his shadow it will mean six more weeks of winter."

The pack of groundhogs exploded in laughter. When the laughter subsided, a young pup spoke up through tears of laughter, "Nobody is that dumb. That's impossible to get anybody to believe anything so stupid."

For the next 10 minutes, the room was filled with uncontrollable laughter. Old Phil leaned back and enjoyed the moment. He fully expected this kind of reaction. From his experience, he knew it was highly improbable that any groundhog would fall for anything as silly as this.

Finally, as the laughter subsided, another groundhog queried old Phil. "How do you propose to do such a thing?"

"Well," old Phil began, "I'm sure that if we are bored down here, those above us are bored, as well. It's been a long, cold winter with nothing to do between Christmas and Easter. These humans above us need something to do to break the monotony."

The groundhogs got quiet and thoughtfully nodded in agreement with wise old Phil's idea. The more they thought about it the more it began to make sense to them.

"All we have to do," Phil explained, "is to tell these humans that on a particular day of the year if a groundhog emerges from his winter's hole and happens to see his shadow it will be a sign of six more weeks of winter."

A ripple of snickering flowed through the crowd of groundhogs but this time it was more of a conniving snicker. "But what day should we pick?" several of them chimed in.

"Well, it has to be sometime between Christmas and Easter."

The crowd of groundhogs grew quiet as each one went over the calendar in his mind. After all, they realized how important calendars were to the humans who walked on the ground above.

"It has to be a day that's not close to any other human holiday," old Phil suggested.

After several suggestions were bantered about the room, someone recommended they vote on a day. Paper ballots were prepared and passed around to everyone with instructions to make only one choice. When the ballots were collected and counted the winning date was Feb. 2.

When the date was announced the room exploded with cheers and clapping. The first part of their hoax was firmly established. A sense of excitement ran through the crowd of groundhogs assuring that sleep would not visit them that night.

It is not quite clear how old Phil communicated this to the humans above. This part of the story is a closely kept secret. After all, groundhogs have their secrets as well as anybody else. All he would say was, "It was the easiest part of our plan."

And so began one of the great rituals in the human calendar. Wise old Phil named it Groundhog Day. The name has stuck to this very day.

None of the groundhogs interviewed could believe their hoax would last so long, but all of them are delighted over the unprecedented success. This is why on Feb. 3 the underground world echoes with hardy snickering and sometimes uproarious laughter.

Thankfully, not everything is powered by superstition, fables or downright hoaxes. The apostle Paul warned against this. "But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness." (1 Timothy 4:7 KJV.)

Following Christ is not a hoax but a holy discipline that leads to fulfillment and joy unspeakable and full of glory.
 
 
About the Author
James L. Snyder is an award winning author and popular columnist living with his wife, Martha, in Ocala, Florida and can be contacted at jamessnyder2@att.net.

Article Source: http://www.simplysearch4it.com/article/50081.html
 
If you wish to add the above article to your website or newsletters then please include the "Article Source: http://www.simplysearch4it.com/article/50081.html" as shown above and make it hyperlinked.



  Some other articles by James L. Snyder
It Was Lights Out At The Old Ballgame
Someone yelling, "Let's play ball," officially announces spring. Springtime and baseball seem to go together, as if God created springtime just for the national pastime. ...

The Origins Of Spring-Cleaning, Or Along Came Eve
I always know when April makes its yearly debut without consulting the calendar because my wife usually says, "Let's clean out the garage today." ...

A Page From Betty Crocker's Cookbook
Recently, while sitting in my chair drinking the last of my breakfast coffee, a thought staggered into my mind. I must confess most thoughts are quite lonely once they enter my mind, but this one ...

It's My Body; I'll Exercise It If I Have To
Lately, I have noticed a lot of news regarding all aspects of the body. According to one report I read, this is a multibillion dollar-a-year business. I never knew my body was worth so much money. I'm ...

Chocolate Is My Favorite Health Food
Finally, the medical world has caught up with what the rest of us have known all the time, namely, chocolate is good for us. And I for one think it ...

A Silent Night — Not At My House
People say, as they get older their hearing is not what it used to be. I have found this to be true for myself. The older I get, ...

  
  Recent Articles
Ugly people more than a joke
by Ken Wilson

Ugly men and ugly women ugly on the inside/outside?
by Ken Wilson

Do ugly women feel the same as ugly men?
by Ken Wilson

Ugly women and men facing the issue of beauty
by Ken Wilson

Ugly people and charisma
by Ken Wilson

The beautiful side of ugly people photos
by Clint Jhonson

Recycled Paper Use Recycled Paper and Recycle Paper
by Steve Baker

18 Similarities Between Women and Computers
by Jack Reider

DeGeneres Joins Long List of Comedians Who Have Hosted Academy Awards
by Tuesday Knight

Old Phil Propagated A Good Old Hoax
by James L. Snyder

Which, Exactly, is the National Language of Malaysia?
by Wan Yee

The Ugly Ducklings Make It Big
by Wain Roy