LETTER: Forget Wiarton Willie, we need Fruitvale Fred

Truth is, our weather is being left in the paws of three rodents from eastern North America; and this is what happens.

Here I sit, a full month after Groundhog Day, absorbing a howling blizzard colder than a senator’s heart on Expense Claim Day, wondering where spring got taken off the tracks.

Truth is, our weather is being left in the paws of three rodents from eastern North America; and this is what happens.

Think about it; Punxsutawney Phil, an American, closer to Washington DC than to Washington State, somehow has authority over our spring. And we shouldn’t even acknowledge Shubenacadie Sam, a maritimer closer to Portugal than Passmore; what does he know about our area when he looks at the Atlantic all day?

Wiarton Willie, our nearest prognosticator, a stone’s throw from Ottawa, should not decide when you clean your barbeque. And while we’re thinking about Ottawa, don’t forget that every February it does its own prediction, the federal budget, a Liberal dose of Conservative rhetoric hiding in fact that it has no definite plan. Talk about rodents!  But, I digress.

Why doesn’t some local municipality get its own groundhog and its own yearly infusion of free publicity as TV networks clamour over pompous local officials hauling a sleepy rodent out of a box for long enough to get a photo op with the furry little critter? Why isn’t there a Fruitvale Fred, a Kaslo Katie, a Winlaw Walter, a Salmo Sal or a Balfour Barb?  Why hasn’t somebody local gotten on the free publicity train simply by keeping a gopher in a box?

I urge local councils to consider this matter; before Oliver Ollie surfaces to hog the publicity for the Okanagan.  Or, worse yet, Victoria Vicki, as that place has enough rodents; it’s called the legislature, and it already thinks that anything beyond Hope isn’t worth the effort.  Dang, I digress again…

Bill Saliken


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