Q and A with Punxsutawney Phil; the Groundhog
Warning:This is a Fictional Column Intended for Satire
The winter season has come, but has it gone? Every year, the nation puts it’s full trust in a small rodent that predicts ‘weather’ there will be a longer winter or a longer spring (See what we did there?). However, nobody has ever looked into why our days and nights are thrown into the hands of a fur-covered, brown-nosing animal that belongs to the meticulous marmot group. The Vista had the opportunity to interview this humorously wholesome creature known by the public as Punxsutawney Phil.
Q: How did you become a weatherman?
A: I started back at a small station in Buffalo. While interning there, I was given the nickname ‘Fax-Filing Phil.’ I basically would just grab breaking news faxes as they came in; worked long hours and even harder days. But one day, the main meteorologist needed a storm-chaser. That’s where I came in. I instantly fell in love.
Q: Did you go to school to be a meteorologist?
A: No, actually. They had another guy on-air that could never pronounce the names of certain towns correctly. I asked them if I could give it a try and they said “Go ahead.”
Q: So, no experience and they just gave you the job?
A: Yeah, pretty much. I got the chance to shadow the main meteorologist and I was reading up on forecasting throughout my storm chasing. But meteorology is forever changing. I have to read up on new formats, programs and graphics every year. I see meteorology like a good book, weather is the main character and there’s a new and exciting book every day.
Q: Do you enjoy it?
A: Of course I do. I keep people safe every day. There are times where the doubt and uncomfortable honesty from my viewers will bring me down, but it doesn’t matter. There is that one moment, that one opportunity where those viewers lives are saved because of something I forecasted.
Q: Do people treat you differently because you’re famous?
A: I’m such a famous, good looking guy. Just kidding, I really don’t care about any of that fame stuff. But every now and then I will have someone come up to me, telling me about how they watch me whenever severe weather hits. That’s all I care about. My wife says that I need to think about myself every once in a while. I joke that if I did that, I wouldn’t have time for her.
Q: Do you have advice for people who want to get into the business?
A: I was told once not to change who I am because someone wants me to be a person I’m not. My wife tells my kids the same thing every day before they go off to school and I think it applies here as well. The weather game is very hard to understand and it’s only meant for people who truly want the honest-to-God truth. Not making up stuff to seem like you know everything, but doing hard work that reminds people you are here for them.
Q: Does the fact that you’re a groundhog get in the way of being professional?
A: Wait. I’m a what?