Friday, March 11, 2005

Friday 11 March 2005

Groundhog Lied; Investigation Launched

With more snow and unseasonable cold forcast for much of the North and Northeast through the weekend, officials in Punxsutawney, PA are launchiing an investigation and, embarassingly, may have to announce a longer winter.

Charges have been made that Punxsutawney Phil, the infamous prognosticating marmot, didn't see his shadow, but the shadow of one of his handlers, or other revelers this past February 1st, otherwise known as Groundhog Day.

So says Elmer Johnson, 59, a long-time critic of the 119-year-old festival that has a groundhog, fondly known as Punxsutawney Phil, being pulled out of a hutch and declaring the length of winter left based on whether he sees his shadow. Thousands flock to this small Pennsylvania burg in what has become a major media event, including a popular 1993 movie starring Bill Murray.

"No way that rodent saw his own shadow" declared Johnson, an unempolyed electrician. "His eyes were closed … Maybe he peeked but with so many people around, there's no way you could tell who's shadow it was".

Johnson claims to have evidence, saying he taped the entire program, both at his home on a VCR and, as part of the throng with his cellphone camera.

Town officials were stunned by the allegations and in a terse statement, indicated they will investigate Johnson's charges.

"Besides", Johnson stated, "it's a rodent ... I mean, all you have to do is look at a calendar to figure out how much winter is left … What's next - we going to have a dog determine how hot a summer we're going to have?

Jackson Family In Deal To Launch New Wine

Regardless of their son's trial outcome, and, in part, to help pay his skyrocketing legal fees, the family of Michael Jackson has signed a deal with an undisclosed vineyard to launch Jesus Juice.

A family spokesperson indicated Jesus Juice, a Merlot and a Chardonney, will be hitting the shelves by summer, and will be available in both corked bottes and pop-open cans. There are no plans at this time to use Michael Jackson, or his image in the marketing campaign and no decision has been reached yet if Michael's sister, Janet Jackson, will be involved.

According to the spokesperson, Jesus Juice, has done remarkably well in focus groups and random, blind taste tests. Even the concept of offering Jesus Juice in a can has won praise. Scores in the tests noted that people responded it would be easier to pack in coolers, or carry in a handbag or pocket.

When asked about having this product associate with the sorrid allegations brought out in the trial, the spokesperson offered;

'C'mon man, it's Jesus Juice …"

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