Monday, February 2, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil and A Little Innocence Lost

This morning, while trying to distract myself from the arduously boring task of exercising, I watched the ceremonies involving the great Punxsutawney Phil. After watching the ceremony, I have a few observations.

1) Punxsutawney Phil is riddled with scandal. According to his Inner Circle, Phil is accurate about 70-95% of the time. According to the National Weather Service, he's accurate 39% of the time. I'm sure that Phil's Inner Circle would never exaggerate, but one does have to question the accuracy of their numbers. However, deeper in lies a greater question: How can a groundhog predict the weather with 39% accuracy? Combine that success rate with those hats that they wear, I would start to wonder if there is not truly an evil little groundhog somewhere running a terrible underground (literally) cult....

2) I don't think that this stuff is true, because they also said that Phil is a Steeler's fan. Now, come on, obviously that was just made up. It seems evident to me, a sports deficient classical pianist, that a ground hog would never like football. They are by far more likely to indulge in a game of golf. It fits with the holes.

3) There is a member of the "Inner Circle" that looks exactly like Bill Murray. It was astounding!

4) I once lived the movie "Ground Hog" day. When we adopted our middle daughter from Kazakhstan, we lived that movie. Every day the alarm went off, we ate the same breakfast, waited outside for our driver, drove the exact same streets to the orphanage and played with toys in front of an adorable little girl who not only didn't like us but wouldn't respond to us. Nothing else happened for 3 weeks until we finally went to court. It was very surreal.

However, my loss of faith in Punxsutawney Phil was nothing compared to the loss of innocence that happened for Swimmer Girl. After reading the news last night, I figured I needed to talk to her about her one athlete that she has always admired: Michael Phelps. I knew it would likely come up at swim team or at some other point, so I had to talk to her about it first.

When I read about Phelps smoking cannabis, I was really disgusted by him. I've come to expect such hedonistic behavior from professional athletes, but I hoped that someone who would represent our country to the world could be a person with more maturity and integrity. And, his apology was frustrating as well! I was with him until he threw in the word "youthful". So, what he did would have been okay when he was 16? I'm sorry but the same people who are hurt by the drug trade, the same people who imbibed with him that night, would have been just has hurt by his selfish and emotionally sick behavior back then just as much as at age 23.

So this morning I had to explain to my daughter that someone she respects is not someone she can look up to, that there is a need in this sick world, to be able to respect what someone can accomplish even when you can't respect how they live. A little bit of her innocence died today, and that made me very sad. I wish people like Michael Phelps could understand the implications of their poor choices.

So, we are recovering from our lost innocence. My in my belief that GroundHog's day just must be a promotional entity for Punxsutawny and Swimmer Girl that there are, essentially, no famous role models out there.

Aaa, we're over it now. Plus, I think Gopher day would be more fun.

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