Where were you when you first heard the news of the assassination? Sipping coffee at work, or curled up on the sofa splitting time between The Ladies’ Home Journal and The View on the TV? Or, were you in your car, hearing the ghastly report after your favorite song was interrupted on the Classic Rock station.
You haven’t heard about this heinous crime? You heard it (or rather read it) here first?!
Well, you just know it had to happen sooner or later. The victim never had a chance.
It was a cold, blustery day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, when our hero rose from his bed to cast his annual prediction (“spring will come, sooner or later.”) Little did he know the fate that awaited his beady little varmint eyes.
After all, he lived in a state with one of the highest ratios of hunters to residents. NRA members outnumber Mensa members nearly six to one. (It’s probably much higher than that, but a non-Mensa hunter generated the statistics.) Phil had made a few enemies over the years, predicting six more weeks of cold weather instead of an early thaw. This all added up to several million armed, mentally challenged suspects with a motive. Poor, scurvy little rat.
Authorities now believe that Phil was actually struck down with two separate gunshots. Instant replays of the massacre distinctly show his little fur-ball head being thrown in two different directions. Over and back. Over and back. Over and back. The replay is currently being shown on CNN continuously. Over and back.
Two shots. Definitely two assassins.
Dead rodents see no shadows.
Ballistic experts (not the weather experts that went ballistic when their best source of meteorological information went down in a pool of blood and shredded silk top hat) have determined that one of the bullets came from a snowy knoll, just south of Gobbler’s Knob. This was probably the fatal wound.
A second rifle was allegedly fired from the second floor of the adult bookstore across the street. L. Harvey Osmond was captured fleeing the scene. Actually, he stopped to check out the new selection of sex toys, and was caught in the act. Investigators have sealed the crime scene and are working long hours into the night examining evidence at the store.
Osmond’s .22 rifle has been confiscated, and he is currently out on bail. Ironically, it turns out that he has a valid hunting license and ground hogs are currently in season. He has been charged with firing a rifle in a public place and his license to kill has been suspended. (He will retain his muzzle-loader, bow and arrow, and slingshot licenses.) Members of the Inner Circle have filed charges against Osmond claiming that although Phil was just a rodent-in-season, he was still “one of the guys” and deserved better than that. They are demanding compensation for pain and suffering, not to exceed fifty million dollars. Several Inner Circle members have also submitted cleaning bills for the blood spattered on their tuxedos, and the cost of replacing Phil has been estimated at about twenty dollars.
In a quirky twist of fate, Osmond was run-down and killed outside the courthouse by an unknown taxi driver. Punxsutawney only has one taxi, so authorities are searching tonight for one Jack Diamond, the only taxi driver in the greater downtown area.
Anyone who has information regarding the mysterious assassin on the snowy knoll will be hunted down and meet their maker in a most painful manner.
And in good news, the Third Church of the Most Virgin Lady has announced that the potluck supper for this Saturday will be held after all. A “meaty” stew has been donated for the cause.
HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!
Editor’s Note: No groundhogs, taxi drivers or adult stores were injured in the writing of this fiction. This tale has been reprinted from my archives and was originally written by me in 2003.