From Pubs to Punxsutawney...

February 1, 2018

In the “early” days, taverns and public houses or pubs provided lodging, food and drink from inclement weather. Libations were originally a convenient means of combating the chill and a “wee nip” could break the bone-chilling cold. For politicians, a journey was tedious and they would order their assistants to gauge opinions of their constituents. They were instructed to “quaff ale” and hear the people’s political concerns. When they would “go sip here” and “go sip there” the two words were combined, forming the term “gossip.”  Ale would be served in pints and quarts. A bar maid needed to be diligent as to which patrons were drinking a pint or a quart. This duty resulted in the phrase, “minding your ‘P’s’ and ‘Q’s.” From pubs to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania that attracts thousands on February 2. Tourism has become one of the leading industries for this community, directly related to this single event. Tomorrow morning, a groundhog will be “extracted” from his sleep, held before the crowd and then asked to make a prediction based upon his shadow. For many years, PETA or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals contend that this action traumatizes Phil and believe Phil should be replaced with an “animatronics model.” Representatives of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club believe Phil is treated better than the average child, kept in a climate controlled environment and inspected. An animatronics model is similar to the gopher that what was used in the movie Caddy Shack.

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