Dearest readers: Punxsutawney Phil is in trouble. As many of you (especially up here in the Northeast) may have noticed, spring is officially upon us but the weather ain’t exactly warm despite Phil forecasting an early spring. One Ohio county prosecutor is holding the groundhog accountable… via an indictment… seeking the death penalty. Michael Gmoser phoned in to CNN’s Starting Point on Friday to explain the move in a pun-filled interview.
The indictment, which Gmoser deemed “tongue-in-cheek,” reads:
On or about February 02,2013, at Gobbler’s Knob, Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that Spring would come early. Contrary to the Groundhog day report, a snowstorm and record low temperatures have been and are predicted to continue in the near future, which constitutes the offense of MISREPRESENTATION OF EARLY SPRING, a Unclassified Felony, and against the peace and dignity of the State Of Ohio.
SPECIFICATION: The people further find and specify that due to the aggravating circumstances and misrepresentation to the people that the death penalty be implemented to the defendant, Punxsutawney Phil
Asked to explain, Gmoser replied, “We’re just sick and tired of winter here, and old Phil let us down.” (With that, we can commiserate.)
“Do you have a sense of motive in this?” John Berman asked. “I mean, what possible justification could he have for misrepresenting the weather, sir?”
“Well, I think out in Pennsylvania, they just want to laugh at us,” Gmoser said. “We’re trying to have the last laugh…we think that it’s groundbreaking litigation.”
In keeping with the pseudo-serious nature of the interview, Christine Romans chimed in to ask the prosecutor what approach he expects the defense to take. It’ll be “that he doesn’t know his rear-end from a hole in the ground,” he replied. “So I think they’re going to be pleading ignorance.”
Berman, however, was taken aback by the death penalty aspect of it, questioning the “harsh” punishment. The feedback has largely been positive, Gmoser asserted. “Most people around here want a piece of Phil.” Indeed, “people are firing up their grills.”
“What about the dangerous precedent this could set for weather forecasters and stock pickers around the world?” Romans asked, receiving the reply, through laughter, “I think it’s wonderful.”
“It’s a case with real legs,” he explained (four, to be specific).
Take a look, via CNN:
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org