Nor’easter Bunny vs. Punxsutawney Phil

Hey, is it just me or is it starting to seem like Mother Nature is hell-bent on hammering us with a mother lode of snow from Thanksgiving straight through until Mother’s Day?

Worse yet, if recent events are any indication, the extended 21st century forecast calls for a veritable blizzard of hurricanes, tropical storms, tsunamis — even meteors like that crazy (February 2013) fireball in Russia that only missed your house by about 4,500 miles.

Here’s this week’s 7-day Smack-You-Weather Forecast:

Monday: sunny, high of minus-3

Tuesday: abominable snowstorm

Wednesday: 50 percent chance of God’s wrath

Thursday: acid rain, severe doomcloud advisory

Friday: hailstones the size of small groundhogs

Saturday: partly cloudy, bitterly cold and hateful

Sunday: twisters, Dust Bowl, chance of locusts

Predicting atmospheric conditions is, of course, an inexact science. And amid all this crazy weather, it can be difficult to figure out whether or not to go ahead and plan that big August ski trip.

But at least until recently, we had someone we could count on to give us a solid sense of whether March would come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.

Someone whose deep connection to the Earth and its animalistic rhythms enabled him to warn us when March would be coming in like a rabid polar bear and going out like a deranged wolverine, or the type of chimpanzee that digs ripping people’s faces off.

Sure he was just a groundhog, but we regarded him as somewhat of a rodent savant. But not anymore.

No, it is time to face facts. Punxsutawney Phil is over the hill.

Sadly, it seems our nation’s scruffy, burrough-dwelling predictor of spring is just a shadow of his former self.

To recap. On Feb. 2, he assured us that certain scientific data (i.e. his failure to observe his shadow) guaranteed that spring weather was “just around the corner.”

And the elite mainstream pro-groundhog media all went along for the ride.

Then, we all know what happened on Tuesday — enough nasty, fluffy white stuff to bury the fraudulent rodent in his own pack of lies.

Since then, America’s revered weather rodent has been defrocked, relentlessly mocked on Facebook, Twitter and beyond.

Conspiracy theories have even been raised suggesting the fuzzy, buck-toothed prophet may have purposely falsified intelligence, leading to calls for congressional investigations and such vexing questions as: What did the groundhog know and when did it know it?

But now Punxsutawney Phil is yesterday’s news.

News reports out of western Pennsylvania say he was last seen heading south in a dark, late-model sedan with out-of-state plates.

Of course, Phil’s fall from grace creates a vacancy for a new meteorological mascot.

And I am here to offer up a nominee.

He has long, floppy ears, loves jelly beans and uses his highly sensitive whiskers to detect incoming March-April blizzards. No?

OK, he subsists on a diet of chocolate, hard-boiled eggs and marshmallow peeps. He possesses the miraculous ability to distribute millions of goody baskets to children around the globe in a single spring day, regardless of the weather.

He’s Punxsutawney Phil on Cadbury steroids. And if he smells a spring storm he’ll never candy coat the truth.

I call him … the Nor’easter Bunny.

— John Breneman

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