Today is Groundhog Day and apparently the current famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. So that means six more weeks of winter. As I’m in Los Angeles, that means that Hollywood will have more 62 degree days. Angelenos will tell you that it is 72 degrees Fahrenheit year round here and that just is not so. We even had a whole bunch of rain (with bonus flooding!) last week. Not that I’m gloating. I like to visit weather sometimes.
I have to leave the house today. I am thinking about saying, “Ned? Ned Ryerson?” to every person I am asked to shake hands with today. I actually often think of that scene, particularly out at clubs or at professional events.
For any of you who may be so culturally impoverished as to have not yet seen Bill Murray’s starring turn in the movie Groundhog Day, please rectify this failing as soon as possible, but I will now give you background. Groundhog Day is a classic comedy, released in 1993, directed by Harold Ramis, and written by Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin. Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a weatherman with buckets of hubris, who is compelled to relive a particular Groundhog Day over and over and over again, until he gets it right. Which, in his case, includes winning Andie MacDowell’s Rita. Each day, certain things happen over and over again.
For example, he keeps running into this guy Ned Ryerson who recognizes him from school. Ned Ryerson is played by Stephen Tobolowsky, perhaps best known now for his recurring roles on Glee and Heroes, and, every repeated Groundhog Day, Phil Connors is faced with being recognized by his old classmate Ned Ryerson, who he does not really recall. As Phil Connors wakes up every morning without it being a new day, he wakes up without consequences. So he tries just doing what he feels like sometimes. Which includes feigning recognizing Ned Ryerson, before Ned can address him. And punching Ned in the face. So, if I ever say, “Ned? Ned Ryerson?” you should know I’ve been driving angry and you should exit briskly.
So Happy Groundhog Day, people. Don’t kidnap any groundhogs. And definitely don’t drive angry.