SCORES & OUTDOORS: It’s time for our annual visit with Woodrow Charles
by Roland D. Hallee
Well, we’ve turned the calendar and it is now February. Time for me to go visit my furry, rodent friend, Woodrow Charles, the weather prognosticating groundhog. Folklore has it that if he sees his shadow, we are in for six more weeks of winter. If he does not see it, we can expect an early spring.
With the mild winter we had seen so far, it looked like the trek to his abode would be an easy one. However, with the snow, rain and ice we have received over the past couple of weeks, that hike could be a difficult one. It was!
After an hour and a half of trudging through the snow and ice, I finally came to the residence he occupied last year, only to find large “marshmallows,” massive hay bails wrapped in white plastic. Now, where did he go?
I took out my cell phone and dialed his number:
“Hello,” came the response from the other end.
“Woody?” I asked.
“Yeah, who wants to know?” was his reply.
“This is your friend from The Town Line,” I said.
“Oh, yeah,” he responded.
“Where the heck are you?”
“If you’re at my old place, just keep going straight through the field and down the path. I’m about 100 yards down on the right.”
“I’ll be right there.”
Down the path I went and found a small tree stump with a green door. I knocked.
“Come on in,” was the answer from the other side.
“Boy, this place is a dump,” I exclaimed.
“Hey, do you know how hard it is to find good, affordable housing these days?” he snapped. “At least I was able to install a heat pump. No place for a wood burning stove.”
He whipped up some tea, and we began to chat.
“Any plans for the Super Bowl?, I inquired.
“No, it’s between Philadelphia and Kansas City, two teams I have no interest in,” he said unapologetic. “As a matter of fact, two teams I have no love for.”
“What about Frank, Butch and Slim, your buddies?”
“Oh, they wimped out and went to Florida for the winter, but they’re in the process of finding a new place down there. Got flooded out from Hurricane Ian.”
“So,” I said, “no prediction on the game this year?”
“Well,” he replied, “you know me. I’ve got to put some money down on someone.”
Following a long pause, and look of concentration on his face, he finally said, “Philadelphia by two over Kansas City.”
“That’s a bold prediction,” I answered.
“Well, like I said, I don’t really care who wins!”
So, I tried to change the subject.
“Do you think you’ll be here for a while, or try to find a more suitable place so you can put back your big screen, smart TV, Alexa, your Keurig, and heated recliner?”
“I’m still looking,” he sighed. “But, it probably won’t be until the weather breaks. I’ll make do with this until then.”
“Speaking of the weather, what do you have for our readers this year?”
“Well, I still can’t use my electronic equipment. No internet, don’t you know. But I have done some calculations on my cell phone and this is what I have–”
I interrupted, “Not going out to see whether your shadow is here or not?”
“That’s old fashioned,” he said with a grit in his voice. “That’s for that fraud, wanna be, in Pennsylvania.”
“OK, I’m sorry.”
He rubbed his chin, and proclaimed, “The winter started out mild and it will end mild. Look for an early spring!”
“That was an even bolder prediction than the Super Bowl,” was my response.
“You can take it to the bank!” he shot back.
So, I bid my farewell for this year, exited the door, and on my way home wondered, “With those two predictions, was he actually starting to lose his mind?”
Roland’s trivia question of the week:
Who has won more Super Bowls, Philadelphia or Kansas City?
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