A Frumious Bandersnatch Classic:

PHOENIX GROUNDHOG BURIED ALIVE
12 MORE YEARS OF SUMMER FORECAST

PHOENIX: Phoenix Phil, Arizona's official groundhog, was buried alive beneath a recently constructed Wal Mart parking lot. Therefore, he did not appear on Groundhog Day and forecast the weather by looking for his shadow. 

"That groundhog, he was a gonner," explained Governor Janet Napolitano. Phil in better times

"There is no precedent for the groundhog not showing up," said Arizona State Senator John Dumbreak, "so we don't know what this means for sure." Dumbreak introduced legislation to designate Randy the Rattlesnake as the official February 2nd weather prognosticator for Arizona. The legislation was passed in emergency session. 

"Problem is, rattlesnakes don't have a shadow,"noted the Governor, "but irrationality and misinformation has never stopped the state legislature from passing stupid laws."

Baja Arizona neo-luddites were thrilled at the news that Phoenix's groundhog ended up beneath six inches of asphalt. 

"Maybe, in retribution, God will punish their progress-mad leaders and bury Phoenix under 3 feet of snow," commented Ned Ludlight, local luddite leader. 

"More likely they'll end up with 12 more years of summer," quipped Joe Sam, our foreign correspondent and  statutory agent.

Frightened Phoenix Chamber of Commerce officials frantically dug in the parking lot until well after dawn on the 2nd, hoping that the groundhog could be found. 

Wal Mart officials were not amused at having their parking lot torn up.

"Using a rattlesnake as our February 2nd weather critter doesn't send the right message out about Arizona" explained Sonja Sellem, with the Phoenix Chamber. 

The rattlesnake appeared at dawn, and bit a television news anchor on the ankle. Film at 10.

Memorial services for Phil were held in the parking lot.


GIANT PRARIE DOG SIGHTED SOUTH OF TUCSON
7 MORE YEARS OF COPPER MINING FORECAST

TUCSON: A giant prarie dog was sighted south of Tucson, Baja Arizona, on February 2nd. The prarie dog, which stood almost 200 feet tall, was caught in a rare photograph of the elusive creature.

The giant prarie dog cast an enormous shadow.

"There have been rumors of giant prarie dogs south of the city for years, " said Phil Brick, vice president of Giant Hole Mining Corporation. The large number of giant holes and huge piles of dirt at the Giant Hole copper mine south of Tucson had given rise to the huge prarie dog rumor. "Just because our mine looks like a giant prarie dog village doesn't mean there are such critters," added Brick.

It had been claimed by members of the scientific community that the huge holes were solely caused by the mining operation. However, the photo provides irrefutable evidence that giant prarie dogs are the cause.

Thousands of Tucsonans have staked out the prarie dog village in the hope of catching sight of one of the enormous rodents. "Now we've got a tourist attraction that rivals the Loch Ness Monster," said Sally Rally, head of the Tucson Visitors Bureau.

The sighting of the giant prarie dog on Groundhog Day was seen as a portent that there would be 7 more years of copper mining in the area.

Giant Hole officials were happy at that interpretation, since copper prices have fallen and many expect the mine would close soon.

"On the whole, I'd rather have 7 more weeks of Winter than 7 more years of copper mining," said an opponent of the mine.


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