By Thamanda Crompson
Fauxhasset Paroder Staff Reporter
The most hated man in town is now a hero.
Ord Girdlehyde, owner of Pacifica, Ye Olde Salt House, the Mad Elephant Hotel, and basically the entire harbor (he’s kind of a big deal) cut short his winter holiday on the African savannah and returned to snowy Fauxhasset to search for Punxsutawney Phil, missing since Feb. 2. And he found him.
Girdlehyde teamed up with JJ Henry, developer of the 8 Lame Jane townhomes, and a band of coyotes who had been living at the Mad Elephant Hotel to sniff out the missing groundhog.
“The bad weather was crippling our business,” Girdlehyde said. “The black hole in the harbor was one thing, but nobody wants to get married in the snow.”
“Construction was at a standstill,” added Henry. “We actually convinced the Planning Board to lift the cease and desist order, but a lot of good it did us with all this snow.”
Our heroes found Phil on Fame Island in a dead-end tunnel, blocked in by a large boulder that had been rolled in front of the mouth of the cave.
The property owner had started blasting the tunnel out of the coastal ledge to build a knock-off Space Mountain roller coaster before the Guardians of the Ocean, Shore and Harbor (GOSH) told him he couldn’t put a theme park on the island for environmental reasons. Now, what had been intended as a fun escape had become a prison.
Upon rolling the boulder aside, the men were briefly blinded by a bright light emanating from the cave. No… not from the cave. From the groundhog inside. As their eyes adjusted, the radiant rodent turned to face them.
“The time of shadows is past,” said Punxsutawney Phil in a deep baritone – and indeed, he cast no shadow, only light: a sure sign that spring had arrived.
The imposter, dubbed “Fauxsutawney Fil” by locals, still has not been apprehended, but his sway over the town seems to have diminished already. The snow has stopped falling, and the sun even broke through the clouds this morning. The uppermost layers of snow have begun to soften.
Still, it’s likely to be a while yet before we’re rid of these 3,141 inches of snow. So keep rationing that milky bread, and as always, remember to tip your carrier squirrel.
It’s probably safe to stop with the burnt offerings, though.