Fauxhasset Paroder, 54th Edition: Punxsutawney Punk’d, Part 6

by Thamanda Crompson
Fauxhasset Paroder Staff Reporter

[Read the Punxsutawney Punk’d saga from the beginning]

[Refresh your memory on the latest episode]

Things have been quiet in the Womp. Too quiet. Even the pig-bear and her cub haven’t been seen in a while. We at the Paroder were starting to get suspicious, so we assembled an investigative team to go and, well, investigate.

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Repent and worship. Photo credit

Your reporter was joined by the Local Animal Whisperer (LAW) and Rookie Ranger Devan Branch, Part-Time Jedi, Part-Time Pirate, and Part-Time Wandering Minstrel, who has been trying to redeem himself since the pirate flag incident.

LAW led the search, veering off the beaten path to follow some sign or scent invisible to us. But it wasn’t long before everyone could hear it: the telltale heart, the drum-like beat, the thrumming womp-womp-womp that had earned the state park its name.

The trees grew close, blocking out the sun. Progress grew slow and labored. Just as we thought we would be forced to turn back – a fact we signaled to one another with sign language, since the womping had grown so loud – we broke through into a moonlit clearing. This despite having started our journey at around 10:00 in the morning. We certainly had not walked for 12 hours. And yet, it was night.

And it was loud. Not just with womping, but with animal sounds. The clearing was full of them, cheeping and chirping and barking and hissing and flapping. At the center rose a tower that was surely tall enough to be seen for miles, though no one in the outside world seemed to have noticed it. It was built from concrete scraps with bits of graffiti on the sides. And at the top, sitting in a scrap metal throne…

“Fil,” growled the LAW, charging forward, gun drawn.

Fauxsutawney Fil is an armed and dangerous raccoon who emerged from the Hallowed Burrow on Groundhog Day, claiming to be the reincarnation of the original Roman groundhog RALPH (Romulus Augustus Legolas Petrificus-totalus Hedghogius).

When the community refused to believe him and repent, Fil had vanished into the Womp, leaving the town to clean up his mess – namely, the Mile-High Snow of 2017, not to mention the still-missing Mr. Phil (later found trapped in a cave on Fame Island).

The LAW has been looking for the impostor ever since. But today was not to be his day. The animal sounds quickly turned unfriendly as the LAW barreled through the crowd, and he didn’t get far before they’d arrested him altogether. He was tied up with snakes and carried away by wolves. If he made a sound, it was only to whisper futilely, for the animal whisperer had finally met his match.

“My friends!” boomed Fil. “So good to see you. I take it you’ve come to repent.”

“Hells nah,” said Branch.

The next thing we knew, those unfriendly animal sounds were all around us, and we were borne away by the crowd. Readers, things look grim for us. I write this on my dying cell phone from Fil’s concrete prison. I don’t know if I can even post from here. Honestly, I’m not even sure this is the same universe I woke up in, and I can’t afford the inter-dimensional data plan.

If you’re able to read this, then please, notify the authorities. The police, the Panic Brigade, the Regional Animal Whisperer – whoever you can find. Both of us are (for the moment) alive and unharmed. The pig-bear snuck us a bag of potato chips and a crumbled Pop-Tart, so at least we won’t starve. But we don’t know Fil’s plans, and he seems like the unhinged type, so the sooner you send help, the better.

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Fauxhasset Paroder, 36th Edition: Punxsutawney Punk’d, Part 4

by Thamanda Crompson
Fauxhasset Paroder Staff Reporter

[Read the Punxsutawney Punk’d saga from the beginning]

[Catch up on the latest installment]

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Remember to tip your carrier squirrel! Between snow cleanup and mail delivery, those little guys are working overtime. Photo credit

At dawn on the last day of winter, the sky churned forth a great blizzard, the likes of which made last month’s 12 feet of snow look like a cute little Christmas snow globe.

It blustered all day and all night. Then, at dawn on the first day of spring, Fauxsutawney Fil appeared.

Fil rode into town on a wooden sleigh drawn by nine of the Womp’s 50-antlered mutant deer. The foremost had a 3,000-lumen LED nose compliant with the Green and Renewable Energy Group’s sustainability guidelines for the town.

The deer returned Fil to the Hallowed Burrow from whence he’d emerged on Groundhog Day. The wrathful raccoon then took to his soapbox, guarded by his squadron of deer so that the Local and Regional Animal Whisperers (LAW and RAW) couldn’t reach him.

“This is just sad,” said Fil, surveying the paltry hundred spectators who had bundled up and gathered on the Common to hear him speak. The rest were hunkered down inside, praying (as would soon become clear) to entirely the wrong god.

“Nobody likes winter,” said Fil. “Do you like winter? I don’t like winter. So I worked out a deal with your leaders to keep winter from ever bothering you nice folks again.”

“That’s what they asked for. That’s what you all asked for,” said Fil. “But instead of thanks, what do I get? Hunted, that’s what I get. And the whole town out looking for that impostor, Punxsutawney Phil, without a word of thanks for me! Sad. Don’t you know who I am?”

No one, in fact, knew who he was.

“Sad,” Fil repeated.

The large raccoon claimed to be the reincarnation of the original “Groundhog,” a Roman hedgehog by the name of Romulus Augustus Legolas Petrificus-totalus Hedgehogius (May He Rest In… ah, well, scratch that last part now, I guess) – or, for short, RALPH.

Like most modern holidays, Fil recounted, Groundhog Day started out as a religious tradition. All the ceremonies, festivals, and ritual sacrifices were made on RALPH’s account – and he, a god, showed mercy by ushering in the spring on years when the people’s efforts pleased him.

Of course, any history book will tell you that much. The real question is whether Fil truly is RALPH, or whether the raccoon is not only mad, but also mad. And the question’s not just rhetorical. Fauxhasset will have to decide what it believes, and soon, before the whole town is buried in snow.

“I tried to warn you all with that storm last month,” Fil said. “I’ve been very reasonable. From day one, all I’ve asked of you was repentance. But I guess that was too much. Well, no more Mr. Nice Guy. This time the snow’s not stopping until every last one of you stands before me and personally repents.”

Look for more on this issue in an upcoming edition of the Paroder. And please remember to tip your carrier squirrel; between mail delivery and snow cleanup, those little guys are working overtime.

[Punxsutawney Punk’d, Part 5]

Fauxhasset Paroder Op-Ed: Lame Jane condos

Dear Editor,

Normally I would not take the time to write to your paper, as I am busy man. However, your last issue had me absolutely floored. Imagine my surprise when I opened the paper to see your mysterious eight pointed symbol, only to find that the paper did not even know the nature of this iconography. As a religious teacher at the Flaxen-Mary Abbey and longtime self-taught religious scholar, I felt it was my duty to inform your readers to its true purpose and the possible danger that awaits Fauxhasset.

There is no doubt in my mind that the symbol is one from the Egyptian religious mythos. Specifically, it can only be the “Star of Ishtar.”  I am sure my equally educated peers will agree, but for your readers, I will give a small backstory of the Goddess Ishtar.

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Ishtar is one of the lesser known false deities worshipped in the Egyptian tradition. Photo credit

Some scholars believe Ishtar was more than an Egyptian goddess. She possibly could have been a regional deity of both Northern Africa and the Middle East. 

Any encyclopedia will mention that Ishtar was a goddess of many things: of power, war,  love (both in the traditional sense and the pleasures of the flesh), and of course fertility. Most importantly, she is linked to tales of the underworld. 

The Star of Ishtar, her symbol, is well-known to be an eight-pointed star, as people of the time were fascinated by the simple geometric shape of the octagon. But these eight points have yet another meaning more relevant to Lame Jane’s curious housing woes.

It is believed in Egyptian Mythology that eight gates separate the world of the living from the world of the dead. Now, normally, this is the god Osiris’ domain. In several myths however, Ishtar is noted to have control over these gates. It is one such myth, in which she opens the gates and threatens to unleash the dead upon the living, that I find the most troubling.

Putting aside the fact that Heaven and Hell are the only true afterlives, I believe someone is trying to use the Star to summon forth an army of the dead.

As a religious scholar, I can speak with confidence about the afterlife from the perspective of several religions. One commonly accepted theory is that the afterlife is a large plane of existence (how else would it contain all the souls of everyone who has died since the creation of the world?). This would fully explain why the houses at Lame Jane seem bigger on the inside: They truly are, for the Star has linked the mortal plane with that of the afterlife. 

At this point, I fear I have wasted far too much time writing this. If the Paroder asks me to write a fuller account of the possible dangers to your town, perhaps I will. I can only encourage you all to stay vigilant and, of course, pray.

Father Mumblehill, Flaxen-Mary Abbey, Kingham