Fauxhasset Paroder, 78th Edition: The Return of the Groundhog

By Thamanda Crompson
Fauxhasset Paroder Staff Reporter

Groundhog Day came and went with the normal amount of fanfare. Punxsutawney Phil made his customary appearance on the Common, emerging from the Hallowed Burrow to prophesy six more weeks of winter to the thousands of residents listening raptly on the Town Common.

Fauxsutawney Fil, a large raccoon who claimed to be the reincarnation of the original groundhog RALPH and last year triggered the Thousand Foot Snow, was long gone through the Accursed Burrow. Fauxhasset believed it was safe from anything more sinister than another 42 days of winter.

It was wrong.

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Speaker of the Fenclave Shannon Blackstone says residents’ discarded cash will boost the nation-state’s fledgling economy. | Photo credit

Just as the festivities were dying down, the stars began to keen and a steady womp-womp-womp could be heard in the distance. An unnaturally large blue moon appeared in the west to face down the small, pale gibbous rising in the east.

Soon the massive impostor raccoon appeared on the horizon, silhouetted against the uncanny blue moon and flanked by his multi-specied worshippers (including 13 indestructible porcupines, which were supposed to ensure Fauxhasset never saw the impostor raccoon again, but had apparently been converted to Fil’s cause).

“My fellow Fauxhassians,” Fil boomed. “Last year, you drove me out of your fine town, being displeased with the eternal winter I so benevolently bestowed upon you. This year, I will do better. Phil has promised you six more weeks of winter. I now promise you that winter is hereby over – forever.”

“Cold? Snow? Things of the past,” Fil promised. “Instead, I give you warmth, sunshine, and Christmas every day!”

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Not like this was a rare sight, anyway. | Photo credit

Explosive applause from the children. As for the adults, those gathered seemed uncertain whether or not to cheer. Many began to clap at the mention of permanent paradise weather, only to freeze up at the mention of permanent Christmas. Other simply downed their drinks and threw their cash in the air.

“Eh, we were just going to burn it to keep our home warm for the next six weeks, anyway,” explained one celebrant. “Not sure Christmas every day will eat through it fast enough.”

Fil and his congregation returned peacefully to the Womp, while befuddled residents trailed back to their homes. Students of the Fenclave stayed late into the night raking up all the cash with the help of the Green and Renewable Energy Group (GREG).

“I am constantly blown away by the disrespect these people show to the environment,” said GREG Chairman Kelvin Ermits. “All this litter – we provided receptacles for paper, plastic and glass at every exit! How much easier can we make it?”

Speaker of the Fenclave Shannon Blackstone said, “I think the thing we need to address, and no one is talking about this – but all this paper is actually, like, money. I mean, it’s old money. We can’t, like, Venmo it or anything. But Prezzy Jimmy says it has legit value, so we’re collecting it to add to our burgeoning economy.”

“Hey,” Blackstone added, looking over her shoulder to Fenclave President Jimmy Garoppolo for guidance. “Do colleges take this stuff?”

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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.

Fauxhasset Paroder, 42nd Edition: Punxsutawney Punk’d, Part 5

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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It’s the ciiiiiiircle of liiiiiiife after death. Photo credit

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.

[Punxsutawney Punk’d, Part 6]