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, 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]

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]