"Good morning. This is Rod Hardwick coming to you live from the Oregon Zoo where Georgie the Groundhog has just emerged from his---"
"Uh, 'scuse me pal, ya see? Ya got a nice shtick going here and all, ya see, but I ain't no groundhog, ya see?"
"Naw man, Ima squirrel, ya see? Stevie's my name, ya see. Stevie Squirrel."
"Yeah, I know, you're wonderin', ya see. You're wondering what a squirrel, ya see, is doin' in a groundhog burrow, ya see."
"It's a story, ya see. A sad, sad story. Ya see?"
"I'm not sure that--"
"Naw, really, sit down man. And make sure that camera there gets my good side, ya see?"
"I guess, um, roll tape?"
"That's it, ya see. Now, ya see, Ima squirrel. A fine speciman of a ground squirrel, ya see? No, man, flash up that stock photo of me. I know ya got one."
"Yeah, man, that's the one. That was me, last August, ya see. Look good, don't I?"
"Thanks man, that means a lot to me, ya see? So, anyhows, there I was, minding my own business, ya see, having a good time doin my squirrel thing. Then one day, ya see, I decides to climb this fence -- hey man, run that picture, will ya?"
"Sigh. Go ahead, Carl."
"Yeah, that's the one. Man, do I look good. That's when my hair was shorter, ya see? Makes my ears stand out more, ya see? Anyhow, where was I? Oh yeah, so Ima climbing this fence, ya see, cause I smelled somethin' good, ya see? And it turned out Ima climbing into this zoo here, ya see?"
"Yes, I see."
"Good, man, try ta keep up, ya see? So I climbs this fence, ya see, followin' my nose and all, and then wham! I gets scooped up by this guy, ya see? Hey, we got any footage of that?"
"Yeah, okay. Not important. Kinda embarrasin' actually, ya see. Anyhows, ya see, this guy grabs me and puts me ina cage. And it's a nice cage and all, ya see, big but cozy, ya see, but still. So Ima askin' ya see, yo Holmes, man, what gives? And that's when I find out, ya see."
"Find out what?"
"It's Georgie, ya see. Man, it's sad."
"Anyone ever tell you you got a kinda abrupt interviewing style? Ya see? No? Yeah, okay. Not important. Anyhows, that's when Ima find out, ya see, Georgie's dead."
"Georgie the Groundhog is dead? Did you hear that, Monica? This is Rod Rodwick, I mean Hardwick, coming to you live from the Oregon Zoo where--"
"Hey man, ya see, Ima not done with my story. Seriously, man, J school -- check it out, ya see? So, Ima sayin -- run that picture, will ya Carl?"
"Yeah, that's the one. Thanks Carl! Turns out Georgie'd had a heart attack just that mornin'."
"Oh my god! Monica, are you getting this? Georgie the Groundhog has died---"
"Naw, ya see, he's gonna be okay. His cholesterol was somethin' awful, ya see, through the roof! They fixed it though, ya see, although I don't know about that there tail, maybe that's a side effect of the meds or something, ya see. Anyhows, back to me. So Ima in this cage, and they tells me, ya see, they tells me they need a stand in for Georgie, do his thing in February, for him, ya see. Kinda like a stunt double, ya see. And Ima thinkin', ya see, Ima thinkin' cool! So I sign up for the gig, ya see. Only there's a problem, ya see."
"Hey Carl, run that picture of Georgie. Naw man, not that one, ya see, the other one."
"Yeah man, thanks, that's the one. What is that, Glamour Shots? I gotta get me some a' those. Anyhows, where was I? Oh yeah, ya see, there's a problem. Ya see, Georgie -- bein' a groundhog and all -- is kinda big, ya see. In the bottom, ya see. Baby got back, ya see? And me-- Hey Carl! Run that other picture of me, will ya?"
"Thanks Carl! You know, man, you really oughtta give Carl a raise, ya see? So anyhows, you can see the problem, ya see. Ima athletic squirrel, ya see, and Georgie ain't been ta the gym, ya see, in a long time. But these zoo guys, ya see, they tells me they got a solution, ya see. And that's where the nuts come in, ya see?"
"Nuts, man. They start feedin' me, ya see. They start feedin' me nuts, ya see, every kinda nut there is, ya see?"
"They got peanuts and cashew nuts and almond nuts and brazil nuts and hazel nuts. Macadamia nuts and walnuts, ya see, and pistachio nuts and pine nuts. Hey Carl, roll that picture of me eatin' the nuts."
"That Carl, man, he's good, he oughtta win an Emmy or somethin', ya see? Anyway, like I was sayin', nuts is the fruit of the tree, ya see. You can barbecue them, boil them, broil them, bake them, saute them. Dey's uh, nut-kabobs, nut creole, nut gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple nuts, lemon nuts, coconut nuts, pepper nuts, nut soup, nut stew, nut salad, nuts and potatoes, nut burger, nut sandwich. That- that's about it. Ya see?"
"I believe I'm starting too."
"Yeah, ya see, that's good. Get to know your subject, ya see? Anyhows, ya see, eatin' all these nuts, I start to get fat, ya see. Fat like Georgie. And finally, I gets big enough, they put me out here, ya see, in Georgie's burrow, ya see, for my big debut. Carl, run that picture so's they can all see"
"Man is a genius, ya see. So it's February 2, ya see, now I gotta do my big thing, ya see. Only, ya see, I just don' get it. Ya see"
"What's that, Mr. Squirrel?"
"Oh yeah, man, ya see, I likes that. 'Mr. Squirrel.' Only, ya see, ya gotta puts my nickname in there. Ya see, after this ya see I'll be know as Stevie "Stunt Double" Squirrel. Ya see? Yeah, you see. Anyhows, I don't get the story about the groundhog, ya see. Ya see, the story goes that if it's cloudy, ya see, when the groundhog comes outta its burrow, ya see, it's gonna leave its burrow meaning winter's gonna end soon, ya see? But, ya see, iffen it's sunny then the groundhog, ya see, he's gonna see his shadow and be all freaked out by it, ya see, and run back inside like a little girl, ya see, meanin' winter's gonna stick around for another six weeks. Ya see?"
"That is my understanding of the tale, yes."
"It makes no sense though, ya see? Ya see, iffen Ima gonna poke my head outta this burrow, ya see, and it's cold, Ima gonna go back inside, ya see, where's it all warm and cozy and I gots a hot little squirrel babe waitin' for me. Ya see?"
"But iffen I pokes my head out and it's sunny? Stevie "Stunt Double" Squirrel, ya see, he ain't gonna run from his shadow, ya see. No way. Iffen it's sunny, Ima gonna go lie out in that sun, ya see. Gets me a tan."
"And, ya see, iffen it's cold, ya see, that should mean that winter's here, ya see, and she's stayin'. But iffen it be sunny, ya see, then winter, ya see, that bitch is on her way out. Ya see?"
"Dude. You had it goin' on there, ya see, for a while, but now you's back to these one word things, ya see. Go to Carl, ya see. Learn from him. Ya see?"
"Just tryin' ta help, man, ya see. Anyhows, ya see, I thought of one other thing. What if it's cold, ya see, but sunny? Like today here in Oregon. That prima donna Punxsutawney Phil mighta not seen his shadow today, ya see, predictin' an early spring ya see, but they's got a blizzard back east, ya see, they be doin' a lotta wishful thinkin', ya see? And that Phil, ya see, he's gotta lotta corporate sponsors, ya see. Ya can't really trust him, ya see?"
"Well, it's 10:30, it's time ya see for my big debut. Yep, time for my--- What? What? A frickin' hedgehog? Whattaya mean, a hedgehog is traditional? Where's my agent? After all those nuts---SAG is gonna hear about this! Ya see!! I won't be pushed outta the limelight for a hedgehog -- and an African pygmy hedgehog at that! C'mon, baby, as soon as I can get my fat ass outta this burrow we're outta here!"
"Breaking news, Monica. This is Carl Palmer coming to you live from the Oregon Zoo where local reporter Rod Hardwick has just had a nervous breakdown. Are you getting this footage, Monica?"
"It's coming through perfectly, Carl. Congratulations on your promotion!"
"Thanks Monica! Still no news on whether an early spring will come to Oregon....."
Happy Groundhog Day everyone!