Yes. That is one tortured looking groundhog. Now, I can't say that being coddled by a fat man in a top hat in front of thousands of people is my idea of a picnic, but the difference is I'm a person. I'm privileged enough to choose who coddles me and how many people are allowed to watch. And while I'm sure P squared is devastated by his inability to waddle and frolic with his wild cousin groundhogs, a robotic Phil is a bad idea for exactly three reasons:
1. Punxsutawney Phil has been living in the lap of luxury for some time now. He has a climate controlled habitat, all the food he could ever want, no predators, all for working for approximately 10 minutes a year. Were he to be suddenly released into the wild, he would, within several minutes no doubt, be eaten alive by whatever eats groundhogs (much like if Paris Hilton were to suddenly become poor).
2. Why would we take away the groundhog's only hero? Won't someone think of the baby groundhog cubs dreaming that maybe they, someday, could rise up, overcoming life's many obstacles and dangers to become the next Punxsutawney Phil? Don't robots already have enough heroes like Conky and Tony Dungy?
3. Really PETA? Don't you think there may be slightly bigger animal problems in the world like oh, I don't know, illegal dolphin hunting off the coast of Japan and the over-harvesting of many, many fish species in the oceans? How about people abusing their pets or trying to domesticate exotic animals? What about the circus? Why won't you do something to put an end to the freaking circus!?!?!
I say let Phil stay. The unfortunate reality is this groundhog has it better than most people in this country, let alone the world. Maybe someone should start a new organization, PETOP, People for the Ethical Treatment Of People. (Watch out! I have a soapbox and I know how to use it!)
I thought briefly of a forth reason being a general fear that the electronic groundhog would turn on the Top Hat Man and run amok in the streets of PA. But then I thought that would be ridiculous. Or would it.......