Punxsutawney Pete
by Jeff Goode
copyright © 2007


(Enter old PHIL, limping slightly.)

(Enter PETE.)

PETE Hey, Phil.

PHIL Hey, Pete.

PETE Big day today.

PHIL Yeah, it’s a big day. It’s Groundhog Day. It’s always a big day for us.

PETE I dunno, though. Looks bigger than normal this year. I think they got all of Punxsutawney out there today. Some of ’em I don’t even recognize. Lotta guys with cameras. What do you think? Out of towners?

PHIL Those are the news crews.

PETE Ya think?

PHIL They’re here every year.

PETE I wondered why they had so many cameras. So you’re gonna be on TV.

PHIL For Pete’s Sake, Pete, of course I’m gonna be on TV. They cover this event every year.

PETE If you say so, Phil. I guess you’d know. I’m just the understudy. Stay in the hole, that’s what I do. You’re out there under the lights. Makin’ the call. You’d know. That’s what I always say. Ya wanna know what’s what, just ask Phil.

PHIL I gotta get ready.

PETE Sure, no problem. I’ll just stay outta your way. How you feelin’, by the way?

PHIL I’m good, Pete. Thanks for asking.

PETE Cuz you look a little tired.

PHIL I just woke up.

PETE Muscles a little stiff.

PHIL I’m fine.

PETE You’re fine, now? You’re down from good to fine in, like, a minute. You want me to call someone?


PETE Phil, you’re crashin’, hog. We gotta get you to a vet or something. This sounds serious.

PHIL Pete, you are not going on.

PETE What…?

PHIL You are not going on for me. Not this year.

PETE You think-- I’m surprised at you, Phil. I am shocked. Try to show a little concern for a guy, and this is the thanks. Accusations and suspicions is what I get.

PHIL I’m not accusing you.

PETE No, fine, that’s okay. You go on. Don’t let me stop you. Go ahead and go out there with your arthritis acting up.

PHIL I don’t have arthritis.

PETE Sure, you don’t.

PHIL I don’t!

PETE Lie to yourself if you want, I see you limpin’ in here every year.

PHIL That’s not a limp. It’s an affectation. I do it for the kids.

PETE Your pirate impression’s not foolin’ anyone in this burrow. You got a game leg, hog.

PHIL My leg is fine.

PETE Yeah, it’s fine until you go out there in front of everybody and pull a hammy dodging shadows. I’m here for you, Phil. But those people out there? They don’t care. You could win the Kentucky Derby for ’em, but you blow it in the Preakness and they’ll put you down like a sick animal. Don’t kid yourself. You are one slip-up away from being a wall mount at the Punxsutawney Lodge.

PHIL That’s ridiculous. They wouldn’t do that.

PETE Oh, no? What do you think happened to Phil Senior?

PHIL My dad?

PETE I hear they dragged him away screaming after he was too fat to get out of the hole one year.

PHIL They took him to a health spa. To lose the weight.

PETE Yeah, but he never came back, did he?

PHIL Well, I--

PETE He embarrassed them, and they had him stuffed.

PHIL That’s not true.

PETE You never thought to ask, did you? You saw your chance at the spotlight, and you didn’t even care what happened to your dad.

PHIL He’s down at the lodge?

PETE You walk by there and see for yourself. If you look in the window, you can see him stickin’ out over the fire place.

PHIL My God!

PETE And you keep limpin’ around on tender paws like that and they’re gonna start thinking you might look more majestic when you’re not moving around so much.

PHIL I think I’m gonna be sick.

PETE Nah, you’re not gonna back out on me now. You can do this.

PHIL I can’t. Pete, I can’t. What if I blow it? I got a family! Who’s gonna take care of little Phil the Third?

PETE Suck it up, hog. You want him to see his daddy like this? On national TV?

PHIL Oh no. The cameras! They add ten pounds. What if they think I’m too fat?

PETE That was your dad’s issue. You gotta worry about your feet. Stop limping.

PHIL No, no, I can’t do it.

PETE Yes, you can.

PHIL You gotta go on.

PETE I can’t, Phil, I’m not you.

PHIL You are now. You’re going on, Pete. I gotta go home. I gotta see my wife. I gotta get out of here.

PETE Phil, wait!

PHIL Break a leg, Pete.

(PHIL scurries off.)

PETE Well, Punxsutawney Pete… The show must go on…

(PETE strides out of the burrow into the light.)