…to, Groundhog Day, and the feast of St. Blaise, savior of talk show hosts everywhere!

First to the rodent.

Back when, all eyes on this date were on one small town in Western Pennsylvania.

And as of early this morning…we’re finding out that, at least according to Punxsutawney Phil, we get another 6 more weeks of winter.

If it’s winter like the one we’re having now…hell, bring it!

That kind of puts him at odds with Milltown Mel!

Both he and his neighbor to the north, Essex Ed, are our resident prognosticators.

Ed, thus far, a little behind the 8 ball as of this writing, but as of 7:30 this morning, Mel said “early spring” awaits.

No shiz-nit!

Mel, of the Al Gore “global warming” school of thought.

Leads me to think, “well, if there’s an early spring, no wonder we’re all coming down with sore throats.!”

And that’s where we (in the talking head business) call on St. Blaise to the rescue…(or at least we did, until we discovered Fisherman’s Friend!).

For anyone who went to Catholic School, you might remember a priest visiting your classroom each and every February 3rd, with 2 crisscrossed candles that he’d jab into your throat while choking the very life out of you…

Ooh, sorry, I got a little carried away there!

Where was I? Oh yes…

Placing the crisscrossed candles into your throat while saying a prayer to the patron saint of throat protection.

(See, and you thought it was the Pine Brothers…which, by the way, besides Dennis, I grew up with too. I liked the honey ones!)

Somehow, through the intersession of the saint, you were then protected from various maladies that would accompany the arrival of spring.

I recall one time I invited a priest friend of mine, a Father Fred Pelligrino, former member of the Rossi Posse and listener of mine from back when I was playing country records, to the radio station to bless the throats of both myself and my producer at the time….a kid by the name of Dennis Murphy.

Fr. Fred took out the candles, and placed them over the throat of the unsuspecting kid, who recoiled in horror…not knowing what was to befall him.

I told him, “whattsa matter, you never heard of St. Blaise? And you went to Catholic School? You got nothing to worry about! He’s only gonna bless your throat!”

So I told Fr. Fred to continue upon which he said his little prayer and was on his way.

As for the kid?

After all that, he called out sick the next day with a cold!