MR WRONG: Wordchuck Day!


MR WRONG: Wordchuck Day!
A motionless individual, alert to danger, will whistle when alarmed, to warn other groundhogs. Replaces Image:Groundhog Standing1.jpg, which, although of a higher resolution, is at a much poorer angle. Shot near the Mississippi River, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Copyright © 2004 by April King, aka Marumari, donated to Wikipedia under the GFDL.

MR WRONG: The Shadow of Inspiration

WHERE HAS THE time gone? The Editor of Indignity asked me about the Estimated Time I thought would be the Arrival of this week’s Mr. Wrong column, and in the interest of total Transparency, I replied “Wha-huh,” on account of I had not even parked my haunches in front of a computer to type anything, column-wise.

When I did get most of my fingers (I am a three-fingered typist, Index, Middle, and Thumb for the spacebar) in the “home” position on the keyboard, I realized I had not thought about a topic this week, until I looked at today’s date, February, 1, which is the eve of Groundhog Day, one of the most solid and regurgitatable topics in all of Columning! Groundhog! I love it when a column comes together this way, Organically, with Integrity and Earnestness of Inspiration!

Seriously, though, Groundhog Day has always been important to me, and not just as a solid and dependable crutch used to help fill column-space! When I was a kid they used to show lots of old movies on Network Television, they were free, you didn’t need a cable or anything, just a TV set, and the teevee shows would just fly through the air. They still do, if you have a good TV antenna. There was a movie I remember watching, probably on a Saturday night, a big movie night on Broadcast Television (I think they call old-school regular-TV Broadcast Programming Linear Television now), a movie entitled How To Succeed in Business Without Trying, and it was based on a musical, so it was Musical, it had musical numbers, which, as a kid, I didn’t have a lotta patience for, except the song—or at least a tiny mini teensy chunk of a song that got lodged in my brain and remains—where the Hero of the movie, the guy who is really trying to Succeed Without Trying, sucks up to the big boss by pretending to have gone to the same college, and they sing about it. “Groundhog!” they sing, in reference to the college mascot, so I always thought the song was called “Groundhog,” but it’s not, it’s called “Grand Old Ivy,” and I have no idea if any of that is accurate, but it is my Memory, you know? I would make a terrible Witness for the Prosecution or Defense, just saying, don’t pick me. Also, whatever it is, I didn’t do it. Groundhog!

So, Groundhog is in my brain. Groundhog calms me and gives me perspective on Life and The World. There is a Groundhog-shaped box in my Frontal Lobe or whatever, and inside is Rudy Vallee, and Robert Morse, and they are singing “Groundhog! Groundhog!”

I enjoy the movie The Hudsucker Proxy because it’s like a non-musical and meaner version of the How to Succeed movie, mixed with some other movies. I also enjoy the Groundhog Day movie, and I hope the Groundhog was treated well, and I enjoyed when it drove the car in that one part.

Groundhog! I still get mad when people exploit the Groundhog for the whole “how many more weeks of Winter” thing. It’s six weeks! We have six weeks more of Winter. I will never forgive Bill de Blasio, former doofus Mayor of New York City and still doofus, for murdering that poor Groundhog that one time for some stupid Groundhog Day event. They got it on video, I’m not linking to it.

Groundhog is an important topic! I know this because look at how many words there are for Groundhog! There’s also Woodchuck, and Marmot, based on the Science name for the Groundhog, Marmota monax, and there’s one I have never heard anyone speak aloud, but it is documented: Whistle Pig, which is what they call a Groundhog in Appalachia, apparently. Columnists are also important, though! "Wordchuck," or "Word Pig," is the Appalachian term for "Columnist." This is the Special Relationship enjoyed by Whistle Hog and Wordchuck alike.

Anyway! Groundhog! Today is February 1, and tomorrow is February 2! Groundhog Day! It’s cold, and it’s gonna get warmer eventually, and then it will be Spring! Contemplate The Groundhog. Ponder The Groundhog. Be nice to The Groundhog. If you see me tomorrow, you should realize this is what’s playing inside my head. I’m so glad I didn’t think about a Topic for this week’s Mr. Wrong column. Thank you, and Groundhog.

The MR. WRONG COLUMN is a general-interest column appearing weekly wherever it can appear. No refunds. Write Wrong:


New York City, January 31, 2024

★ The forecast said there was no chance of rain, but no one could fully believe it under skies with a 100 percent chance of unbroken bleakness. The middle of the day was so dim it might as well already have been fading out. Water gurgled down a pathside grate in the Park, making its belated exit from higher ground. Sweetgum balls on heavily laden branches added shape if not color to the trees and thickets on the shore of the Pool. The brightest things on the landscape were the yellowish bare trunks of plane trees. Even the breasts of the robins on the ball fields were dark and dull, and the red flags warning people off the grass. Water stood cupped in the dented surface of old muck. No path would keep going the right way for long.


Indignity Morning Podcast No. 209: Reassure the humans.

Tom Scocca • Feb 1, 2024


EVERY DAY, READERS of Indignity who have previously benefited from the Bluesky-code generosity of other readers of Indignity continue to pay it forward and provide us with codes for the still-beta social network. If you haven’t already gotten a code from us, we have lots of Bluesky codes to share. Email and we will award codes to those who respond, one per reader, first email, first served.


WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS for the assembly of sandwiches from Aunt Sammy's Radio Recipes, developed by the Bureau of Home Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published in 1927, these recipes are now in the Public Domain and available at for the delectation of all.


1. Mix equal quantities of Neufchatel or cream cheese with chopped olives, pimentos, and nuts, or any one or two of these. Add salt and a little onion juice, if liked. Spread on slices of white or graham bread.

2. Mix the cheese with finely chopped dill pickle, chowchow, chili sauce, or any other desired pickle mixture. Use as sandwich filling or as a spread on crackers.

3. Into the soft cheese, work finely chopped parsley, watercress, lettuce, spring onions, celery, or any other salad vegetable. Add salt and any other seasoning desired, such as onion or lemon juice.

4. Wash prunes, dates, raisins, or dried figs or apricots, and put them through the food chopper, using the fine knife. Mix the ground fruit with about twice as much cheese. Add a little salt and chopped nuts if desired. This filling may also be served on crackers for afternoon tea.

5. Finely chopped pineapple mixed with the cheese makes an excellent spread for sandwiches, or for toasted bread or crackers for afternoon parties.

WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS for the assembly of sandwiches from The Old Vanity Fair Tea Room - Recipes Gathered from Far and Near, by Caro F. Chamberlain, published in 1927, now in the Public Domain and available at for the delectation of all.

Honolulu Sandwiches
Slice dark bread very thin, butter and spread with the following mixtures:

  • Roasted peanuts, ground fine.
  • Raw carrots, grated.
  • Sweet pickle, chopped fine.

Avocado Sandwiches
A ripe avocado mashed smooth with a silver fork, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a bit of horseradish. Spread this between thin slices of sandwich bread.

Salad Sandwiches
Lobster, shrimp, or chicken salad can be made into a delicious sandwich by using a sandwich roll, splitting it, hollowing out the lower half (to form cup). Fill this with the salad, cover with the other half of the roll. These do not dry out like the ordinary sandwich.

If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, be sure to send a picture to


Flaming Hydra is now!

EACH WEEKDAY, AS of this week, subscribers to Flaming Hydra will receive a newsletter featuring pieces written by two different members of the cooperative, an all-star collection of independent writers, on a rotating basis. Everyone chips in their bit, and the readers get a steady diet of items. And if the readers keep on subscribing, the writers keep on chipping in, and the whole thing moves toward being a self-sustaining publication.

The second printing of 19 FOLK TALES is now available for belated Holiday gift-giving and personal perusal! Huddle up against the cold with a cozy collection of stories, each of which is concise enough to read within the snowy part of a wintry-mix storm.

HMM WEEKLY MINI-ZINE, Subject: GAME SHOW, Joe MacLeod’s account of his Total Experience of a Journey Into Television, expanded from the original published account found here at Hmm Daily. The special MINI ZINE features other viewpoints related to an appearance on, at, and inside the teevee game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, available for purchase at SHOPULA.

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