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A Winter Job


 The information provided here is highly classified. Please understand the sensitivity of this article. I felt you had a right to know as a resident of Pennsylvania.
  A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a high-ranking state official. To protect his identity, I will refer to him as “the Gov.”
  It seems our state and many municipalities are already over budget on hours and out of supplies to maintain our roads, sidewalks and government buildings for the remainder of winter. There has also been pressure put on “The Gov” from the new football coach at Penn State, James Franklin to get his troops outside as soon as possible. College and high school baseball interest in our state is at an all time high and they are concerned about the length of winter and the early start of their season.
  So why did “The Gov” contact me and set up a secret meeting? He needed a job done and in his words said, “You know the right person.” I was glad to hear he had such faith and belief in me. I was a little concerned with his next statement, “if you are found out, you are on your own, no one in Harrisburg knows you or anything about your assignment.” The mission if you wish to accept it is referred to as “Operation Whack-a-Mole.”
  Well “The Gov” definitely got my attention and being a proud citizen of our great state, I embarked on this highly classified mission.
  What is Operation Whack-a-Mole? I will soon reveal its target and importance. Initially after talking with “The Gov” I contacted the person who would be on point and execute the plan. To keep his undercover identity I will refer to him as Hunter Ken or H.K. I knew his shooting and outdoor skills were ideal for the mission. He also has artistic talent and could create his own camo and disguises to go unnoticed.  I could trust him to never mention operation Whack-a-Mole and our objective.
  I met with H.K. at our Webb Weekly office January 31st, 2300 hours. We went over the details of the plan and he would go deep under cover on the night of February 1st and carry out the mission. I let him know if he was caught he was operating alone. A man without a state, a missionary so to speak. Operation Whack A Mole was a mission to execute and dispose of Punxsutawney Phil before he could see his shadow and extend old man winter’s reign an additional 6 weeks. Now you can understand the importance to “The Gov” and his high sense of secrecy. Save the state money and keep Coach Franklin and the baseball folks happy, but never get found out. Can you imagine? You’d have PETA and every groundhog saving group, wanting “The Gov’s” head. This would be no easy job; Punxsutawney Phil or P2 as we refer to him would be the center of a celebration on February 2nd. There would be many dignitaries in attendance along with a large crowd of civilian friendlies nearby.
  I knew Hunter Ken was at the top of his game when I met with him on the 1st of February at 1900 hours.  He created a disguise of a Marmota monax – a ground hog as we know it. It was difficult for me to tell the difference between H.K. and the picture of Punxsutawney Phil that “The Gov” had given me. Our plan was for him to go under cover or should I say underground, invade the target’s den and dispatch of P2 thus bringing the good folks of Pennsylvania an early Spring. No shadow, no more winter.
  The mission was executed flawlessly by Hunter Ken. The only resistance he encountered was from the ‘Department of Holeland Security.’ He was quick to explain himself out of trouble by saying he was a Punxsutawney Phil impersonator there in the event there was a threat to the real celebrity.
  H.K. then quickly entered the den and eliminated the target. Operation Whack-a-Mole completed. This is where things got complicated. See the delay and lost time when he was stopped by the Office of Holeland Security came back to haunt us. He would have had the job over and been out of there, but now daylight had arrived and it was time for P2 to make his anticipated exit from the hole. Would he see his shadow or would it be an early spring? We had a 50/50 chance of not wanting to compromise the operation and possibly put “The Gov” in a bad way, we decided to gamble.
  That wasn’t really Punxsutawney Phil you saw exiting his winter house. It was H.K. – and to his credit he did a great job of impersonating a groundhog. I found it hard to believe everyone was okay with a 175-pound groundhog, but I figured they thought Phil just ate well over the holidays. Only one problem, a big groundhog cast a big shadow and you already know we lost our gamble. Man was “The Gov” upset. Not only did we knock Phil off, there are still 6 more weeks of winter. I explained what happened and how we didn’t want to compromise anyone’s identities and our mission and he was a little less vocal.
  I do feel bad for Hunter Ken; he’s been stuck in P2’s den since Groundhog Day. He didn’t want his cover to be blown. His last communication indicated there were still two agents from Holeland Security nearby. He also communicated that he had food and was melting snow for water, although there wasn’t much groundhog stew left. He has continued to wear his disguise, I bet’s that’s a little gamey by now.
  Wait a minute! Hunter Ken in camo? Living outdoors off the land? We may not see him for another couple of weeks.