The Department of Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations announced today that it has selected Nesthetics as the provider of the 2015 Groundhog Day prognostication pad.[pullquote]Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think this has to do with last year’s shadow controversy.— Wellington Whistlepig[/pullquote]
In a short statement released this morning, the department said it was impressed by the company’s bid and by the foresight it demonstrated with regard to the sturdiness of materials and design.
This is a huge blow to Simply Structures, the company that has supplied the materials, design, and construction of the prognostication pad for over ten years.
In the statement, the department acknowledged its longstanding relationship with Simply Structures, expressing appreciation for their work in the past and saying it hopes they will bid again for the job in the coming years.
Simply Structures has made no response to the decision thus far, but The Park’s business leaders say they are flabbergasted by the decision.
“Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think this has to do with last year’s shadow controversy,” said Wellington Whistlepig, president of the Park Association of Shops and Services (PASS) in an interview on Mammalian Daily Radio this afternoon.
“And I think it’s despicable if that’s the case, because they’re letting a few disgruntled Animals who didn’t like the prediction to dictate the fate of a very good business.”
Sierpinski Squirrel, Chief Financial Officer of A. Corn and Partners, agrees.
“This will be a huge blow to their bottom line and, quite frankly, I don’t think the decision is justified,” he said. “I think it’s a knee-jerk reaction. They’re covering themselves in case the same kind of controversy occurs this year and I don’t think that’s the right move.”
The controversy last year began seconds after Solange Marmotte, 2014 Park Official Prognosticator of Spring (POPS), declared that The Park could expect another six weeks of Winter because she had seen her shadow. A group of disgruntled spectators claimed the shadow that Marmotte had seen was not her own, but one that appeared as a result of a fault in the Prognostication Pad.
The organizers brought in a team of shadow experts to rule on the matter and they decided that, given the paw and claw that appeared on the artists’ tracings, the shadow must indeed have been Marmotte’s. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Justice Augustus Dindon signed the Official POPS’ Proclamation.
A lawsuit filed by the group of disgruntled spectators was thrown out of the courts a short time later.