Two can play this game

If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, folks in Punxsutawney, Pa., ought to be feeling somewhat proud. Somewhat? Why not totally? Because it seems the home of Groundhog Day has spawned a similar event in Lexington, N.C. In both cases, the object Wed-nesday will be to attract as much publicity as possible by determining how much more winter to expect, based on whether an animal sees its shadow. However, since 1887 Punxsutawney has used a woodchuck, whereas Lexington plans to employ a 65-pound pig. (The city is noted for its pork barbecue, and the event is planned as a promotion, with musical performers and the release of 2,005 pink balloons.) Oh, and one other thing: To account for differences in regional dialect, Lexington is calling its celebration Groundhawg Day.

Have a Thin Mint? Scouts know you'll want another

If you haven't been approached by a Girl Scout recently about placing an order for cookies, expect a visit soon. Hundreds of local scout councils determine when to conduct their sales campaigns within the October-to-April cookie season. The tradition began in 1917, five years after Juliette Gordon Low founded the organization, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Okla., baked and sold cookies as a service project. Today, production is contracted out to commercial bakeries, which can offer eight varieties to individual scout councils. They are, however, required to make Thin Mints, plus two others that go by different names depending on the baker: Peanut Butter Sandwich or Do-si-dos and Shortbread or Trefoils. The Girl Scouts don't divulge the number of boxes sold, but they do keep track of the best-sellers. By percentage, they are:

Thin mints 25%
Samoas/Caramel deLites 19%
Peanut Butter Patties/ Tagalongs 13%
Peanut Butter Sandwich/ Do-si-dos 11%
Shortbreads/Trefoils 9%
All other varieties 23%
- Girl Scouts of the United States of America

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