Happy Groundhog Day.
In many American cities, especially those where snow blows and pipes freeze, we celebrate by taking close note of what happens when a groundhog emerges from its burrow. If it sees its shadow, we’re staring at six more weeks of winter.
In Texas, we do things differently. We let an armadillo do the work.
And here in Austin, we do things even more differently. Or at least I do.
I like to think of Thong Guy as Austin’s version of Punxsutawney Phil, the famous shadow-seeking groundhog. When you spot Thong Guy pedaling city streets wearing nothing but a tiny thong, you know spring beckons.
He revels in warm weather. But he’s elusive, too.
I snapped the above photograph of Thong Guy just days before Christmas this year, when temperatures rose to the 80s and he went for a breezy cruise down Barton Springs Road.
But Thong Guy disappeared before I could flag him down and request an interview, which is what I really wanted to do.
Thong Guy is part of what makes Austin proudly weird. People love him or they hate him, but they’re almost always curious about him.
So here’s the deal. Thong Guy, if you’re out there, can we talk?
Readers, who among you knows Thong Guy? Certainly someone does. Can you introduce us?
If you know him (and there may be more than one out there), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 512-445-3994.