An Ode to Daylight Savings Time
In March you hit me like a rock
Stealing my hour away,
To Lord knows where. That stupid clock
I’d throw into the bay.
Bereft of precious hours of sleep
To zombies people turn.
Those faces soulless, blank, and deep
Careless whose life they burn.
With promises you tell me, “Sweet,
The hour we will give back.
These longer days are more complete.
Who cares what life will lack?”
Not wanting to hear further words,
I stare in pure disdain.
How unlikely that will come true,
Like California rain.
But months go by, and longer days
Invigorates my soul,
Happy for more of the sun’s rays
I slowly feel more whole.
And every night at work I leave,
With smile upon my face;
Forgetting that hour you did thieve,
As light my face does grace.
My carbon footprint, it is less,
Which makes me joyful more.
Happy the earth your light will bless
And spirits that will soar.
In later autumns cooling breeze
The light does fade away.
But trees, all filled with colored leaves,
Come in to save the day.
November comes with holiday
But you come sooner still,
The debts for stolen hours you pay,
It says so in the bill.
But I say keep your stupid hour.
I didn’t want it back.
Yes I am just a little sour.
That hour I did not lack.
But secretly I’m really mad,
Not for the hour you give,
Not for the precious sleep I’ve had
For with that I will live.
I’m mad cause I remember still
That March out there lies,
With coffers packed with hours you fill,
And zombies we will rise.
For stolen hours you can’t repay,
This lesson you do lack.
We may like summers larger ray,
But sleep does not come back.
Good afternoon out there, to all the ships at sea, or to whoever reads my blog. I’m exhausted. Not the physically exhausted of a good workout at the gym, or the mentally exhausted of a long work day, or even the family exhausted of too many hours hanging out with uncle Billy. His jokes do not magically become funny after the twentieth time telling them, or even the twenty-first time. And can he spit in someone else’s direction when he talks?
What kind of tired am I? I’m tired like the zombie tired a parent or teacher gets trying to wrangle ten toddlers, telling them not to start pouring the glue all over the paper and then putting it between their fingers so that they can turn it into a rubber ball. Making a second skin out of the glue will not impress Susie. And I know the glue has sparkles but it doesn’t belong in the mouth. I’m the tired where I am starting to look at my fingers and begin wondering whether or not they would be tasty. (Right now, I am wondering whether or not I have watched too much of the Santa Clarita Diet lately.) I’m the kind of tired where my eyes hurt and I begin to wonder whether or not plucking them out would be a good thing. I’d be a cool looking blind guy. I just need glasses, and a walking stick . . . and to teach Oreo to be a Seeing Eye dog. Hmmmmm . . . Maybe I better cancel the eye plucking out ceremony I had scheduled for one o’clock today.
It’s The Good Old DST
Why am I this tired? What could possibly make me feel like eating my fingers would be a good use of my time . . . and nutritious? It’s Daylight Savings time of course. I know that it’s not the only reason for my exhaustion. But it’s a pretty big one. It’s that time of year when they rob you of an hour of sleep, promising to pay it back sometime in November. But the problem isn’t solely the robbing of one hour. Because if it was just about the one hour of sleep gone, it would be simple. I have had plenty of nights when I have slept 6 hours. There were plenty of nights I slept 7 hours. I didn’t have to bring in the muscle to make myself have an eight hour night’s sleep to make a payment for the 6 hour night. Aside from that being utterly ridiculous, I took many courses in bookkeeping and I would hate keeping the books for my sleeping patterns.
Why do we do this to ourselves then? Why do we take an hour from ourselves now, just to repay it back in November? I decided I would do some investigative journalism (or a google search, whichever was easier) in order to find out the truth behind the Daylight Savings Time agenda. I was sure that I would find the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission, the John Birch Society, Donald Trump’s toupee, and several other evil people behind the creation of such an evil scheme as this. It would take a whole lot of evil in order to think up just such a thing. I was going to get to the bottom of it, no matter the cost. The following is what I found.
The History Of Daylight Savings Time – Enter At Your Own Risk
First, it was introduced into our consciousness in Thunder Bay, Canada, in 1908. Going millennia without changing clocks and somehow some place in 1908 thought they knew better then all of human history. Conceited much? But they thought this was a good idea, and so others would eventually follow. I’m not exactly sure why the rest of the world decided that Thunder Bay, Canada was such a great innovator of amazing ideas. It didn’t seem to matter why. Pretty soon, provinces throughout Canada figured it was a good idea. Guess it was a “keeping up with the Joneses” kind of thing. I guess something about the zombie like eyes really caught on. How did they actually decide to follow suit? The conversation, recorded in the “this is not really history” History book, went down like this.
“I wasn’t going to date you until I saw those gorgeous bags under your eyes. How did you get them to stick out so prominently? You mean all you had to do was take an hour away in March? We have to get ourselves some of that good old DST (Daylight Savings Time). Now please stop staring at me like I’m a piece of meat.”
Canada Spreads It To Germany
From the provinces in Canada, the disease that is known as DST quickly spread. The first country to be infected was Germany in 1916. The thinking behind this was the same as all good ideas, they came to us through war. I mean . . . wait . . . not so much. The German’s were concerned about conserving their fuel. And on April 30, 1916, they changed the hours during war time so that they could conserve their fuel. Who cares that the soldiers all went to battle like zombies for the next two weeks? Maybe that’s why they lost.
Other countries quickly followed, bringing the world to a catastrophic end. Ok, not quite so catastrophic. Europe was just embroiled in a large war for another couple years that would finally conclude. It was the war to end all wars. And to celebrate, they got rid of the scourge of DST. People around the world rejoiced once again as they were given back that hour, never to have it taken away. But in 1940, Europe told the rest of civilization that they were just kidding about ending all wars, and so DST made its way back once again, this time with a vengeance. Evidently Europe and Canada becoming victims to its horror was not enough. It was like an Alien parasite. It had to take over the world.
Who Thought Of It First?
People have tried to trace the origins of this disease back through the centuries. Evidently the Romans had water clocks that had different scales depending on the time of the year. And because no good American could be happy allowing Canadians and Romans to be at fault, we found traces that one of our great founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, suggested that Parisians just quit being lazy and get up earlier so that they might conserve candles. Although this might have been a joke. We are not sure about what part. In 1895, New Zealand scientist George Hudson proposed a two hour shift forward in October and a two hour shift back in March. How going forward two hours to make it darker in October was a good idea I am not clear, and neither was he. When a bill to do this was proposed, Farmers took out pitchforks and ropes and so it didn’t happen then.
It Infiltrates the U.S.A.
DST finally reached the shores of the U.S. in 1918 when the questionably sane president Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the war effort. But according to other sources that shall remain nameless (the internet), a man in Pittsburg by the name of Robert Garland brought DST to our shores. He is called the “Father of DST.” And his descendants have not lived it down to this day. But it was repealed, as was DST throughout Europe, at the end of World War I. Someone caught onto Wilson drooling into a cup and thought it might not be a good idea to have kept this law. We were smart enough to outlaw Prohibition, also a Wilson Era law, and we were smart enough to outlaw this as well. Unfortunately, the Just Kidding War (WWII), brought the DST back to the United States permanently by FDR.
The DST has undergone several changes through the years. In 1966 during Johnson, the U.S. decided that it might be a good idea to have it uniform. In 1974 we extended the DST to 10 months because of the Oil Embargo. But that didn’t go down well. So we went back. We finally settled on a timeframe in 2005 and made it an even eight months a year. Because the DST was odd enough as it was already.
Disappointed By My Findings
Unfortunately I did not find out anything about the Trilateral Commission or the Rothschild group. I did find Donald Trump’s toupee lurking with some Russian toupees but there wasn’t anything that I could prove. I applied for a FISA warrant to tap the toupee but someone just told me that Orange is the New Black and so I should quit being racist. The encounter confused me, and I gave up the search. (Maybe the fact that I was neither the president nor part of the justice department got me laughed out of court more quickly but “this is my story and I’m sticking to it.”)
What Should We Do?
In all seriousness, which the lack of oxygen to my brain is preventing at present, the history of Daylight Savings time is irrelevant. Whether farmers caused it, or caused it not to happen; whether wars were or were not the actual reason for its invention; and whether or not Woodrow Wilson insisted on drinking all of his beverages through a sippy cup is irrelevant here. We have to deal with the time as it is here and now. Is DST a problem, and how big of one? And what time would we like to go back to if we changed it?
Answering the first question, I will say that DST is a big problem. Aside from all of the accidents it has caused, the drain on productivity it is on the workforce, and making me have a big frowny face when I get off of work and it’s dark outside, it’s just plain rude. Who said anyone could take my hour away from me? What if I don’t want to give it up? I like my hours. If I follow your plan will I get to keep my hours? You tell me you will give me my hour back in November, but will you give it back with interest?
It Sucks The Life Out Of Everything
The crazy thing about DST, whether it is when they take the hour away or they give it back, it screws everything up. In March, you need to go to bed early but you can’t because you aren’t tired yet. But you will be the next morning when you have to wake up an hour earlier. It takes days to adjust. And then November comes around, when they supposedly are giving us that hour back, we pass out too early, then wake up too early. We get half way through the work day, and we should be getting our second wind, when our body shuts down telling us it should be the end of the day. We end up staring at the clock for the last half of our shift like a teenager stares at the clock the last day before vacation. The government messed with our body clocks. They can take our money away from us to fund all kinds of good projects but leave our bodies alone. I’m just saying.
Prepared For The Zombie Apocalypse
So what would I do about it? I’ll tell you what I would do. (Which you are now looking at your screen saying, “Duh!” This is your blog. Of course you are going to tell me.) Given that I live in a state of denial, otherwise known as the state of California, I would suggest that now that we have changed the time, let’s never go back. Who cares that I won’t be getting that extra hour of sleep in November? (The extra hour seems to screw me up as much as losing it does. I would just rather keep things the way they are. And I will deal with the mornings and school for my daughter or work for myself. So what if it’s a little bit dark? I can handle that. I just like to have a little more light in the evening time. But this back and forth going between times has to stop or it is going to kill me . . . or it could turn me into a zombie. I suppose this could be the reason for the great zombie apocalypse. I just never knew that it would be brought on by legislation instead of a virus. Go figure!
So tell me what you think. What is your experience with Daylight Savings Time? What do you like? Is there anything you dislike? Or what would you do about it?
One last piece of information on this post before signing off. I dedicate this blog to the memory of Barbara Frances Purkiss. She was my grandmother who passed away a few years ago. She was involved in the lives of all of her grandchildren, inspiring in us a love of poetry by reading to us from her collection of books written by Shel Silverstein. Quite the poet herself (frequently comedic but always poignant), she always loved to put down in writing poems and stories that were important to her. She always said I should be a writer someday, although she never got to see what I could write. This blog post is for you grandma. Hope you love the poem.
Barbara Frances Purkiss b. 1919 – d. 2013
This is me, signing off.
David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life