It's October, time to pull out your jackets, bring the plants in from the porch, and try to remember when you're supposed to readjust all your clocks: wall clocks, alarm clocks, microwave clocks, stove clocks, and VCR clocks (hopefully you have a child around who knows how to work those things – HA! a VCR joke – bet you haven't heard one of those in a while).
But why do we have monkey with our clocks twice a year? Unfortunately for the quest of knowledge and truth, there are a number of falsitudes out there.
The number one ill-credible reason that daylight savings was invented is because of farmers (you know, the same people that bring us corn and wheat). “Why,” I ask.
“You know, so they can get up earlier and do more work,”
“Oh,” I say.
Farmers today do what farmers eight thousand years ago did, they work around the sun. So, let's scratch that idea.
The number two ill-credible explanation has something to do with the Germans and/or World War I. And everything they do is great, so why don't we do the same?
I like to counter this reasoning with the 'if everyone jumped off a bridge' logic. To which the other person mumbles some bit about keeping factories open longer and getting more work done. Why couldn't factory workers making valuable war goods just do what farmers do and get out of bed earlier?
The most recently hatched answer, and coming in at number three on the ill-credible list, deals with energy efficiency. I hear that keeping the sun out later in the evening makes it unnecessary to turn on electric lights at home.
Sure, I can see that.
But doesn't daylight savings time keep the summer sun out to somewhere around 9pm (depending on what side of the time zone you're on) which forces people to keep their air conditioners on longer? Hmm, light bulbs or air conditioners, which uses more electricity?
Of course, Daylight Savings Time is another genius mandate from the Federal Government. The Federal Government, the people that brought you Prohibition and the Alien and Sedition Acts.
I, for one, am all for wasting any daylight there is. Have that sun up and blazing when I fall out of bed and turn it out as I'm putting on my pajamas. I think saving daylight is a terrible idea.
I used to look forward daylight savings. One day each year, in the fall, I would get an extra hour of sleep.
No longer. Now I have a young daughter that tells time like a farmer. The sun has no bearing on her sleep schedule; I must drag myself out of bed whenever she declares it morning.
That bonus hour in the fall? Not for me. Now that hour is a sixty minute appreciation of just how dark everything is without the sun.
It used to be that the newspaper, radio, and television (and every busybody at work) would tell me to monkey with my clock sometime in April and again in early October (or was it September?). This sort of worked out with the change in seasons and arc of the sun and all that. But no longer!
Now the Federal Government has decreed that we monkey with our clocks in November (November!) and remonkey with them in, what is it now?, February. Why all the changes? Has our government of, by, and for the people bought into Retailer's Hype! ? You know, the same Hype! that puts out Christmas trees in September, tells us summer is over around July 28th, and begins pushing Valentines Day as soon as we hang up our new calendars.
Please don't believe the Hype! Federal Government, I need my sun back.
Don't hold your breath waiting for change though, this is same Federal Government that brought us Selective Service and digital television.
If I were some old guy I might close with some quip about the need to save all this daylight. Were I a cynic perhaps I would compare daylight savings to social security, and ask if one day the Federal Government will run out of sunlight. I'm a young optimist, however, so I will leave you with a quote which is probably by Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, or Yogi Bera.
Better late than never.