12 March 2008

Let There Be Light

I don’t understand all the bitching that goes on around the time change. “We lose an hour!” Seriously? I’m sure it was time that would’ve been wasted anyway. “I’m screwed out of sleep!” Not if you go to bed early or grab a nap. “Why do we do this?” Take a look outside your window. Notice that the sun is still there and you are on your way home. Lovely, ain’t it?

If we were to abolish anything, let it be Standard Time. I never thought I would agree with anything Arizona did (childhood trauma caused by seeing colored rocks instead of lawn — which was no fun to play on — and the blasphemy of day-glo, lime-green fire engines), but the fact that they said, “Screw the rest of you, we are staying on Daylight Saving Time,” was somewhat impressive. And I think we all should consider following in their rebellious footsteps.

Even with them being “longer”, the days just move faster. I love looking at the clock and thinking, “Where did the time go?” Next thing you know, it’s quitting time and we can actually enjoy happy hour in broad daylight. How can there be anything wrong with that?

I’ve been told it was Benny Franklin who came up with the concept. He must’ve liked drinking in the daylight, too. Supposedly, he came up with the idea in Paris, so wine was surely involved...as it is with many good ideas, or good-ideas-at-the-time. This was back in 1784. However, a Londoner builder called William Willett wrote about the “Waste of Daylight” in 1907. This little pamphlet offered the crazy idea of waking up an hour earlier so as to not waste the daylight. Knowing how Brits love their pubs, and how my contractor stepfather loved his brews, no doubt a lager or many were involved in his writing. So, I’m sticking by my theory that people like to drink during the day and that’s really why we are doing this.

For a long time in the US, DST was used mostly during wartime, then some states did it and others didn’t, then it was brought back officially in the 70s (a law signed by Nixon, another avid imbiber) because it was supposed to help us conserve energy and prevent accidents. Now we’ve got cranky people saying that we actually use more energy and have more accidents during DST (and don’t you dare say that’s because of happy hour — responsible people walk there and take cabs back). Hhrmph.

So, why do we really “spring forward”? Who gives a toss? It’s after six peeyem and the Sun’s still out. And happy hour is still going for at least another hour. Drink up! Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts, because autumn comes too quickly, if you ask me. And I just might keep on Daylight Saving Time even after California “falls back”. Why not? For me, it’s always some version of Miller time, anyway.

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