Eating Over The Sink
I’m going to let you in on a little secret that’s pretty incredible. You’ll want to keep this in your file, labeled ‘Uncle Zack’s Tidbits of Unnecessary Things to Know.’ (You are keeping up your file, aren’t you? There will be additions as we go along, and perhaps a Pop Quiz one of these days.) Stand confounded: as amazing as it may be, using your hands alone, it is impossible to fold any piece of paper in half more than seven times, no matter how big or small a piece of paper you start out with. (It’s okay; don’t worry. I won’t go on without you. I know you have to stop reading and try this out. I’ll wait here while you go fold the newspaper, that scrap of paper laying next to your computer, and the snail-mail letter that just came from your dear old Auntie Doris.) What you hear now are the sounds of my fingers drumming my desk top while I wait.
See I told you so. Would I lie to you?
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I think its time we get a few other things straightened out and into the open. These things are necessary to know, and it is time to know them! It is NOT ‘Safety’ Deposit Box; it is ‘Safe’ Deposit Box. It is NOT ‘Quick’ Claim Deed; it is ‘Quit’ Claim Deed. And, it is Daylight ‘Saving’ Time, NOT Daylight ‘Savings’ Time.
By the time you read this, we will have Sprung Ahead into Daylight Saving Time, and my BBQ will be all the more happy for it! The purpose of Daylight Saving Time (DST) is supposed to be to cut energy expense by moving everyone into times of the day when they don’t have to turn on the light. As if anyone ever goes into a room, night or day, without turning on the light (and leaving it on for hours, even when they leave the room), except for detectives on TV shows who stumble around in the dark and trip over dead bodies. Nonetheless, DST seems to be a popular notion, as some 70 nations, worldwide, spring ahead and fall back at times and seasons of their choice.
The History of Daylight Savings Time
The whole idea of Daylight Savings Time was apparently the brainchild of Benjamin Franklin clear back in 1784, but if you don’t mind my saying so, no one was entirely sure what day it was back then, let alone what hour was noon. The idea languished for more than a century until our government first tried it during World War I in an attempt to save on the cost of lighting factories by adding an hour of afternoon sun as the days grew shorter in winter. They were focused on Winter day length, which seems odd to those of us who think the whole scheme is to give us longer hours in Spring and Summer to sit outside with our Low Carb Spritzers, while grilling steaks and low carb fresh veggies on the bar-bee, thus proving that DST is a Low Carb Plot.
But, as much as we love DST, it was very unpopular when it was first tried, especially among the farmers. (We actually had farmers in our country in those days, if you can imagine that!) Anyway, the farmers objected that the sun and the critters in the barn didn’t cooperate at all with clock manipulations.
Most places in the US gave up on trying to force people to mess with their clocks until 1942 when it started up again for the war effort, and lasted pretty much until 1945. After that, some places did it, and some shunned it. Among those who did it, the dates of starting and stopping varied widely. Hence the idea and subsequent song: “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”
The farmers appeared to be winning out. As long, that is, as there were farmers. But, as you can’t keep them down on the farm after they’ve seen LA, the farmers lost out to the Low Carb crowd who stood ready with T-bones in hand.
All was sorted out in 1966 with something called the Uniform Time Act. While not mentioning whether or not people would be allowed to travel into the future in a big machine that looks like a sleigh, the Act officially set the start and stop dates for messing with time, but it didn’t insist that every state and town go with the flow. Farmers were free to set their clocks to match the sun if they insisted, and other places were allowed to add to the overall confusion of modern life by not getting in step. I think that the whole state of Hawaii is not on board, along with parts of Indiana and Arizona. (But you’ll be glad to know that the Native Americans on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona do drag their BBQs out of the shed along with the rest of us.)
There are always a few problems associated with getting the clocks right. One year, Glorious Spouse and I decided to go to a movie far across town. It was the April Sunday that DST was starting at 2:00 in the morning, but had forgotten about it. When we arrived at the theater, the movie had already been playing for an hour. Bummer. But, good evidence for why DST comes and goes early on Sunday mornings of the dates chosen. A nation of people coming in to work an hour late on the day DST started wouldn’t do at all. I suppose a few would arrive early when we ‘fall back,’ but somehow I doubt as many people would forget in October as would forget in April. And, of course, the farmers still object.
Advocates for DST, on the other hand, say this is a good day to change your smoke alarms, and to flip your mattress. (You’re changing your VCRs anyway, why not flip your mattress at the same time???? Okay. What if you’re one of those who just lets the VCR blink 12:00? Is it really blinking 12:00 during Daylight Savings Time)
Other DST advocates claim that the extra hour of daylight cuts crime and auto accidents. Well, it may cut crime, I don’t know about that, but since everyone is on the road at every hour of the day and night, I can’t see that auto accidents will vary much, not to mention the fact that auto accidents usually take place during rush hours, which are already in the daylight.
But, please. Don’t count me as being against Daylight Savings Time in any way! I love it. It makes it easier to sleep a little later in the morning.
Zack Grady changes his clocks and lights his BBQ in Southern California.