It doesn’t really matter what we think of Daylight Saving Time. It will continue to come and go each year until the House passes a bill that will have us spring forward in March and then never fall back again. The Sunshine Protection Act, which would have us perpetually exist in DST, was passed by the Senate in 2021 but when the bill got to the House, our representatives were a tad distracted with some little virus that got in the way of everything else going on in the entire world, and there the bill stalled, and now it has expired. If the bill is resurrected and passed, it will still be awhile before it is enacted. One reason is that airlines will need time to adjust their flight schedules to accommodate the change. (Not that that will make a difference in on-time arrivals and departures.)
So for now, relax and enjoy the “clock chaos” of springing and falling twice a year. Since we’re still having to deal with the upset of our circadian rhythms, here is list of clock-setting guidelines to help us through the time-travel trauma:
• Smartphone: Leave it alone to do its magic
• Sundial: Move one house to the right
• Oven: You'll need a Masters in Electronic Engineering, or a hammer
• Car radio: Not worth it, wait six months.
A 2022 poll found 61 percent of Americans would prefer to put a stop to the herky-jerky clock adjustments twice a year. The problem is in deciding whether to keep their hands set at Standard Time or Daylight Saving Time. I can’t tell you which is the more popular choice because all the studies and polls I looked at had vastly different results. I can tell you I prefer Standard Time, for whatever that’s worth. (About what you paid for it.)
Poet Robert Louis Stevenson wasn’t very fond of how the daylight hours taunt us as spring turns into summer and the clock gets confused about when nighttime arrives. He wrote this clever little poem, “Bed in Summer,” in 1885, before Daylight Saving Time was a thing:
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
I remember the long summer days when our mom would stand on the front porch and holler out her kids’ names, Ne-ed! Pa-at! Sar-ah! beckoning us home before dark. I reluctantly left the game of Ghost in the Graveyard and turned toward home, climbed into bed still itchy and summer sweaty, and listened to the neighbor kids still running around outside, calling “Not It!” and “All ye, all ye, income free!” I wished dark would come so they would all have to go home too!
Reminder: Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 12. Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead. The time change occurs at an obscene middle-of-the-night hour when you are most likely in bed, fast asleep, or at least wishing you were sleeping. Why can't we move the clocks ahead on Saturday afternoon around 4:00?
You may let The Thunker know what you think at her e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2023 Sarah Donohoe
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