It’s About Time
Well. here it is again… the weekend of the time change.
Just last year I learned that calling daylight saving time, “Daylight Savings Time”, with an s at the end, is horribly stupid, dumb, and incorrect. They say it makes me look like an idiot to everyone who knows better. Daylight Savings Time is correctly called daylight saving time. So, for decades, I guess I’ve been considered a stupid oaf for running around calling it daylight savings time.
You might say “Who cares?” Obviously, I do — since I wrote this.
And this year, stupid me, just learned something else! It’s not Daylight Saving Time, it’s daylight saving time – no uppercase letters. The Associated Press stylebook tells me so!
Who in the heck ever consults the Associated Press stylebook? You wouldn’t really do that, would you? It costs over $20 just to get the online edition. Now, I’m sure many of you reading this would be glad to send me a free online subscription to the AP stylebook thinking it would improve my writing, but you know better, don’t you?
Look here: “Daylight Savings Time” is a misspelling, but more common than the correct term. Setting our clocks one hour ahead in the spring is often referred to as “Daylight Savings Time” even though “Daylight Saving Time” is the correct spelling…” [From https://www.timeanddate.com/time/dst/daylight-savings-time.html ]
But you see, you really can’t believe anyone about anything anymore. The world has sure gone crazy! How can an article from timeanddate.com about daylight saving time, be wrong? Who can you trust? Whom can you trust? Is there anyone or anything you can trust? Where is Walter Cronkite when you need him?
Even though the article comes from an authoritative-sounding site – timeanddate.com – the article is wrong. And how do I know it is wrong? Well, because the AP stylebook says it’s wrong; Daylight Saving Time is correctly spelled “daylight saving time”. No ifs, ands, or buts.
And if you’re puffed-up enough to think you set the style for all writers as the Associated Press does, then you better be right.
The AP better remember what happened to the UPI.
But me? Heck, I’m not puffed up – at least not with knowledge. But I am tired of being corrected. The only stylebook I use is MY stylebook. It’s the only one that counts here.
If you think I’m going to remind you to set your clocks ahead one hour this weekend, I’m not. Well maybe later.
Every newspaper, every newscast – left-wing, right-wing, far left, far right – will for once come together and all will agree that you need to be reminded at least fifty-thousand times to set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to sleep or fall into unconsciousness from a rousing night of wild partying sans mask.
Yes, Fox News, Newsmax, MSNBC, CNN, THE New York Times, and Breitbart will all hug each other this weekend and agree that you all need to be reminded a million times to set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed lest you slither off into the dark of the night unaware and wake up in a world where you’re behind by an hour. And you’ll end up like A.E. Housman…
… a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made.
(“The Laws of God, The Laws of Man”. A.E. Housman)
My essays get classier and classier.
It’s funny that news outlets ranging from the far left to the far right – and all the ones in between – agree — for once — on one thing: That thing is that they all need to remind you a gazillion times to set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night before you go to bed.
As for me, I once rued the weekend when we set the clocks ahead an hour. I used to be one who loved to skulk in the dark, traipsing through neighborhoods on nightly walks to get my puffed-up belly back in shape. It never happened, but I still walk anyway.
Back then, daylight saving time was anathema. I used to enjoy taking walks in the dead, dreary dark of night, and peering through windows and seeing everyone snug in their homes watching American Idol – there was no Masked Singer in those days.
It was comforting in a way.
I once skulked around and through nearby neighborhoods in my brand-spankin’-new Cat’s Pause® walking shoes. OK, so they’re expensive and hard to find – but everyone deserves to splurge a little… even if they’re broke. I don’t receive any commission, discounts, or tokens from the Cats Pause® company for mentioning their amazing walking shoes in this timely essay. If you can find them, buy them. I urge you to splurge before your dirge. Buy some Cats Pause® walking shoes… live a little.
As I always say — don’t wait until you die to live a little!
I do believe in splurging before you go off to the sand sounds of dirging. I know that sounds morose, morbid, and melancholy, but it’s true. Time is not a metaphor.
But what better reminder of our pitiful evanescence than the banal hourglass metaphor. Each one of us has an hourglass with our name on it – and the sand is running out. Luckily not too many of us know how much sand we have left.
So don’t be angry with me – it’s a fact. When that last grain of sand slides down the tube, it’s lights out and you’ll never get another chance to splurge on this earth. So, I think. Anyway, there’s no time like the present to — splurge before your dirge.
Go buy some new shoes!
I digress. Daylight saving time was once a sad time for me – no more long dark nights. No more nightly walks slinking through murky, dark, and foggy streets alone with my thoughts, eyeballs watching the flicker of life from windows of homes filled with people who had no idea I was skulking down the sidewalks of their neighborhood.
My Cats Pause® walking shoes are made for skulking.
Sing it, Nancy!
“These shoes are made for skulking,
And that’s just what they’ll do!
One of these days these shoes are gonna skulk right next to you…”
(Sing to the so-called melody of “These Boots are Made for Walking”,)
Anyway, back when I used to enjoy those stealthy walks through the cloaking veil of night, I used to be able to stay awake past 10:00 PM. Back in the day, I had time to enjoy good books and good movies before turning in for the night. So, I used to love the dark and gloom and the shadows and all the twitching things borne on the black wings of night.
But not so anymore.
In the fall and winter, when we are on Standard Time (I don’t have an AP stylebook, is that uppercase?), I can hardly stay awake past 8:00 PM. Most of the winter, it gets dark around here between 4:45 and 5:30 PM. That means by the time the clock strikes eight, the night has shrouded the world in its sad, melancholy darkness for a full three hours by then.
If I start to read a book- no matter how exciting or good, inevitably it plummets from my hands onto the floor, waking me and startling me with its ominous crash. I can manage only 2 or 3 pages each evening before sleep grabs my aging eyeballs and closes them. At my winter reading rate, it takes me four months to read a 350-page novel. So, a book I start in November, I won’t finish until March. But by the time I finish it, I can’t remember what it’s about.
And movies? Let me tell you about movies. No matter how good the movie, I end up falling asleep before it’s even half over. I fall asleep in my old-man’s recliner with my neck crooked at an amusingly odd angle — according to those who’ve witnessed it — my mouth gaping – and the TV remote clutched in my hand. I don’t sleep very long before I wake up with a start and a sore neck, and my fingers so stiff I have to pry them off the remote.
So, yes, I look forward to daylight saving time here in the years prior to my approaching – but hopefully not impending – dirge.
And don’t give me the hooey about losing an hour’s sleep. I lose more than an hour’s sleep every night getting up and going to the bathroom. I lose way more than an hour’s sleep rolling around on the bed trying to find a position in which my aging carcass feels comfortable enough to go to sleep. I lose more than an hour’s sleep worrying about my new, heretofore never felt aches and pains.
So, don’t you ever tell me you don’t like daylight saving time because it robs you of one stinkin’ hour’s worth of sleep!
What about the people who’ll remind you that the hour of sleep you lose in the spring – you get back in the fall? What the heck are they smoking? Here in my neck of the woods, it’s eight months between the beginning of daylight saving time and the ending of daylight saving time. That’s about 225 days.
Now, do you really think that 225 nights from now, you’re going to put on your PJs, crawl into bed, yawn, and say to yourself — or anyone nearby — “Gosh, I’m so glad I’m going to get back that hour of sleep that daylight saving time stole from me last March. It’s been a long time coming.”
I don’t think so, and neither do you, right?
Yet you’re going to hear people moaning and whining about losing an hour of sleep when daylight saving time begins until your poor ears fall off. Have they nothing more important to whine about?
You’re going to hear why they think daylight saving time is terrible. You’re going to hear people tell you that you are going to have that stolen hour eat away at you until you can get it back next autumn. Seriously?
I like daylight saving time because I can stay up until 9:00 PM – heck I can go out and mow my lawn at 8:00 PM if I want to. I can sit outside and drink beer and read a book. During daylight saving time, I can read a 350-page novel in three or four nights. I can stay awake until 10:00 PM sometimes. That means I can mow the lawn, read a book, drink a beer, and watch a movie — all in the same evening!
So, what’s not to like about Daylight Saving Time?
OK, so I have to walk in the light. Big deal! My new Cat’s Pause® walking shoes are bright red – and I don’t mind stylin’ around in the daylight wearing them. They’re cool! People stop me and say, “Man, I love your shoes!” “They’re Cats Pause® I say – you don’t get shoes like these at Target!” “Or Wally World!” (That’s Walmart to you.)
Also, though it is light during my walks in summer, no one younger than fifty notices me anyway – I’m invisible to anyone younger than that.
And that’s a good thing because I don’t have to comb what’s left of my hair or even wipe the spaghetti sauce off my mouth. And, if it’s windy I just wear a hat, no matter how hot it is. The few long tufts of hair I have all fit nicely under the tight-fitting knit stocking hat.
I wish Cats Pause® made hats.
And remember, it’s daylight saving time, no uppercase letters, and no “s” in saving. Daylight saving time starts on Sunday. But don’t wait until Sunday to set your clocks ahead. Do it before you go to bed on Saturday.
Someday, people won’t have a clue what we mean when we say “set” your clocks ahead one hour – or set them back an hour. Clocks you must “set” will be as outdated as the rotary dial telephone or the record player.
Anyway, if you live in the USA – but not those of you who live in Hawaii or Arizona, SET YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD ONE HOUR.
Note to Arizona and Hawaii residents: Are your states planning on seceding? Hawaii we barely knew ye!
So, unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii, or some other off-the-grid place, set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night before you go to bed … or venture off to your favorite watering hole to get smashed. Don’t forget your mask!
And don’t let me hear any one of you utter the words “daylight savings time”.
And I better not hear a peep about you losing a piddlin’ hour of sleep.