Today is my second least favorite day of the year. The Monday after ‘Daylight Savings’ kicks in always blows puffin chunks.
It’s not so much about losing an hour in an instant, either. I hate the ‘fall back’ bullshit in the autumn even more — in fact, that’s my very least favorite day of the year. I’ll explain.
Daylight savings time always begins and ends on a weekend. The chinwags in charge of these temporal shenanigans say that’s to give us a non-working day to acclimate to our new time perspective. ‘Take it easy there, tiger — the world’s a whole hour different now. Maybe you should lie down for a bit, just to be safe.‘
What it really does is give us one more day to ignore the fact that some bunch of legislative layabouts took Ben Franklin’s joke seriously, and decreed that we should fiddle with time as though it were our own.
(But we can’t fiddle with it more than twice a year, or we’re only playing with it.)
“I can nuke a bean burrito or tape three seasons of Buffy with the push of a button, but adding an hour to the time requires an instruction manual and a three-button Vulcan death grip?”
So most people — and especially we fat, lazy Americans — don’t get around to adjusting our time gizmos on Sunday at all. And why would we? Who cares what time it is on Sunday? Especially in the spring — there’s no football scheduled or anything. If you’re sitting on the couch munching cheese doodles at three in the afternoon, would your life really be any different if it were suddenly four PM instead? I think not, doodlelips.
Ergo, nothing changes on Sunday. Maybe, just before bed, you adjust the alarm clock on the nightstand. And if it’s springtime, you curse the wretched beast for planning to ring an hour sooner than usual.
(Of course, if it’s fall, you turn the clock back and say to yourself:
‘Wow, it’s so early now! I can stay up another hour!‘
At which point, you get caught up in a book, a project, or a made-for-TV movie starring Karen Allen as a plucky single mom fighting City Hall or some such nonsense, and end up staying awake for another three hours, instead. Bedtime’s a bitch, yo.)
It’s on Monday when things really get dicey, though. Most of the day is spent determining which clocks need manual adjusting. Wall clocks — yes. Computers — not usually. Digitals — sometimes, but not always. If there are other people living in your house — by invitation or otherwise — then you’ll have the added twist of guessing which clocks they won’t get around to changing before you do.
(This can work to your advantage, of course, if you happen to live with someone marginally responsible. Just wait a day or two, and they’ll get fed up and synchronize all the clocks onto the appropriate schedule for you. They may also spit in your cereal bowls, but it’s a small price to pay for reliable timekeeping.
Be warned, though — if you’re both lazy-assed slackers, then it’s not going to work so well. I tried to wait my roommate back in college out with the clocks one fall, for instance. We didn’t recognize Daylight Savings for two years, because neither of us would give in and reset the clocks. Finally, my chemistry teacher came over and adjusted them, so I’d make it to his eight AM class on time.
Didn’t work. But at least I finally knew when Herman’s Head came on.)
Finding the clocks to be set is the easy part. Actually setting the damned things takes a steady hand, the patience of a saint, and a doctorate in applied clockology. Every one of them has a different mechanism.
On this one, you hold the ‘Time’ button down. On that one, punch the ‘Hour’ key. Over there, depress ‘Snooze’ while jiggling the tuning knob, and sacrifice a live chicken to Kronos, God of the Tardy Slips. Sometimes, you’re better off throwing the stupid things away and buying all new clocks, preset to the new time. Otherwise, the job takes forever.
And that’s why I hate ‘Fall Back’ most of all. In the spring, you’re in the hole already. An hour’s gone; you might as well resign yourself to the hellish nightmare you’re enduring, and update all the clocks. Put on some sackcloth while you’re at it, and would a little self-flaggelation once in a while kill you? Come on, we’re supposed to be miserable here.
But in the fall, we’re supposed to be winning. It’s midnight — no, it’s eleven PM again! Hah hah ha ha — take that, Father Time! We reject your inexorable pull, and spit in your face to the tune of one precious hour. We can relive it, in any way we choose. Like gods, we are!
So what do we do?
We spend that hour, and three of its closest friends, fumbling with our goddamned VCRs and microwave ovens, trying to remember the magical key combination that lets us set the freaking time. I can nuke a bean burrito or tape three seasons of Buffy with the push of a button, but adding an hour to the time requires an instruction manual and a three-button Vulcan death grip? Priorities, people.
Then we crawl into bed at four in the morning, and growl at the Monday morning bastards who beam about how ‘refreshing‘ the extra hour of sleep was. Screw. Them.
At least those same yahoos were droopy-eyed and ass-dragging today, after missing out on an hour’s rest. And that’s the only thing that makes ‘Spring Forward’ nearly tolerable — I may have to stay up all night now, getting my clocks in a row, but at least those chronoweenies weren’t chipper this morning.
Man, I am not looking forward to the fall.Permalink | 4 Comments