November 6, 2009
Daylight Savings Time ended recently, meaning that, while I was waking up in the dark and getting home from work while it was still daylight now I’m waking up to daylight and getting home from work in the dark. That won’t last, though. In a short time I’ll be getting up in the dark and getting home from work in the dark, and at work I’m in the dark most of the time anyway. Maybe this would be different if I lived in, say, Alaska, where in the summer there’s twenty-four hours of daylight and in the winter there’s twenty-four hours of darkness, which makes me wonder if Alaska ever bothers to go on Daylight Savings Time. I guess it would be pretty pointless, but then I’m not sure what the point of it is even where I live.
Several years ago I lived in Indiana, a state where most of the population thought Daylight Savings Time was pointless so they just ignored it, and it was a perennial issue. There was even a saying: in Indiana half the people don’t want Daylight Savings Time, half the people do, and half the people can’t count. I’m not even sure what daylight we’re saving. It’s not as though daylight can be saved and pulled out again when we need it. We’re not living in the science fiction world of, say, Star Wars, where light can actually be fashioned into a light saber, as cool as that would be. Maybe I’m the only one who, as a kid, misunderstood the word "saber" in Star Wars and thought the Jedi weapon was called a "light saver", mainly because I’d never heard the word "saber" before in my life, or, if I had, it was only in the name of the saber-toothed tiger, and for all I knew "saber" there just meant "really huge and sticking out of the mouth", so my Uncle Larry was also "saber-toothed", but that’s another story. I figured the Jedi weapon was called a "light saver" because, well, it was composed of light and also could save you by allowing you to slice, dice, and make julienne fries out of anyone. I guess we have something that does allow us to generate light, though. It’s called a "light bulb", which makes me wonder if perhaps the people of Indiana weren’t on to something. Instead of having to go and reset every clock in the house it’s easier to just turn on a light, which, sooner or later, you’re going to have to do anyway. And lights are made to be turned on and off while resetting a clock is often a painstaking process that requires punching a couple of buttons or, depending on your clock, running through twenty three hours at high speed so that you inevitably end up overshooting the mark by about fifteen minutes and you can either try again or decide to just live your life as though you’re perpetually fifteen minutes late. In fact I haven’t even changed my watch yet because I find that constantly thinking I’m an hour late can be a great motivator. And one of the nice things about the end of Daylight Savings Time is getting to sleep an extra hour. Sure I’ll lose it in the spring, but that’s months away, and in the meantime my watch tells me I can go home from work an hour before it’s really time to go. Or at least I could do that if my boss were in the dark.