92. Whoosh

Twice a year we Americans, well most Americans, play with time. We lose an hour in the fall and find it again in the spring. And we even play with the weeks on which this bamboozlement takes place. It’s funny, as in something is likely illegal funny, that our unesteemed Congress can agree on messing with time but can’t agree on financing the government. Now Arizonans and Hawaiians do not fiddle with the clock, although the Navajo Nation in Arizona does. What’s up with that? And certain counties in Indiana also refuse to manipulate time. What do they know that the rest of us sheep do not? And how do you go from county to county without losing track of whose manipulation of time is whose? So many questions; so few answers. Which is why I am investigating this sensitive topic.

If I recall correctly, which is a big IF, the reason for extending daylight savings time an extra week in each direction was an economic one. Some study showed that extending the DST would help the GNP. I’m not sure how this study was received in Hawaii and Arizona, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S.Virgin Islands. Does their refusal to adopt DST muddy the math of the study? Notice that all but the independent Indianans are sunbelt folks who live closer to the equator. They don’t want or need any more daylight. Now Minnesotans and Montanans jumped up out of hibernation when this bill was introduced. “More daylight? Well heck yeah!” People in the UP of Michigan also signed on along with Maine, Wisconsin, Wyoming and New York. Part of their motivation, from what I have heard from an auditory hallucination, was a devious desire to irritate their Canadian neighbors when they asked, “What time is it?” It’s not enough provocation for a border war or an electrified fence with our well mannered northern neighbors, but it is just enough to let them know we are the big brother and we control time in this hemisphere, for the most part, except if you read the small print. 

There are advantages to manipulating time. College students have an hour longer to party without suffering the consequences of being late the next day. And folks who drink till closing time on Saturday nights have an hour of overtime or sudden death as they say in football. However, would a drunk know that the 24th hour of his/her day repeated, thus giving him/her 25 hours in that day to explore even deeper into oblivion?

The time switch occurs on Sunday morning. Imagine if it occurred on a Tues or Wed? Would all the savings claimed be effected? Ya think? As simple a task as it is to set your clock back or ahead twice a year, every year churches find themselves mysteriously over- and under-attended on those very Sundays, resulting in revenue losses totalling as much as you can imagine. Most of the work force is not on duty at 2:00 a.m. on Sundays…in America.

I wonder what Europeans think when Americans arbitrarily change time. Can you imagine booking a flight from Germany to New York on this weekend? You get on a plane in Frankfurt and fly ahead of time only to find that you are still an hour off. This would make an interesting question on the SAT’s.

A politically correct person gets on a plane in Frankfurt,Germany for a nonstop flight to New York at 8:00 p.m. (DST in New York) on Saturday Novemeber 3, 2012. This PC person flies for six hours at 600 mph. What time is it in New York when PC disembarks?

A. 2:00 a.m

B. 1:00 a.m.

C. Depends on whether he lives in Arizona

D. six hours later than it was in Frankfurt

E. Hell if I know….3600 miles later.

And what about the poor dude who works overnight and punches a clock? Does he get a seven hour shift one season and a nine hour shift the next? Did the study calculate the lost wages and taxes thereon when someone quits while owing the employer a missing hour? I don’t think so. Furthermore, if the said dude moves to Hawaii and dies, can the government sue his estate for the taxes due on that hour he did not work? Conversely, can the estate of a dead Arizonan sue the government for overpayment of taxes on hours that came out disproportionately and disenfranchisemently against the said Arizonan? You see what happens when you manipulate time? Sure, you get cool effects like messing with Canadians, but on the other border, illegals are all off by one hour on their scheduled pick ups and drop offs with gringo coyotes who are cranky from having to reset their watches. Not to mention OCD folks who stop and wonder, “Did I set it ahead or back?” over and over and over.

We have to stop this madness. So I am suggesting that we, blog nation, all three of us, bombard our federally elected officials, [except in Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and parts of Indiana] and demand a problem for their solution. If we don’t act soon, we will have global timing issues and many other inconvenient truths to wrestle down. It’s about time for Congress to get serious about time.

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