By the time you read this, you will have gone through the ritual of setting your clocks and other time-keeping devices back one hour to stay in step with the rest of the world.
Most people take care of the chore Saturday night before they go to bed.
I prefer to wait until the official time change –- at 2 a.m. Sunday –- to make the switch.
That’s a joke.
Actually, the whole time change is a joke. A charade. A parlor trick. Not to mention a nuisance and a chore.
Not only do we have to go through the process of resetting every timekeeping device we have twice a year, but we have to listen to TV news types constantly talking about the “extra hour” we’ll have and what we should do with it.
Um, news flash.
There is no extra hour.
We have to give it back in March 2017 (At 2 a.m. Sunday, March 12, 2017, if you want to plan).
We get no extra daylight. The sun still rises and sets at the same time. We’re just affixing a different time to it.
This time of year, when we have to move the clock back an hour, we’re serenaded by the siren’s song of getting an extra hour of sleep.
It’s even crept into the vernacular. “Hey, you get an extra hour of sleep this weekend.”
How sad is that? Suppose the temporal powers that be actually offered us the option of a real extra hour, given to us to use however we wish. And we go with, “Um, I’ll just stay in bed.”
We’re an ambitious bunch, aren’t we?
One of the things I do like about Daylight Saving Time is the mnemonic devices we use to remind ourselves that it’s time to make the change. “Spring ahead” when we move our clocks forward in the spring and “fall back” in the autumn when it’s time to do the opposite. That’s solid marketing.
But not enough to sell me.
Another fallout of the time change is that we’re all mentally “doing the math” for a few days after the switch. Or even the day before. “Well, the clock says 7 o’clock, but it’s really 8 o’clock.”
When I was a kid, my memories of the time change revolve around watching churchgoers arrive at the wrong time for Sunday service. We lived across the street from a church, and every Sunday after the time change, there would always be a few cars driving aimlessly through the lot, either an hour early or an hour late, depending on the time of year.
There’s always 5 percent that don’t get the word. My theory is that these are the same 5 percent who answer “don’t know” or “no opinion” on all those surveys.
Many people, perhaps most, don’t give the time change a second thought. Especially at this time of year, when you “gain” an hour.
Maybe I hold the clock in higher regard because I spent more than two decades in radio, and my on-air life was governed by the clock. Especially in the early years, when we on-air folks would have to “back-time” into the news at the top of the hour and perform all sorts of other temporally governed chores.
But that’s another show. And another column.
If you’re interested in the history of Daylight Saving Time, you can find plenty of information on timeanddate.com and other websites.
I’d dig it up and share it with you, but I ran out of time. I used my extra hour to sleep in.