I lost an hour of sleep this weekend. The powers-that-be call it Daylight Saving Time, but I lost an hour and I want it back, I’m thinking with either a nap or a massage.
Those closest to me like to try and tell me that I’ll get an hour back this autumn, but the bags under my eyes know better. To me it all smacks of the ol’ Wimpy “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” routine.
I grew up being told that Benjamin Franklin created Daylight Saving Time so that farmers could work later. That was a lie -- as I have discovered were MANY of the adult answers to my youthful non-stop exuberant WHYWHYWHY? (in their defense, they did not have GoogleGoggles and technical applications as I do with my kids). Benji did give us the Early to Bed and Early to Rise proverb and an entertaining bit about shooting off cannons to wake those ignoring the sun and sleeping in (from a 1784 essay of his, see he didn’t invent DST but it was on his mind). Poor Ben, who did give us Poor Richard’s Alamanc but not Daylight Savings, is not the reason I lost an hour of sleep over the weekend.
In 1895, a guy by the name of George Vernon Hudson first proposed Daylight Saving Time with the idea that an hour of morning daylight would save energy by reducing the need for lighting households in the evening (logic being that the lights would not be on in the mornings because folks were still asleep). Okay. Good theory and all, but studies by the Department of Transportation and the National Bureau of Standards in the mid-1970s reported that “little impact on energy savings could be seen”. Just so you know, Mister Hudson was an entomologist by trade. He studied bugs, not people and not energy plans. If that’s not politics at its finest, I don’t know what is.
Studies have shown that an extra hour of daylight in the evening helps benefit retail businesses and sporting venues and reduces traffic accidents. That’s a good thing. But, I’d bet a buck with our current economic situation the benefits to retail businesses won’t be so evident this year. More sunshine time means hanging out on the porch and working the hibachi or, some other such activities closer to home.
If a guy who studied insects was able to sell the idea of tossing an hour around here and there, convincing the world to adopt Daylight Saving (okay, not EVERYbody entertains DST – I’d have kept my hour in Australia) … I wanna propose something equally as crazy: I think everyone should get an extra week to make up for all the time spent waiting in lines. Think about it. Department of Motor Vehicles. Grocery stores. Airports. Bathrooms. Not-so-fast food joints. Black Friday Sales. Disneyland. You and I have probably wasted a lot more than a cumulative week or two in our lifetimes waiting in lines. We should be mad as heck and demand to get some of it back! [FYI, I’m not completely crazy -- there is something known as “queue rage”, a term coined by a fellow at MIT named Richard Larson who studied the psychology of waiting in lines. I’m thinking he could be pretty helpful in our quest to convince the powers-that-be to get that week back.]
There’s a really funny fellow I follow (on Twitter and his blog), Tim Siedell (BadBanana), and I loved his recent comment of “The decision not to set back my clocks last fall is looking pretty good right now.” Not so funny. I have three clocks in my home (and one watch) that I never get around to winding either forward or backward. It makes for good conversation and confusion and I’m a fan of both, at times (Spring or Fall).