The basement files: The time traveling troubador


One thing I have learned over the past couple days is that I tend to over-prepare for Halloween. Heck, I even had an extra bag of candy that wasn’t even opened that night! It’s gone now. I’m not sure how it happened — the last few days have been a blur of sugar-rushes and crashes, but I’m quite confident I know where it all went. So, while I sit here trying to re-adjust my butt-groove on my couch, I want to talk about time traveling, and why I’m getting real sick of it.

As a nocturnal shut-in, one would assume that I wouldn’t even notice these twice-yearly time-shifts, but I do. I don’t get to sleep through them either, I’m awake, I experience the transition, and I must say I tire of the whole thing, and think that we should bid this whole “Daylight Saving Time,” thing adieu, because it is a heck of a lot more hassle than it’s worth.

But I’m not going to get into the specific reasons why DST isn’t needed anymore; I’m going to talk about why it really irks me. Why it gets under my craw. Why, like the word “queue,” I have this irrational, nonsensical, and really unwarranted ire toward something as mundane as what time it is. So, where do I start?

Well, let’s start with the name itself. I happen to like etymology and consider it a hobby of mine, which is unfortunate because it has brought me nothing but frustration with fellow English speakers. While it doesn’t get me as worked up as say, the word “often,” people insist on mispronouncing “Daylight Saving Time” as “Daylight Savings Time.” Not as big of a deal as that elusive silent “T” but bothersome nonetheless. I do fault people a bit less on this one though, and generally don’t correct them unless I’m feeling particularly confrontational, because at least the change makes some sense and doesn’t grind the word to the point where it sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard … Silent “L,” in case you missed it … or would it be, “in case you didn’t miss it?” Now I’m just being difficult.

What really begins to chap my recently-growing rear though is the buildup coming up to the “magic moment” where we all get “an extra hour to sleep.” It’s the same stuff, every day, for about a week. You really only need two reminders: one the day of, and one a week back. This would also get rid of those cliché’ phrases such as “gain an hour” and, as previously stated, getting that “extra hour of sleep,” followed immediately by a story about how this throws off our sleep habits. I used to laugh at the irony of the situation, but it’s the same thing on every channel, every year. But, it gets worse.

Daylight Saving Time is over. We are back to Central Standard Time, and we’re asked, by the very first news sources we see, if we “remembered to turn our clocks back.” Newspapers, I give you a pass on this, since you aren’t read at the exact same time every single day … and I write for a really awesome one that you should keep your subscription with because it’s awesome. But television news, for shame! Especially you morning shows! It really gets me when they start the newscast with “Good morning everyone, did you remember to turn your clocks back last night?” Of course they did! If they didn’t they wouldn’t be watching you right now! Maybe I’m being too negative and am overlooking the “cutesy charm/lighthearted banter/witty repartee” they were going for. Wasn’t that a side effect of interrupting and suddenly changing my sleep cycle? Huh, kind of wish I watched that story now. I mean, “read,” because reading expands your mind, and the American tradition of the print journalist is alive and well and should be supported! Newsprint, it’s not just for silly-putty anymore!

Anyway, I’m starting to get side-tracked, and my sugar-high has peaked and is crashing down faster than a Coyote in the grand canyon, which is making it all but impossible to focus, or is that the lack of sleep? Or some sinister combination of both? Only one way to find out, and since the sun is coming up, it must mean it’s time for bed. So tune in, er, pick up next week’s paper fans, and find out if I start making any more sense, see if I could possibly use any more hyphens than I did this week, or have gone completely batty!