It was 20 years ago in the spring that I wrote my first diatribe about the ill effects of daylight-saving time and how, while I love being on daylight-saving time, it is the change that gives me so much grief. The same can be said for the fall, when we go back to standard time.
I don’t know how you feel about all of this, but I still feel the same as I did 20 years ago: For me, the second Sunday in March is the worst day of my life. I’m forced to leave my warm little cocoon a whole hour earlier than my body says I should be leaving. And it’s not just one day — it goes on for months.
To add insult to injury, not only will I be physically suffering from this artificial jet lag, I will be in a constant state of mental confusion as my mind keeps having this ongoing conversation. You know the one I’m talking about. It goes something like this: “What time is it really? The clock says 10:30 p.m. but my body says 9:30 p.m., and I’m not sleepy.” Or: “The clock says 6:30 a.m. and I need to get up, but my body says it’s 5:30 a.m. and there is no way I’m going to get up.”
After a while, you’re not sure what time it’s supposed to be; I start to feel like I’m in the middle of a Twilight Zone episode. I can even see Rod Sterling standing off to the side, telling me, in his distinctive voice, that “you are now entering the …………”
I am convinced that daylight-saving time is a diabolical plot, deeply rooted in puritanical ethics, that has been perpetrated upon us by our government for the sole purpose of turning us all into zombies. They’ll never admit it, of course. In fact, they claim that this little time warp is for the purpose of saving energy. Like any good government, they spent millions of dollars to prove it.
“Based on consumption figures for 1974 and 1975, the Department of Transportation says observing Daylight Saving Time in March and April saved the equivalent in energy of 10,000 barrels of oil each day—a total of 600,000 barrels in each of those two years. California Energy Commission studies confirm a saving of about one percent per day.” What they should have measured was the loss of energy from every citizen from lack of sleep and overall confusion about what time it really is.
Daylight-saving time isn’t just an American phenomenon. It has been going on in Europe for decades, where they have added a little twist that further proves my point that the government is playing with our minds.
In Europe, daylight-saving time is known as “summertime.” That’s right folks, from the end of March to the end of October, the European governments try to brainwash the citizenry into believing that it is perpetual summertime. Hells bells, it’s not even spring until May and if we are really lucky, we might have summer by August. Can you imagine what would happen to me if I went skipping down the street on the first of April announcing to everyone that it was now officially summertime?
I suppose I should be grateful that I am being required to get up earlier. After all, that is supposed to be the most peaceful time of the day. It’s a time when we should be out wandering in our gardens communing with nature and centering ourselves for what the rest of the day has to offer us.
But you know what? While I like the thought of being up in the early morning hours, I don’t like the act of getting up. As far as I am concerned, the early bird can have the worm, I’ll wait for the coffee and toast.
There is a common myth that people who work in the agricultural field like to get up early. It’s just not true, and I can prove it.
In 1973, following the Arab oil embargo, Congress put most of the country on extended daylight-saving time for the purpose of saving more oil. While the experiment worked, it was ultimately terminated in 1975 due to a large human outcry coming from guess who: the farming states.
That’s right, farmers don’t like to get up at the crack of dawn. And neither does this gardener!
Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville will host wreath-making beginning Saturday, Nov. 18. For more information, go to www.sunnysidenursery.net/events.
Steve Smith represents Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.