At the turn of the last century, some Englishman got good and riled that he kept having to cut his afternoon round of golf short due to the failing light and so wrote a paper (the old school version of a blog) advocating for moving the clocks forward two hours so that after work he could actually finish his round. I’ve always wondered what it would it take to make an Englishman actually angry about something; I should have known that it would involve either golf or tea.
In any event more than a century later and on an entirely different continent, millions of Americans were rudely awakened by their alarm clocks an hour early in the dark of night today to shuffle, zombie-like, into work because apparently enough Brits agreed that it was a damn shame that they couldn’t get in a round of golf in the afternoon.
Ostensibly, DST was adopted in the U.S. during the first world war to limit the amount of coal that was burned to provide electricity. This was back in the day when a house’s primary usage of electricity was lighting. Even though modern life is much different from the peasant existence of those days (many people at that time worked 10-12 hour days for next to no money just to feed their families… can you imagine?!) we still cling to the time-honored tradition of DST just because it’s so amazingly cool.
I know that I always find it refreshing when just as I start to appreciate starting out to work with the rising of the sun, I’m allowed to again wake up in the middle of the night and head off to work in the bleak half-shadows of pre-dawn. It adds that little extra “this winter will never end” feeling that we’ve all needed these past weeks to lift our spirits and help us get through the day.
In fact, I’d like to propose updating the DST system so that several times throughout the summer the clock is advanced an hour at a time until June 21st (summer solstice and longest day of the year) and then slowly retreated in the same manner until December. This way, people can always have the wonderful opportunity to wake up in complete darkness like some kind of Mole Person and the sun won’t set until almost midnight, allowing businesses to save even more money on lighting; especially the ones without windows that are open 24 hours a day.
In closing today I’d like to apologize to whomever it was that tried to cheerfully greet me this morning. Apparently I don’t do well with arbitrarily changing the clocks. I don’t really think that your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries; I apologize for taunting you.