Bob’s alarm clock goes off before mine at 4:30. We are snoozers so it’s 20-30 minutes before Mr. Coffee goes to work. Bob started dreading the start of Daylight Saving Time last week when he noticed it on the calendar. (“We are going to lose an hour on Sunday. An hour. I hate losing that hour. I’ll be exhausted all week. I’ll never get to work on time when I’ve lost that hour of sleep.”)
Although I love having extended daylight after work, I hate the process. I would be more vocal about disliking the process if Bob weren’t remonstrating for two. I remember my parents complaining about the start of DST and thinking it bothered them more because they were old. After all, I thought “they’ll get the hour back in October. Why are they so upset?” Many years later, I’m right there with them. And I won’t care about getting the hour back in the fall. It will mess me up then, too.
Bob walked out the door at 5:45 and I left for my house right afterwards. Usually, I answer email or do laundry. I might do a little crafting or housekeeping. This morning, I walked in my front door, fed Lulu the wild cat, turned on Morning Joe, and cuddled with Betsy the Bosty on the couch. I fell into such a deep sleep that I’m glad my neighbor’s 10-year-old grand-daughter came over to show me her school pictures. It’s lunchtime now and I’m on my 3rd pot of coffee. Yes, I said “pot” and not “cup.” I am a muddled puddle of tired today.
That’s me and the rest of the nation except for folks in Arizona and Hawaii.
Governments used DST in WWI in an effort to conserve fuel needed to produce electric power and assist the war effort. It continued for two years after the war until Congress repealed it with a sufficient majority to over-ride President Wilson’s veto. Now that’s a Congress that may have had more than a 13% approval rating.
The 2nd WW caused DST to be resurrected and used nationally until 1945 when the decision to use it or not was left to the states between 1945 and 1966. It was in 1966 that LBJ signed the Uniform Time Act into law. The law made DST uniform throughout the U.S. and its possession; states whose legislatures voted to stay on standard time were exempt. Only Arizona and Hawaii loved their constituents enough to vote against DST and didn’t get peer pressured into changing their minds.
DST has been responsible for thwarting at least one terrorist plot in September 1999. Israel changed to standard time while the West Bank was on Daylight Saving Time. Terrorists on the West Bank made time bombs and smuggled them to their counterparts in Israel who misunderstood the time. When they planted the bombs, they exploded and killed the terrorists rather than the 2 busloads of tourists they intended to kill.
Riots are routinely caused by the change to Daylight Saving Time. Bars that stay open past 2:00 a.m. lose an hour drinking time when clocks “spring forward.” Near Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, more than 2,000 late night partiers, most of them students, threw liquor bottles at police as they chanted “Freedom” after being ejected from local bars.
One of the arguments used in England for cessation of Daylight Saving Time is that implementation might conceivably affect the property and title inheritance. Twins born at 11:55 p.m. and 12:05 a.m. may have different birthdays, but Daylight Saving Time can change birth order. In November 2007, Laura Cirioli of North Carolina gave birth to Peter at 1:32 a.m. and, 34 minutes later, to Allison. Because Daylight Saving Time reverted to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m., Allison was born at 1:06 a.m. and went from being the younger twin to the older one—on paper, at least.
It will take me at least a few days before my DST rebellion eases and I am back to waking a few minutes before the alarm toots. In the meantime, I will be struggling to recover that hour and thinking that Rick Santorum might be right that the Devil is operating in our hemisphere.
Did I say Santorum might be right? Cheeeeezzzzz! It’s the sleep deprivation.
Credits: Douma, M., curator. (2008). Daylight Saving Time. Retrieved March 12, 2012, from http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving (This is an incredibly cool online museum, a public service of the Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA). )