It’s one of two Sundays a year when we’re reminded that the kitchen has more clocks than necessary: microwave, oven, coffeemaker and the thermometer that communicates with an outside sensor. Boy, that’s helpful. “Look at that! It’s not only 10-below, it’s 5:23 p.m. I’m just awash in pertinent information.”
You may have asked yourself which direction you were expected to command time to go and thought: It’s something that sounded like a hastily planned disastrous military offensive ... Ah, spring ahead/fall back.
Drat, this time it’s ahead.
We all like the falling back more than the springing ahead. You get a little frisson of immortality when you fall back: “Behold my power to control time, simply by pressing these buttons! Yea, though the clock just struck midnight, I command it to be 11 p.m. It’s yesterday’s shank.”
(Yesterday’s Shank, by the way, is playing at one of the local casinos next weekend. They had a hit in ’69, “Groovy Tho’ the Tulips Be.” They’re all dead except the drummer.)
You feel somewhat helpless when you turn the clocks forward: “Gah! An hour gone. Water through my hand.” Time holds the whip, lashing us toward the yawning grave. If you overshoot it, you might have to hold it down to run through another 24 hours, which means it’s technically Monday and you blew the whole weekend.
That hour was yours and now it’s stolen. Heck, it was probably sold to someone on the other side of the international date line, and he’s using it to watch your favorite Netflix show. This is just stupid.
Is it really, though?
No. The traditional grumbles about falling back come from morning people. They complain because it’s dimmer out when they stir. They have a point, but here’s something important to remember: I don’t care, because I like longer evenings, and my side won. (Sticking out tongue.)
But I am not without compassion. We can reach an accommodation. We abandon the biannual switch; we never fall back again — except once, and then by 30 minutes. We split the difference, in other words. This will require the participation of the entire world, but we could stop all our clocks for 30 minutes on a Wednesday afternoon, say, and then make sure that everyone gets paid for an extra half-hour of work.
Downside: Well, I’ve read enough sci-fi to know that any babies born during that 30-minute period probably would be immortal mutants with strange powers and vast intellects, and they probably would rule the world after three decades.
On the other hand, no one would have to figure out how to set the coffeemaker clock ever again. Seems like a fair trade.