The Pun Also Rises: It's time to let the sun set on daylight saving time


This coming weekend is daylight saving time, or as I like to call it, daylight thieving time, since an hour is stolen from you against your will. That's not how savings work, and if you think it is, then I have just opened a bank you should definitely use.

I used to always forget which direction to change the time each year, but then I remembered the handy mnemonic device, "Spring ahead, Fall back, it's just a Jump to the left, and then a Step to the right, Kick, Punch, it's all in the mind, you do the Hokey Pokey, you turn yourself around, and now all the clocks in your house are wrong."

Hopefully that helps you remember.

For a while, it was the case that every year at daylight saving time, all of the clocks in my house would be wrong. Finally, a few years ago, I wised up. I have two clocks in my bedroom, and rather than reset them twice a year, I just keep one set to the correct time Eastern Standard Time, and one set to the correct time Eastern Daylight Time. Now when this time of year rolls around, I don't have to change any clocks. I just have to recall which one is correct.

If you've ever been at an event where I showed up fashionably one hour late, you know that I don't always get it right. But I consider that a small price to pay for not having to change all the clocks in the house twice a year.

But while changing the clocks is an annoyance, even more annoying is the fact that you lose an hour. As I get older, I find myself losing too many hours already. On any given evening, I find myself shocked and surprised when it is midnight, because it was clearly nine o'clock just an hour or two ago. Of course, I realize I haven't actually "lost" these hours, I have merely misplaced them, and I will probably find them again while I am on hold with the IRS.

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Still, I resent the loss of an hour. And why do we continue with this semiannual fiddly changing of the clocks? This is a leftover relic from agrarian times, back before we had electricity and needed sunlight to do things. I feel like as soon as Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, he should have said, "And by the way, we can also now get rid of daylight saving time." [Although maybe he didn't do that because Humphry Davy and Joseph Swan and others had invented lightbulbs earlier, and daylight saving time let Edison turn the clocks back and be known as the first inventor of the light bulb.]

My point is, daylight saving time was created for a bygone era, and we should get rid of it. I know some people say, "But I love daylight saving time because I have another hour to feel the sunlight on my face."

This is why I have a modest proposal: daylight shaving time.

Every year in March, those with beards can shave them off, and those with long hair can cut it back, and everyone can feel more sunlight on their faces. And every year to kick off November, people can resolve not to trim their hair, and then their faces will receive less light.

In case you have trouble remembering it, I have come up with this helpful rhyme:

"March means manes won't be displayed, No-vember: No, don't touch that blade, it's just a Jump to the left, and then a Step to the right ... ."

Seth Brown of North Adams is an award-winning humor writer and the author of "From God To Verse." His website is The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of The Berkshire Eagle.


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