Immodest Proposal #1:
Daylight Savings Time Reform
Richard S. Holmes, RICH@suhep.phy.syr.edu
It happens every spring: crocuses, baseball (with any luck), and the switch to
Daylight Savings Time (DST).
Coming off DST is not hard. In the Fall, we set our clocks back one hour. We
all get an extra hour to sleep, and those who forget find themselves at church,
or the airport, or wherever an hour early. Embarassing, but not catastrophic.
But in the Spring we set the clocks forward, and the trouble begins. We lose
an hour of sleep. Forgetful people miss Mass, planes, breakfast, and the big
game on TV. Some are thrown into disarray for up to a full week. Annual
losses due to DST confusion have been estimated (by me) at over a million
dollars. I myself have missed a flight to Washington and a showing of The
Seven Samurai because of DST.
There is no need for such tragic waste. We can -- we should and must -- urge
our lawmakers to reform Daylight Savings Time as follows:
Setting clocks back is easy; setting them forward is difficult. Therefore, let
us keep the fall ritual as it is. However, one Sunday each Spring, let us set
our clocks not one hour forward, but TWENTY-THREE HOURS BACKWARD.
Think of all the advantages. We will not lose an hour of sleep; we will gain
(almost) a day of rest. It will be Saturday all over again. You will never
again miss Confession, or an airplane, or the Redskins game.
Naturally, if this were the whole plan, our calendars would fall behind one day
in each year. However, the second part of the Revised DST Plan deals with
this. Every four years, instead of adding a day, let us SUBTRACT THREE DAYS.
Furthermore, let these be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, which according to
recent polls are the least popular days.
If done in February, which seems reasonable considering what a miserable month
it is, this would have the beneficial side effect of shortening the
excruciating presidential primary season by an effective four days.
The advantages of this plan are clear. Let us waste no time. With a determine
effort we can have Reformed Daylight Savings Time by Spring of next year.
Write your congressperson today!