Last Sunday, I rose from my slumber practically at the crack of dawn. Well, at least sometime before noon. It’s kinda’ hard to be too specific because I forgot to set my clock ahead for Daylight Saving Time. Nevertheless, being a loyal American and a devoted Californian, I was determined to do my best to save daylight in accordance with the wishes of our federal and state governments.
I’m not sure why we’re saving daylight, but maybe we’re using it up too fast, as is the case with our other natural resources. It would, indeed, be terrible if America were to experience darkness at noon, which — coincidentally — was the title of Arthur Koester’s novel about his disillusionment with the communist state at the outbreak of World War II. So, we should all try to save as much daylight as possible.
For most people, the task would involve scooping up some daylight and then storing it in one of the rooms in their house or apartment. For me, it’s not that simple. My house has no interior doors, except for the guest bathrooms and the laundry room. My rooms and hallways are connected by open archways, leaving no means of confining daylight to any location of significant volume.
I decided in the national interest to utilize my whole house as a storage facility, covering all windows and closing the flues on both fireplaces. Of course, I’d have to learn to fall asleep in brightness, but I decided that there’s a trick to our circadian rhythm. All I need do at bedtime is convince myself that I’m just taking a short nap, perhaps hugged by a hammock that is slung between two trees next to my koi pond. If that doesn’t work, there’s always a sleep mask to block out the light.
Catching some rays
Having solved that problem, I had to think of a way to trap daylight, which can be as elusive as Tinkerbell in J. M. Barrie’s tale about Neverland, Captain Hook, and the lost boys. It can also be as devilish as leprechauns in Ireland or elves (known as Huidufólk) in Iceland. But, by watching lots of movies throughout my lifetime, I’ve learned that, if something is hard to grab, throw a net over it.
Fortunately, I have a net stored next to the fish pond, and I spent a good part of the afternoon running back and forth on my property swiping at gobs of daylight. But, each time I pulled my net indoors, the daylight disappeared. Time and again the same phenomenon occurred. I even tried jumping up and down just in front of the portal and yelling “Rumpelstiltskin!” before slipping between the door and the jamb and into the house’s interior. No luck.
It occurred to me that a net is really a sieve, a mesh through which a substance can pass. Maybe I needed something more substantial to hold the daylight, at least temporarily. So, I scrounged around in my garage and found a large cardboard box. “That should do it,” I thought. I opened both the top and bottom of the box and took it outside, allowing it to fill with daylight. Then, holding the item very steadily, I carefully closed the bottom. I looked inside and found that the box was still full of daylight. Then, I closed the top and ran into the house with it. But, alas, when I opened the box, no daylight emerged.
I sat down to analyze the situation. How, I wondered, did the daylight get out of the box? I reasoned that rays of daylight are thinner than minute streams of water, and water can leak through the tiny crevices where the end flaps of the box come together. So, I needed something that would seal tightly, like a corked bottle. Of course, the drawback to using a bottle is that it would take far more trips with a small flask to fill up a whole house with daylight. But, perseverance in the cause of national security is expected of each of us.
I held the bottle by the neck and ran around in various directions, holding the bottle at different angles. But, no combination of efforts seemed to pay off. When I took the bottle into the house and stepped into one of the bathrooms with the door closed and the lights off, no daylight sprang forth when I removed the cork from the bottle. Somehow, the daylight managed to get through the glass before I could even get in the house and slam the door shut.
“Okay,” I thought, “Now it’s time to get serious.” I dragged my strongbox out of its hidey-hole, dumped out the important papers that it held, and took it out to the front lawn. I opened the lid and allowed it plenty of time to fill with daylight. Then, before going back inside, I closed the top and sealed the entire thing in plastic wrap. Once inside my house, I drilled a tiny hole in the side of the box and put my eye to it. Guess what I saw? Inside the box was nothing but dark!
A government scam?
Immediately, my sentiment toward Daylight Saving Time became the same as my feeling about Christmas. Bah! Humbug! Arizona, I decided, has the right idea, simply opting out. As one of my uncles on the Italian side of my family might have said, “Fuggetaboutit!” I’m now convinced that the government is not trying to “pull the wool over our eyes,” as some people claim, but rather that it’s trying to “blind us with daylight.”
Now, I’m no conspiracy theorist, but it seems to me that this “daylight saving time” thing is nothing more than a smoke scheme. Like the lottery, it’s a veiled trick to divert our attention from the drudgery of everyday life. In reality, each day is 24 hours (give or take a few minutes), no matter how it is apportioned. “Day” and “night” are only social constructs. At our polar regions, there are times of the year when it is daylight during the whole 24-hour cycle and other times when it is totally devoid of daylight.
With my eyes finally open to this government scam, I ask myself, “What’s so special about daylight, anyway. For example, there’s nothing worth watching on TV, and dinner is almost always better than breakfast.”