What Time Is It?

Time. It really doesn't exist. It's a manmade unit of measure. According to a noted anthropologist, the notion of "time" was invented by primitive peoples to explain the interval from the point when the waitress takes your order to the point when the food actually arrives at your table (not counting the rolls and butter).

Time. For some it goes by quickly. For others it drags. And for still others it tap-tap-tap dances along at just the right pace (lucky dogs!). But for most of us, we just go about our business and let the clock on the wall take care of all the ticking and turning and time keeping. As some poet once said, "Time and the tide, it waits for no man." Well, neither does the Logan Shuttle.

Actually, I have no problem with time. We have a mutual agreement. Time dictates that I was born at 10:44 am on September 4, 1962. I plan to expire somewhere just north of 10:44 am on September 4, 2062. In between those two points it's a tug of war. So again, I have no problem with time. That's why it really bugs me when people start messing around with the mechanics of what makes up "time." Can't they leave anything alone? First Pluto and now this! (Let me explain.)

Have you looked at your wall calendar lately? I mean really looked at it? By that, I mean have you flipped ahead to see what's in store for us in the coming months. It's okay to flip ahead ... it's called planning. Well, I've recently examined two different calendars and, strangely, they tell two different stories.

The first calendar shows the most remarkable convergence happening on, of all days, April 1, which falls on a Sunday. On that day, according to the first calendar, three things were to occur: April Fool's Day, Palm Sunday, and the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. That's quite an agenda for one little ol' Sunday. In fact, I can imagine the combination of the three events probably culminating in some dastardly trick involving an incorrectly set alarm clock causing you to arrive late at church service - right at the point in the Passion reading when Judas kisses Jesus. Oh, and by the way, you'd be wearing a "Kick Me" sign taped to your back.

Well, don't worry. The folks at Calendar Central must have huddled and determined that it's against some timekeeping bylaw to have three significant events scheduled for one day - that and the fact that it's difficult to fit all that type into one measly calendar block. So voila, my second calendar correctly shows Daylight Saving Time as March 11.

Wait a minute, March 11? That's early. (Double take) Yes, March 11 - Daylight Saving Time - by Federal government mandate! Good God, I haven't even finished boxing all the Christmas decorations yet!

Daylight Savings Time begins March 11 at 2:00 am. And it ends even later this year - on November 4, which is after Halloween and let's face it, that just goofs up everything. That means it will still be light outside when the little kiddies start arriving at the front door wearing their Hillary and Mitt costumes! Where's the fun in that?

Daylight Savings Time has been the bane of humanity since it was first introduced by the Germans back in World War I. The year was 1916. The Germans figured that by turning their clocks ahead one hour they could have their troops on the battlefield an hour before the allies. This worked to their advantage until the Brits got wise and turned their clocks ahead one hour so both sides were fighting on the same schedule. The Germans then turned their calendar ahead one day, which didn't seem to make any difference whatsoever. They then began calling Monday "Friday" (or Freitag, in their language), but that only confused their own soldiers. After the US joined the war effort we eventually turned our clocks ahead one hour, which helped greatly in getting our doughboys to battle on time. After all, there's nothing more embarrassing than arriving late to the battlefield and finding that all the good trenches have already been taken.

But all this really means very little when pitted against a tall glass of water with a slice of lime and Jo Stafford playing on the turntable. I'm sorry ... what were we talking about? Ah yes, time. Time really doesn't exist. It's a manmade unit of measure. For some it goes by quickly. For others it drags.

Jack Sheedy

CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.