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Jeff Whitten: Saving some daytime light
editor's notes

We live in bumptious times.

As proof in a roundabout sort of way, note that today when it is 5 p.m. it will be 5 p.m., but at this same time next week it’ll be 6 p.m., even though it was just 5 p.m. at that same moment a week earlier, and will be 5 p.m. again come November.

It’s all because of something called Daylight Savings Time, that twice a year 2 a.m. exercise in screwing up everybody’s biorhythms by moving time around.

Spring forward, we’re told, and there we go, losing an hour we could employ doing something worthwhile, like looking at trees before they all get cut down.

Fall back, someone demands in November. And there we go again, setting clocks back to where they were before we sprang forward.

And what for? You lose an hour and then get it back several months later, and in both instances you wind up jet lagged for days without actually having had the fun of getting on a jet and going anywhere.

In fact, apart from those reminders most of us ignore to change the smoke alarm batteries, about the only positive to changing clocks is that it gives us a common enemy, an increasingly important sidebar since each side thinks the other side is out to get them. Which is probably true, come to think of it.

Anyway, all of God’s children – at least all of them I know – hate changing the clock up and back, back and up, year in and year out.

That’s why people are glad to hear our state legislators in Atlanta are considering a bill to move permanently to daylight savings time. It just passed the house and will now get examined by our salty senators.

It’s House Bill 44, should you be in the mood to look it up or write a letter to somebody and tell them to get on the stick with this thing. Not that we’re entirely united in where time should be, since some folks (probably Libertarians) want it the other way around. They say we should go permanently to the time that is not daylight savings time, also known as regular time or standard time something. Whatever. The thing is to just pick one and be done with it.

Unless you’re into local control.

You hear that term a lot from Republicans, but you also hear it from Democrats. Lots of people want local control, whether it’s local control of our schools, local control of our sales taxes or local control of our planning and zoning, so slick talking out of state builders in shorts and fishing shirts can’t run amok and stick 4,200 plastic houses on 100.29 acres without sidewalks and tell us it’s good for us.

If we can figure that out, why not local control of our time? There could be a Pembroke standard time, a Richmond Hill standard time and an Ellabell standard time, and it doesn’t even have to be close. Ellabell could say it’s noon, Pembroke could say it’s 2 p.m. and Richmond Hill could say it’s time for another planned unit development over there behind those other 13.

But that’s still passing the buck. If we’re really into purely local control, and we’re true red-blooded independent free Americans, why should we let a bunch of glad handing politicians tell us what time it is? We need to tell them what time it is, because we’re No. 1.

If you really like 5 p.m. because it’s time to tell your boss to do a running Johnny Paycheck and then crack open a cold beer and bag of pork rinds, then make it 5 p.m. all the time in your world. Sure, it will likely be a different time out there when you leave the house to get more supplies and the stores are closed, or you drive down to corporate to find out why your paycheck isn’t showing up, but this is about your freedom from the man.

Don’t tread on me, right?


Besides, I always say if you want to put a skink farm on your property and raise and skin skinks and sell the carcasses to hippies to make their wrinkle cream out of, and turn the skink rib meat into skink jerky and export it to China so they can sell it back to California, you should be able to do that.

And if you like skink farming in flip flops and flowerdy shirts at 3 p.m. Tuesdays so while you’re at it you can watch MyTV reruns of Ginger and Maryanne on Gilligan’s Island, why shouldn’t you be able to make it 3 p.m. Tuesday all the time, every time?

Let your state legislators know what time it is. You’ll be glad you did.

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