What Life Was Like Before Daylight Saving Time


And we automatons mustn’t forget to change the batteries in our smoke detectors, too!

It’s that glorious time of year where all of those stinking clocks must return backward one stupid hour in this National Charade that some people call the “time change”, as if this phenomenon is something casual and normal, just a minor pattern in life’s mindless little game. I feel like a peasant serf with no human rights as I grumble in the dark from one clock to the next, fumbling in bitter frustration with each device because their controls are all different. What choice do we have but to participate in a nationwide lie? Daylight Savings is a violation against nature!


The clock has a good laugh at my expense while I fumble with the infernal dial.

Some of my clocks require manual winding; others have a puzzle of buttons. Some of the clocks change all by themselves because they are soooo smart (like everything else these days…hmph!) And I can never remember from the last time change how to set each one, so I relearn each clock between spittings and cussings and gnashings of teeth.

Ooh, we get to sleep in for an extra hour! Ooh, it’s light outside in the morning now when just yesterday it was so dismally dark at 7:00am. Phooey! Have we forgotten where this extra hour came from? It was stolen from us last spring! Besides, I woke up at the same time as I did yesterday but now I have to wait around for an hour while the rest of the world catches up. The day just drags along; I look up at the clock at suppertime and realize I have to wait for another hour. My stomach probably hates this business more than the rest of my aching bag-of-bones body.

I even hate that term, “Daylight Saving Time”. If I write it as “Daylight Savings Time” (which is what I really want to do), then I look like an illiterate ignoramus, but if I write it the proper way, “Daylight Saving Time”, I feel like a phony, pretentious heel. “Daylight Saving Time” feels like the castrated, eunuch version of “Daylight Savings”. And anyway, what an awful, awkward term for this despicable policy!


Maybe the pre-Daylight Savings world wasn’t quite a utopia. But we did have grilled eels in the rafters!

The world didn’t always impose this tomfoolery upon the people of the middle and upper latitudes.[1] There was once a happy and peaceful time when the hour and minute remained constant throughout the year, a very sensible and logical time where no one could even imagine that we should mess with our clocks.

In the world before Daylight Savings, the air smelled sweeter, and the water was crisp and clear. People didn’t have to wear shoes, and people took the time to smile and say “hello” to perfect strangers..

People didn’t have to shower as often back then because there was less dirt. Dogs and cats lived longer in those days (except for little, irritating, yappy dogs who only lived for six months). Distances were shorter and people didn’t have to drive cars; they just walked or rode bicycles. “The roof-planks overhead were baked of finest gingerbread. The rafters were of eels grilled, and the roofs were decked with sweets.”[2]

The pre-Daylight Savings world was like a slice of heaven with a puff of whipped cream on top. And a cherry.

Then the World Wars came along, and with them the sneering menace of Daylight Saving Time. Winters grew colder, and the summers scorching hot! The friendly world had turned into a harsh, dog-eat-dog wasteland. One day, married couples smiled into each others’ eyes, smitten in blissful matrimony. But the very next morning they hated the sight of each other and filed for divorce.


Well, wha’d’ya know? It’s the Campbells Soup kids!

One morning, rosy-cheeked little children awoke an hour later than usual, but they found that their hair had grown long and matted, that their clothes were covered with beads and daffodils and tie-dyed patterns, and leather straps had grown across the tops of their heads. And worst of all, the little children had all sprouted long, scraggly beards! Daylight Savings had snuck into their bedrooms during the night and, while defacing the clocks, had defiled all of the children into a lunatic horde of wild-dancing, tambourine-rattling, long-haired hippies!


Daylight Savings transformed our youth into a bunch of long-haired hippies!


Hoosiers proudly left their clocks alone until Mitch Daniels came along with his newfangled ideas about time changes.

Indiana resisted this tide of temporal corruption for decades. Then that troll Mitch Daniels came along with his newfangled ways! Hoosiers were once proud of their unchanging time. Who cared about the rest of the country? We were right, and they were all wrong! We could be proud at our independence!

Back in 1959, Millie and I had received a nice Ingersoll wind-up mantel clock as a wedding gift. I set the clock in 1959 and never even once had to set it again (just wind it) until the government of Indiana betrayed its people in 2006.


Thanks to Daylight Savings, I have to put up with yappings and little messes for the rest of my days. Thanks for nothing, time change!

Shortly after that infamous day, Millie brought home “just the cutest little darling ever”; she simply couldn’t resist bringing little Angie the Pomeranian home. And Millie knew, she claimed, that I would fall in love with this little doll just like she did. And what could I say to her? That absurdly adorable puppy grew into the yapping scourge of my formerly peaceful and quiet home life. All thanks to Mitch Daniels and his Daylight Savings. Good for business, he said. Well, thanks a lot! Hmph!

If we could put a stop to this curse on our civilization, if we could all band together against the tyranny of Daylight Savings, could the world return to those gloriously clean and peaceful days, now almost forgotten, when the clocks knew no change?

I only hope that I can live long enough to see that day.

[1] Except, oddly enough, for parts of Brazil.

[2] “There are the roof planks overhead, baked of finest gingerbread. The rafters are of eels grilled, the roofs are decked with sweets.” 15th Century Middle Dutch Rhyming Text. “Dit Is Van Dat Edele Land Van Cockaengen.” The Land of Cokaygne. J.A.Syiek, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013. http://www.thegoldendream.com/landofcokaygne.htm


2 thoughts on “What Life Was Like Before Daylight Saving Time

  1. It’ll take us a week to get all the clocks set right. Trying to remember which clock has been set and which hasn’t always confuses me, and I have lived my whole life with daylight saving[s] time. But I don’t have anywhere to be most days, so, oh well.

    ps We have a cat clock exactly like the one pictured, its not set either.

    • There are a few clocks that I don’t even bother to change, like the one in the garage and my water softener. With only four months at the correct time, it isn’t inconvenient to just wait. I wish I could ignore them all.

      You must have good tastes in your clocks! 🙂

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