Well, here we are, all a little grumpier than usual, a little more annoyed than usual, and thoroughly exhausted. And, it’s not even because 2020 is so painfully far away. It’s because of this stupid, ridiculous, nonsensical ritual insanity in which we participate every six months: rolling the clocks forward or backward an hour to accommodate an agrarian lifestyle that no longer exists, except for a relatively small fraction of society. And, here’s the kicker: That small fraction of society doesn’t even need this stupid ritual because they’re self-employed and they can get up as early or late as they like.
Farmers, I’m looking at you.
We allegedly must tolerate this utter nonsense so that you can have more daylight in the morning during winter.
Because corn and cows are really picky about where the hands are on the clock.
For awhile, there was hope. I thought the Biannual Nonsensical Clock Ritual was coming to an end. Last March, I wrote about Assembly Bill 807, proposed by Assemblymember Kansen Chu (D-San Jose). This bill would have put a measure on the California ballot, allowing the repeal of a 1949 initiative that inflicted Daylight Saving Time upon California. With voter approval, the state legislature could adjust it, repeal it, or keep Daylight Saving Time year-round.
No adjustments, people. I know how you politicians roll. You’ll form a committee that will produce something even worse that everyone will loathe, and then you’ll brush your hands and call it a day. Leave it to a committee and we’ll have Daylight Savings Time and Standard Time swapping every other month.
Either/or, people: Daylight Saving Time or Standard Time. Majority vote wins. Minority losers, suck it up, buttercup. It’s called democracy.
It sounds so simple and clean, right? And me, although I prefer Daylight Saving Time, I’m so over “Spring Forward, Fall Back” that I no longer care. One or the other. Flip a coin. Just END IT.
And right about now, you’re all nodding vigorously in agreement because you too have had it with our stupid clock nonsense. And if you’re not… if you actually enjoy all this pointless lunacy, well… we’re no longer friends and we can’t sit at the same lunch table anymore.
Go read somebody else’s column.
Anyway. AB 807 was supposed to restore sanity to our schedules, and here March 2018 comes rolling around, and I flip the calendar to March, and what do I see staring right back at me on Sunday? Daylight Saving Time begins.
What the whatedy-what?
Surely it’s a print error… the calendars were made for those 47 unenlightened states that are still participating in this collective insanity (and what sort of bizarro world are we in when Arizona is on the short list of “enlightened” states) and I unfortunately got stuck with a non-California calendar. Or maybe we’re just switching to Daylight Saving Time permanently, and the biannual insanity is over.
I contacted our trusty Assemblymember, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, and asked her what’s up with the Daylight Saving Time bill. Last time I’d asked, the bill had made it as far as a committee. Her response: “Assemblymember Chu’s bill is sitting in the Senate, in the inactive file.”
The committee killed my bill.
Noooooo!!!!!! (Visual: Rapid montage of disastrous images like those they roll in comedies when someone screams in horror… massive flocks of flamingos take flight in panic, mudslides and avalanches hurtle down and swallow hillsides and villages, the Hindenberg crashes down in flames, and there’s the obligatory monkey strapped to a board in a laboratory, with a Medusa wig of wires screwed into its head screaming in terror.)
Followed by quiet weeping… why… just… why…
In the spirit of good investigative journalism, I asked Mr. Google if Cecilia was correct, and of course, she was. AB 807 died in a Senate committee and was ordered to the inactive file on Sept. 14, at the request of Senator Ben Allen (D-Somewhere in SoCal). I don’t actually know if Allen was singularly responsible for the shelving of a bill that would have eliminated my single biggest pet peeve in life (aside from Prius drivers going 55 in the fast lane, and P.S., I hate you guys), but the request has his name on it, so that makes him the scapegoat.
Mr. Allen, you are officially my least favorite person in the world right now.
(Don’t sweat it, pal. Trump will tweet some random brain vomit any moment now and you’ll be off my radar.)
So, do we give up? Oh hell no. We must channel all this glorious, sleep-deprived aggravation into action. Right about now, we’ve all got our crankypants on good and tight, which means it’s the perfect time to fire off a letter or email to our representatives and demand that the Biannual Nonsensical Clock Ritual come to an end. Daylight Savings Time or Standard Time — either/or. Flip a coin. No one cares anymore, and those who do have a preference will just have to get used to staying on one time schedule year-round (see “buttercup” note, above), and those who really, really dig springing forward and falling back… what are you still doing here? Didn’t I tell you to scram?
As for me, this column is my open letter to every single member of the California legislature: For the love of God, stop the insanity! This is California, not Hotel California! We actually CAN stab it with our steely knives! We CAN kill the beast! Retrieve it from inactive assembly bills limbo and bring it back out into the open where we can do away with it once and for all!
And as for those of you who are too tired and grumpy to fire off an email or letter, you have my permission to forward this column along with a “What she said” note.