By Piper Bayard

I opened my eyes yesterday and thought, “Who came up with this crap?” The crap I’m referring to is Daylight Savings Time. As if we could save either daylight or time.

What is time, anyway? This thing we measure that can’t be measured at all. It flies when we’re having fun and freezes us in eternity when we are suffering. Linear to some and spiral to others, is it nothing but a fiction we agree on, like money, to rule and order our lives? Or is it simply what we call that voice that whispers relentlessly, “Change or die.”

Regardless of its nature, in this existence, at this time, the clock is why I’m awake too damn early for my liking. So I’m wondering again, who is responsible for this?

I can’t blame my parents for this one, but I can blame the railroads. Yes. The railroads.

Image by Huw Williams, US public domain

When railroads were built in the early 1800s, localities set their own times. The country had no standard time zones, and that made for a mess. Railroads needed to publish reliable schedules to function properly.

The railroad industry was to the 1800s what the oil industry is to us now. It pretty much got what it wanted out of Congress, regardless of the effects on Americans. What the railroads got in 1883 was the right to establish official time zones with set standard times.

Thirty-five years later, in 1918, Congress signed the railroad time zone system into law. That law also established a federal Daylight Savings Time, but Congress changed that part in 1919 to leave it up to local rules.

Ah, the good old days. There was only one federal regulatory agency back then, and that was the Interstate Commerce Commission. Since it was the only game in town, it was given authority over time zones and Daylight Savings Time.

In 1966, Congress switched that authority to the newly created Department of Transportation. That same year, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which made standard start and end dates for Daylight Savings Time, but still left it up to the individual states to decide if they want to participate or not.

Janet Napolitano, Eternal Leader and Supreme Leader of Time, Dept. of Homeland Surveillance Security Photo

Since Congress can change the authority over Time at will, it got me wondering when our seemingly insatiable Director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, will want a piece of the action. Big Sis, as she is unaffectionately, yet accurately, known to our nation, already has her agents groping us in airports and stopping us at random on our nation’s highways to search us without probable cause. What would she do if she were Supreme Leader of Time, itself?

I think Big Sis would first change Daylight Savings Time to Daylight Security Time, with the motto All Time is Our Time.

She would then use Dr. Who’s tardis to travel back in time to the founding of our nation and make it a dictatorship, rather than a republic. She would appoint herself Eternal Leader, in the fashion of her Homeland Security Hero, Kim Jong Il.

As our Eternal Leader and Supreme Leader of Time, she would take charge of how we Americans spend our time, spouting such quaint maxims as, “Idle hands are the Ayatollah’s workshop,” and, “Idle minds are Al-Qaeda’s playground.”

To make sure none of us has any time on our hands or any thoughts left over to create trouble for America, Big Sis wiould require Americans to fill out detailed paperwork in triplicate to account for all behaviors the Department of Homeland Security has listed as potential domestic terrorist activities. Those activities currently include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Buying gold
  • Owning guns
  • Using a watch
  • Using cash
  • Using binoculars
  • Donating to charity
  • Homeschooling
  • Joining the National Rifle Association
  • Discussing apocalypse, the anti-Christ, or the book of Revelations
  • Stockpiling food, ammo, medical supplies, and hand tools.

Suddenly, if all I have to do is wake up an hour early to comply with Daylight Savings Time, it’s not looking so bad.

How does Daylight Savings Time affect you? What do you think Big Sis would do if she were Supreme Leader of Time?

All the best to all of you for using your time, whatever it is, to your contentment.