it's always sunny in houston
Ken Hoffman's bright idea for why Daylight Saving Time should be permanent
Daylight Saving Time is here and isn’t life just a little better when the weather’s warm and it stays light an hour later? There’s more time to have fun after dinner. Just wait an hour before swimming.
And it’s Daylight “Saving” (singular) Time. Stop saying Daylight “Savings.” (Editor’s note: Don’t tell us how to live, Ken.)
Now you can walk your dog after Steak Night at Little Woodrow’s and you don’t have to use a flashlight to find his poop in the grass. “Did you drop your keys, sir?” No, I’m just searching for dog doody.
Kids can run to the Little League field and play a whole choose-up baseball game before bedtime. You can safely jog in the neighborhood. People are smiling.
Light is good. Dark is bad. Unless you’re talking about Batman, the Dark Knight, my favorite D.C. Comics hero because he gets by on smarts and guile, no superpowers. Even as a child I thought it was unfair that Superman could fly, bend steel in his bare hands, and turn back time by flying counter-clockwise around Earth at 660,000,000 miles per hour – which still wouldn’t get a speeding ticket on I-45.
But guess what will happen in Southside Place if you drive 30 in a school zone on a day when school isn’t even in session … asking for a friend.
The ultimate Daylight Saving Time experience is St. Petersburg, Russia, the world’s northernmost city with more than one million people. I visited there one summer. Because the city is very close to the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn’t go down from May 26 to July 16. It was fantastic. One night I stayed up all day. I’ve never been there in winter, though. When the musical Annie plays St. Petersburg, they change the lyric to “the sun will come up … in April.”
The only time Daylight Saving Time bit me in the butt: I went to a Rolling Stones concert and they were two hours late taking the outdoor stage. They were filming the concert and didn’t want to start until it was dark, which they miscalculated because of latitude and Daylight Saving Time.
Now, 28 states are considering staying year-round on Daylight Saving Time, a proposal dubbed “Lock the Clock.” By federal law, it will require an act of Congress for a state to move to permanent Daylight Saving Time. But a state can decided to stay on standard time without congressional approval. Stop the steal!
Only two states do not observe Daylight Saving Time — Hawaii and most of Arizona.
We don’t know how Texans feel about making Daylight Saving Time permanent. There were proposals floated in both the Texas House and Senate in 2021 to let voters decide what to do — make Standard Time permanent, Daylight Standard Time permanent, or keep it the way it is. Of course our bonehead leaders decided it was best not to let voters have a say. You know, like they won’t let voters decide on legalizing gambling.
The Department of Transportation, which for some reason is in charge of Daylight Saving Time, says “spring forward” saves energy, makes driving safer and reduces crime.
Opponents of Daylight Saving Time say it plays havoc with sleep patterns and is dangerous to your health. They insist that Daylight Saving Time actually makes driving more dangerous and causes more accidents in spring. (Editor’s note: Editing columns is harder, too.)
Ben Franklin proposed Daylight Saving Time in 1784 as a way of conserving energy. Back then he was talking about burning fewer candles. Nothing became of his proposal and historians question if Franklin was serious or not.
Daylight Saving Time caught on in 1916 in Germany during World War I as a way of conserving energy. The rest of Europe soon followed. The idea didn’t take hold in America until the Standard Time Act of 1918, which established Daylight Saving Time to run from March 31 to October 27.
Since then, arguments for and against Daylight Saving Time have become heated with both sides going to the wall. Over the years, the dates of Daylight Saving Time have moved around. Congress actually enacted a law for year-round Daylight Saving Time during the OPEC oil crisis in 1974-75.
So the debate continues: keep it the way it is, make Daylight Saving Time permanent, or abandon Daylight Saving Time altogether.
I’m for permanent Daylight Saving Time. It’s more fun.
Love Daylight Saving Time or hate it? Let Ken know at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.