Daylight Saving Time will impose itself upon us again Sunday, so don’t forget to roll back your eyes at how dumb Daylight Saving Time is. My loathing of time changes is deep and abiding.
I used to believe I was offended by the back-and-forth with clocks purely on rational grounds. It just seems silly and pointless. Rather than saving me time, I’ve wasted considerable hours reading up on the convoluted background of the time change and efforts to get rid of it.
After years of dedicated complaining each time Daylight Saving Time rolled around, I now realize my dislike of the time change has less to do with the reasoning behind it and, instead, is rooted mainly in me not understanding how to change the digital clocks in my vehicle or on my kitchen stove.
There’s just one button? Hold it down and wait, or push it twice, or ... huh?
I have managed over the years to figure out how to change the hours on these confusing devices. It just requires a little patience. You drive your vehicle for however many months it takes until a technologically savvy passenger notices the time is wrong and sets it for you. Easy.
Slightly different approach for the clock on my electric range. I push buttons at random until the clock starts blinking and then walk away. That’s step one. The blinking will eventually draw the attention and annoy a visitor to my house enough that they will helpfully set it for me. Step two. Done.
I used to have a child-like and naive hope that one day a gallant lawmaker would ride into Salem or Washington, D.C., and, with the sweep of a pen, rid the land of the annoyance of changing the clocks. As time went on, then went back an hour, then forward an hour, then went on some more, I just got resigned to the whole deal.
My acceptance of something that used to really bother me came about, by coincidence, at precisely the moment a friend first corrected the clock in the dashboard of my truck. I do have a teeny-tiny glimmer of hope that perhaps a Presidential tweet might pop up abolishing Daylight Saving Time. Crazier things have happened. Like Presidential tweets, for instance.
In the interest of adhering to my newfound “Yeah, whatever,” Zen-like acceptance of the stupid time change, I’m going to chuck the supporting arguments I’ve gathered that clearly reveal we should do away with Daylight Saving Time. Instead, I’d like to pass along my all-time favorite conversation, ever, about time.
Years ago I was rowing a big yellow raft full of camping gear through Hells Canyon. Wallowa County Renaissance mountain man Jordan Manley was on the gearboat with me. Jordan and I had been taking our sweet time getting down the Snake River, and suddenly I became concerned we might be running late to get to camp with enough time to set things up and be ready for our group floating behind us.
I asked, “Do you know what time it is?”
Jordan looked at me, waited a few beats and answered, “I don’t believe in time, man.”
Oh, it was perfect. Manley followed up with a convincing Ted talk on the constructs and conventions required to maintain our concept of time, the flaws in the system and why he chose not to bother himself with such nonsense. I was a believer instantly.
Still, I decided to row a little faster and we got to camp, and everything worked out fine.
I asked Jordan this summer to tell me again what his arguments were about time not being real. He said that was such a long time ago he couldn’t remember either.
Jon Rombach is a Wallowa County-based columnist for the Chieftain.