Odd Thoughts: Time saving silliness

Daylight Savings Time means nothing to pets.

The dogs don’t know what time it is.

And little wonder – they don’t deal in artificial constructs like units of time.

They just wake up when they need to wake up.

Sam wanders up to me and stares at me until my subconscious tells me he needs to step out into the yard for a moment. If my subconscious is slow to react, a cold nose usually gets my attention pretty effectively… or a carefully aimed “bwooof!” accompanied by hot breath that catches me full on my face every time.

Daylight Saving Time means nothing to him.

That’s always been the problem with changing the clocks twice each year.

Animals are smarter than we are. They don’t care what number is flashing at me from the bedside clock that always seems to take me to just before the next power outage to figure out how to reset the time and stop it from flashing.

Animals set their internal clocks sometime very early in their lives, and then they just seem to know when to get up, when to go to sleep, when to eat, and when to do all the other things that animals do.

It’s what we all did… until there were trains.

Time wasn’t a big deal at all, until clocks were invented and the trains began running on schedules.

Before time – that is, before our modern concept of regimented time – people operated on a need-to-get-something-done basis.

The blacksmith opened his shop any time one of his neighbours had a wheel to fix or a horse to shoe. Do you need some nails to fix a window? As you’re wandering past the smithy, poke your head in the door and let him know how many. Next time you wander by, they’ll probably be ready.

The village seamstress operated on the same basis – except she didn’t do nails, because that was the manicurist’s job… but I digress.

Farmers got up to milk the cows and feed the chickens, usually at the crack of dawn or some similarly sun-related time. Scheduling was at the mercy of the seasons, and the goats and sheep rarely minded.

Then along came the trains. And the next thing you know, all the gentlemen wore pocket watches so they could get to the train on time and catch their ulcers and heart attacks on their way to office jobs with bosses who docked their pay for every minute they arrived late.

And Bessie the cow gave her milk every morning and every evening at 5:00, whether or not the sun was up or down, which meant some days, the farmer had to burn extra candles or turn on the ‘lectric so he wouldn’t miss the pail.

Making 5:00 a.m. earlier in the summer saved candles and or electricity.

And that’s how Daylight Saving Time was born.

Silly, isn’t it?

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