Over this past weekend everyone set their clocks back an hour, a yearly act that always results in confusion, questions and me wondering why I’m tired the next day at five in the afternoon. Nobody ever seems to understand why we practice Daylight Savings Time so I thought I would clear things up.
In the 1930’s America was in the grips of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, people wore overalls and farmers attempted to eek a living out of the hard dirt of the barren mid-west. This was a real thing that happened.
While pondering this predicament a savvy businessman began to think about the amount of sunlight in the day, when that light was present and how all of this related to the amount of time spent at work.
He came up with a groundbreaking theory:
Washington was quick to grasp the significance of this breakthrough and was swift to act establishing the National Daylight Preserve in a secret location and immediately seeking out sources of clean viable daylight. After several false starts they finally struck upon a deal with our friendly neighbor to the north…Santa.
Santa had been trying to offload all of his surplus daylight for years having long since been convinced by his marketing department that fur and robes were the look for him, not to mention the Elvish labor unions were breaking his back to cut his work week to five days a week. Back then the North Pole received more sunlight than anywhere else on earth and Santa knew that with a normal five day work week he’d never get toys made for all the good girls and boys. So when Uncle Sam came calling they struck a happy deal. Santa could dump excess daylight down south and make each work day last six months. There were some repercussions.
All that was left was a way to sneak all this daylight past the shifty eyes of the Canadians who, for some reason, would probably most likely want to steal it. The answer was obvious: the mafia. With bootleggers already sneaking whiskey into they had the perfect infrastructure in place to smuggle whatever the hell they wanted across the Canadian border. Plus some bootleggers had their own reasons for wanting more daylight:
Things went smashingly for almost a decade with the government setting up a movable strategic reserve in a large ceramic container capable of retaining massive amounts of heat, similar to those used to bake clay: the American Reserve Kiln.
Then the forties came along and things went wrong in the only way things ever went wrong in the forties, the Nazi way. Learning the secret location of the American Reserve Kiln, which was in Egypt for reasons I really don’t think I need to go into, the Nazis sought to dig it up and steal it. And when Nazis are after your American Reserve Kiln, or A.R.K., there really is only one place to turn (I am so very very sorry for that pun):
Dr. Indiana Jones chased the Nazis, in possession of the A.R.K., across half the globe from Tunis to Whythefuckareyoustillreadingthisastan before tricking them into opening the A.R.K without proper protection. Yeah. You know what happens at the end when all their faces melt? That’s why you don’t stare directly at an eclipse.
Dr. Jones was successful and returned America’s daylight reserves home and things remained peaceful until the early nineties when the criminal element that had helped to bring the daylight into the country in the first place began to feel like they had gotten a raw deal. They dispatched two of their best men:
These two waged an unholy war against southern California, rival mobs and traditional linear storytelling in their search for the current resting place of all our wonderful daylight…that god damned briefcase.
They retrieved said briefcase and returned to their criminal boss, but then the T-1000…well I don’t need to bore you with the rest as everyone surely knows how that part of the story goes. But you probably never put two and two together and realized that this is the reason we now disperse our daylight over only half of the year.
Which is why you had an extra hour to get drunk last weekend.