By Tom Purcell
I dread the coming of Sunday, March 12.
At 2 a.m. that morning our clocks will “spring forward.”
That means that my yellow Labrador, Thurber, who wakes me at exactly 6 a.m. every morning, will begin waking me at exactly 5 a.m. every morning.
He’ll do so because that’s when his Labradorian clock tells him it is time for me to feed him and take him outside for Number 1 and Number 2.
Which means I’ll be in a perpetual stupor for weeks until the two of us finally get used to the clock change — only to have to go through the clock disruption all over again come November.
I’ve become keenly aware of the national daylight saving time debate since I got Thurber two years ago.
As I’ve reported prior, the jarring shift to our daily sleep patterns and routines each spring and fall is linked to an increase in heart attacks, strokes and automobile accidents.
In March, when our clocks “spring forward,” hospitals around the U.S. report a 24% spike in heart attack visits.
The reverse happens in the fall when our clocks are set back. Heart attack visits to hospitals drop by 21% — but pedestrian deaths increase because it gets dark earlier.
Finally, one year ago, our esteemed politicians decided to actually do something about it.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act to make DST permanent starting in 2023, ending the twice-annual changing of clocks.
So why are we still changing our clocks every spring and fall?
Because last year the Sunshine Protection Act bill “hit a brick wall” in the U.S. House, according to The Hill.
Some lawmakers argued other matters were more important or asked for more research, the Hill reports.
Others worried that changing — or not changing — the clock could affect areas that rely on tourism or have large farming communities.
Good God, are confusion, disagreement and inaction the only talents our politicians have?
Nonetheless, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who introduced the Sunshine Protection Act last year, is giving it another go.
The Sunshine Protection Act of 2023 — one of the few acts to have bipartisan support in the Senate — would make the clock change on March 12 the very LAST clock change in American history.
Our new Republican House has an opportunity to pass this bill into law and finally end our twice-a-year misery.
To ensure that outcome, we dog lovers are offering them this timely deal:
First, we’ll loan you our furry friends, so you can experience yourselves the unpleasantness of the morning of March 12.
We’ll let you keep our dogs for a week or more. They being some of the most sensible creatures on the planet, we pray that their good sense will rub off on you.
Dogs know that only a stupid human can think he can snip an hour off the morning and add it to the evening as though he has mastery over darkness and light. (Thurber explains why DST is dumb in a humorous video at ThurbersTail.com).
A 2022 poll by Monmouth University found that 61 percent of Americans are tired of the madness of DST and ready for it to end, so it’s a smart political move for House members of both parties.
However, if our dogs’ good sense does not rub off on you — and if you lawmakers continue to delay the long overdue death of DST — know that our dogs know where your lawns are.
They’ll be leaving you a present every morning at 5:00 a.m.
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