Samuel Johnson wasn’t exactly a party animal, was he? During the first week or so after the end of Daylight Saving Time the Idler is waking up at the usual time, but the clock reports another. What to do? I guess we could lie awake like that Johnson fellow, although as a lexicographer, he should have taken the occasion to forget about the other letters and work on his Z’s. Also, Johnson was reputed to have a certain fondness for Russian Imperial Stout which he knocked back at a place called The Anchor in London’s Fleet Street. In fact, one of his more memorable observations, according to his buddy, Boswell, was that a seat in a good tavern was “the throne of human felicity.” In the Idler’s all too copious experience, too many hours on the throne of human felicity will usually make even a literary icon desirous of a little extra shuteye. Of course, from an Idler’s point of view Johnson may be on to something here. Having time on one’s hands while horizontal is sort of the definition of idling, or at least one of its purest manifestations. Consider the alternatives.Let’s say you don’t want to lie abed of a morning and instead determine to get up early and get your day started. This will make you feel like a regular dynamo until later on in the morning when your stomach will tell you it’s lunchtime but the clock will say only 11 AM. Later that day you’ll find that your batteries will be completely discharged with quitting time still an hour away.
You could stay up real late at night in the hope that you’d sleep right through that extra hour the following morning. Not a bad plan, but you’d better install some blackout shades because otherwise that morning sun streaming through the curtains will have you up at the regular pre-time-change hour. Then you’ll have to make a big pot of coffee and watch “Spongebob Squarepants” for an hour.
You could read a good book, which will act to improve your mind, increase your vocabulary and make you conversant on any number of cultural topics. Ha-ha, just kidding, it will probably put you back to sleep and, if it happens to be one of those heavy hardback tomes, might slip out of your hands and land on the bridge of your nose. Then, when your buddies ask jokingly, “Hey, what’s the other guy look like?”, you’ll have to answer, “Leo Tolstoy.”
It’s a real conundrum because unlike the “Spring forward” phenomenon you can’t just sheepishly arrive an hour late and say you forgot to change your clock. No, you have to figure out how to shorten your work day from the other end. If all else fails, you might have to play the discrimination card. It would go like this: You tell the boss that your Kazakhi heritage demands that you observe the cultural norms that have guided your people through centuries of oppression. Since Kazakhstan outlawed Daylight Saving Time in 2005, you must structure your work hours accordingly and thus knock off an hour early. You might need to change your name to Borat, though.
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