Here it is November already, the indecisive month, where we use the car’s heater in the morning and the AC in the afternoon. All of this portends the coming of old man winter and raises the question: why couldn’t winter be an incorrigible child instead of an old man? Oh, right…La Niña. Mi error.
Nevertheless, the folks at the Old Farmers Almanac are telling us we’ll have a wetter winter this time, but it will be warmer, and it’ll all be the fault of the so-called triple-dip La Niña. Again. Or El Niño. Or La Llorona.
But never mind all that, this Sunday it’s time to say so long to Mountain Daylight Time and hello to Mountain Darkness Time. The upside is that we get the hour back that we lost in March. The downside is… well, the downside is the dark side.
All this messing around with our circadian rhythm dates back to when Daylight Savings Time was first decreed in 1918, and presumably had something to do with war production. It was abandoned nationally in 1919 (over the objections of golfers) but came back for the World War II years.
I remember the big stink over it in the 1970s when there was a Middle East oil embargo and the thinking at the time was that an extra hour of daylight in the evening would result in less energy usage, so President Richard Milhouse Nixon, along with Congress, figured we should have DST year-round. As well as outlawing the sale of gasoline on Sundays.
For those unenlightened, the price of gas during the ’73-‘74 energy crisis climbed to a whopping $1.20 a gallon, up from 30 cents. No wonder people get nostalgic about the 60s.
Anyway, for the next four months or so, we’ll be driving home after work in the dark.
But all is not lost, Thanksgiving is only three weeks away.
In the meantime, we can celebrate Sadie Hawkins Day tomorrow. Also in November, there’s Veteran’s Day, King Tut Day (Nov. 4), National Saxophone Day (Nov. 6), Sadie Hawkins Day (Nov.15), the Great American Smokeout (Nov. 17), and lest we forget, Black Friday, the Hunger Games of shopping.
And oh yes, Guy Fawkes Day is coming up Saturday. Guy was the guy from whom we get the word guy, as in “that guy” or “you guys.” His place in history is secure, based on his role in the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up the House of Lords in London on November 5, 1605. Guy was very passionate about things, and I don’t know if he carried a copy of the Magna Carta around in his back pocket, but he felt King James treated Catholics unfairly.
He was caught in the nick of time and convicted of treason, but before he was drawn and quartered, he managed to fling himself off the gallows, breaking his neck.
Over in England, the date is a national holiday with fireworks and Guy Fawkes masks, which you may have seen representing the internet activist group Anonymous and in the movie “V for Vendetta.”
But enough of political villainy and nonsense. Yesterday, incidentally, was National Plan Your Epitaph Day, based on the belief that “a forgettable gravestone is a fate worse than death.” I guess we’ve all wondered at one time or another what will be on our headstone for all to see in perpetuity. Although I’ve never been into tombstone rubbings, with yesterday being All Soul’s Day, here are a few ideas from the famous dearly departed:
Rodney Dangerfield: There goes the neighborhood
Billy Wilder: I’m a writer, but then nobody’s perfect
Leslie Nielsen: Let ‘er RIP
Dee Dee Ramone: OK…I gotta go now
Frank Sinatra: The best is yet to come
Mel Blanc: That’s all folks
Then there’s Lester Moore on Boot Hill, which Johnny Cash put to music: Here lies Lester Moore. Four slugs from a 44. No Les. No More.
But I digress. Back to the month of Thanksgiving and the pressing question of the day: Do you have enough pumpkin spice products to make it through the holidays?
This year we have pumpkin spice Goldfish, pumpkin spice Ramen Noodles, pumpkin spice Spam, and pumpkin spice chewing gum. They say “the powerful scent of the autumn flavor often triggers familiar, cozy memories, creating a national nostalgia and increased desire to reunite with the upcoming season.” OK, but pumpkin spice Spam?
Before I run out of space, Election Day is next Tuesday. No matter who you vote for, just do it, and whatever the outcome…we’ll be OK. I take to heart something the late columnist Molly Ivins of Texas once said, “The thing about democracy…is that it is not neat, orderly or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.”
Time to reset my cuckoo clock.