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The dark moves in with the end of daylight saving time

November 4, 2017

We are less than thrilled that daylight saving time has ended. It means that this Sunday, we should set our clocks back an hour.

This will give us just a glimpse of light to see what we already suspected, namely that we still can't find out where we parked our car. The last time I tried to search for my car in the dark, what I found turned out to be a black cockroach the size of my SUV. Of course I had to beat it to death with my shoe, which drew a large crowd.

Black cockroach, black SUV, you can see how one could make such a mistake, especially with all the fatigue from watching nonstop political talk shows. Our brains are like the surface of the planet Mars. If you took an MRI now, it would show large craters amongst flat open spaces filled with Republican and Democratic signs.

Come spring, it will be no surprise to find out that our appearance has changed over those long, dark winter days. Some women will be distressed to discover that the scarf they've been wrapping around their neck before they head out into the cold turns out in the light of day to be a mustache they've been growing since November.

The last time I saw something like this was at my cousin Bonita's wedding. It was a great topic of conversation on the groom's side of the aisle.

There's a good chance your skin will change, too. It will become the consistency of an armadillo's hide, which I know is not a fair characterization; armadillos actually have a smoother layer of skin, and it is not so mustard-yellow in color. Mine is more like a wallet that's been backed over by a car.

Darkness also depresses our mood. So it is no wonder that you will mistake the attitude of your co-workers. After carrying on long conversations and getting the cold shoulder, when light does arrive, it's a relief to realize you've been gossiping with the coat rack.

Because I have such poor vision anyway, when it gets dark, I go into what is called night blindness, with little peripheral vision. That means when I'm driving I have a lot of trouble knowing the difference between a buffalo on fire galloping down the highway and the red lights atop a police car flashing as it follows me to the police station. Oh, I've tried all kinds of eyewear.

You know, different lenses, different frames, and they seem fine in the eyeglass store. But the minute I get outside, I can't see a thing. I usually have to wear my glasses on a slant on top of my nose so that they're tilted at the right angle to read the word cow in a foreign language.

These glasses are progressive bifocals; the only thing progressive about them is they will tend to make me trip over smaller objects than my old pair of glasses did.

Of course, it is not just a driving problem for many folks during the night hours when the sun sets so early. It can be a social problem as well. I've been to gatherings where people are sort of like spaces of black protoplasm, much like you see in the movie, "The Blob." They move around and I just follow voices. I once had a discussion over the pros and cons of the rain forest with what I discovered later was an air-conditioning unit.

To me, when we can go back to daylight saving time, it will be like having cataract surgery. No longer will I have to grope my way to the car after work. I no longer have to call 911 because the brake lights of the car in front of me make me think there's a red-haired person lying in the middle of the road. It's going to mean freedom from talking to shrubbery and inanimate objects.
Just hold on for awhile. The mother ship will be here come spring.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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