Saturday, March 08, 2008

Spring Forward, Flexibly

It's that time of year again, when your weekend becomes an hour shorter so we can all shift our clocks. I'd like to take this occasion to re-present what I thought was a pretty fantastic idea — the Flexible Spring Forward.

The idea is simple and straightforward. Rather than lose an hour of sleep between Saturday and Sunday, you pick your own time to jump ahead. As I proposed several years ago on my pilot blog:

Give everybody a week to spring ahead, and let 'em make the jump whenever they damn well please. Who wouldn't want to show up to work an hour late all week long and tell the boss, "It's cool, man — I just haven't sprung yet?" Then 4:00 comes on Friday afternoon, and wham! you skip ahead to go-home time, sparing yourself sixty minutes of tedium and the coffee cup another hour of pencil-tapping.

Or suppose you go into McDonald's, craving a Big Mac, and the guy at the counter says, "It's ten o'clock, sir. We're only serving breakfast." Oh, yeah? Well you can shove your Egg McMuffins where the sun don't shine, pal, because I've just declared it lunchtime. SUPER-SIZE ME!

Suffering through travel delays? Plane or train not due to depart for another fifty minutes? Hit that spring button, baby, and you'll be instantly in the air/on track and closing in on your destination.

Here's one: somebody actually thought you'd enjoy going to the Symphony (the nerve!). You can use the hour in your pocket to make this snoozer of a Handel program half as long. Along those lines, the strategic planners among us who happen to have our yearly physicals scheduled during Spring Week can fast-forward through the more, er, awkward parts of the examination. And all you Guinness Book of World Records aspirants trying to set endurance marks (sleep-deprivation, balancing on a bicycle, jumping rope) can get an hour's leg up on your competition.

In short: who wouldn't jump at the chance to flummox Father Time once a year? Sure, there are a few logistics to work out — chiefly, keeping a record of each person's timekeeping so the bullshitters among us (you know who you are) don't try to spring more than once. Easy to fix. The government sets up a website — the usual login/password kind of deal — so that when you feel the itch to spring forward, you play your chit to the Central Server, and your spent hour is on record for anyone to see. No computer handy? Call in from your mobile phone!

Once America gets going on this, you can bet Flexible Fall Back is next. So make those October massage appointments now, because for a week that second hour is free for everyone: What do you mean, you're "done?" It's still only three o'clock by my watch. Get back to the hot oils.

The Aforedescribed Idea and all renderings, variations, toutings, vigorous defenses (with and without resort to gunplay), depictions, embodiments, Power Point presentations, and exaggerations thereof are the lawful property of the Phutatorius Idea Bank™. All rights reserved.

What do you all think?

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