Saturday, October 31, 2009

Double Whammy Tonight!

So not only is it Halloween tonight, but also the night many of us switch back to standard time following a summer of daylight saving time.

There was a time – and it isn’t that long ago – when time was so totally relevant, that there were in excess of 100 different “time zones” in the United States. This is due to the simple fact that when the sun was right over the local church steeple, it was high noon.

Most citizens do not know that it was the railroads that eventually forced the current system of time zones, four on the lower 48, the 5th in Alaska, and the 6th in Hawaii. And Russia, the country Sarah Palin can see from her kitchen window, has 11 time zones!

Still, even with system of checks and balances, Positive Train Control and so forth, I’m sure out there on the rails tonight, there may be a train crew or two running with more than the usual amount of caution, just to make sure everyone “got the memo!”

I come from a generation wherein Halloween was not an excuse to range far and wide to extort candy from strangers and wreak havoc. That's not to say there wasn't the occasional t-p incident. But for the most part, our activities were neighborhood centered.

We only went out for an hour at the most, always following the 5-6pm-dinner hour. At most houses, people came to the door to see what clever costume you had cobbled together, guess whose kid you were, and “reward” you for your cleverness and effort at disguise, with a candy or treat.

And always ended up at someone’s house, the McDonald’s house, for example, for an evening of playing games, dunking for apple’s, and the special treat of pumpkin pie with a ton of whipped cream and hot apple cider.

It was a world without computers, x-boxes, wii’s and cell phones. It wasn’t so much a “simpler time;” it was a more civilized family values time. We learned hobbies, developed skills, and looked to family for interaction and entertainment.

And if you had a TV, the National Association of Broadcasters restricted commercial content to 20 minutes or less per hour and did not allow the gawd damn volume to be pumped up. And personal products were exactly that. Personal.

You know, if a kid plays his cards right tonight, he (or she) will elect to turn the clock back earlier, earning an extra hour to beg for candy!

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