The Observer is an inveterate, degenerate packrat. We keep everything, especially scraps of paper. Our desk drawers are so full of flotsam that one of these days, we’re sure the damned thing is just going to drop through the floor and kill one of the people who labor downstairs.
Our desktop is usually even worse, covered in plastic drink lids, business cards, crumpled Post Its, dried out highlighters, books we never quite got around to reading, tiny cassette tapes and notebooks filled up, down and sideways with our scrawl.
When an avalanche of year-old press releases spilled into the normally tidy workspace of our pal Warwick Sabin the other day, however, we knew we had to take action. We wheeled up a trash cart, and into the bin went a drift of papers, used envelopes, and the notebooks. Then, when we could almost see the wood grain of the ol’ desk, we ran across something odd. In a rumpled old notebook, we found, scrawled in The Observer’s handwriting no less, the name “Jesus” — with a phone number below.
Sorry, we can’t give it out. We’re tucking that baby back for a rainy day.
The Observer receives word that Jennings Osborne’s Christmas-light “God Bless America and George W.” has gone completely dark. (We reported here several weeks ago that part of it had burned out, and speculated what that might mean.)
The Christmas-light American flag is still blazing.
We leave to the reader to guess why the man who likes to provide food to the masses has neglected to keep up a tribute to man who, it becomes clearer every day, is feeding on the masses.
Frank Lambright was thinking about his school days in Ashdown when, he told The Observer, the country kids had to board their buses early for the long ride down gravel roads to school. It was so dark they had to hang lanterns on the bushes and trees, and would pick them up when they returned in the afternoon.
Those dark rides to school are just one of several things people don’t like about Daylight Saving Time — the others being that it causes the crops to burn up and the cows to give less milk — and Lambright was inspired to share with The Observer this poem from the past:
Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November.
All the rest have 31
Until we hear from Washington.
For a brief history of Daylight Saving Time, The Observer turned to the web and discovered on the website seizethedaylight.com that we got the idea from Europe, where it’s called Summer Time, which is particularly apt since the living really is easy in August, when everyone takes a vacation and the EU shuts down. “Germany and Austria took time by the forelock, and began saving daylight at 11 p.m. on the 30th of April, 1916,” However, we’ve only got until Oct. 30 to read it by daylight, because that’s the day DST is switched off and we will be once again thrust into night on our drive home from work.
Time changes can work both to one’s advantage and disadvantage. The website notes that during the Vietnam War, a young Delaware man born just after midnight DST successfully argued that standard time was in effect in his state so he was actually born on the previous day, a day that had a much higher lottery number. He did not have to go to war.
Lambright recalls, however, that during World War II an Army battalion got mixed up about time zones and showed up two hours late for battle, with less than amiable results.