Either in the spring or in the fall, nearly every year at least one of the Bench Sitters will have a minor tantrum over Daylight Saving Time.

This year it happened again, and several of us thought it was worth repeating.

Our hero has always claimed changing the time made no sense.

“The damn cows don’t care what time it is as long as they get fed.”

“The sun either comes up or not, and usually in the east, and we know it’s morning.”

Yet, probably the most irritating thing for this guy is the chore of setting the clocks ahead in the spring and back in the fall.

At coffee on Monday morning, it started quietly enough when he simply commented that he was surprised that he and his wife live in a two-bedroom home, own a car and a pickup and somehow have no fewer than 17 clocks to turn back by one hour.

One, he said, is on the mantel over the fireplace. He has to get a ladder to reach that one. Which is OK, because he needs the ladder for the one over the doorway to the kitchen anyway.

Then his complaint started to build. You could hear it in his voice, which got higher and angrier while his face reddened and veins started to bulge out on his neck.

“Why do we have a clock in the closet? ” he asked.

It was hard to guess how high his blood pressure was when he talked about the sequence of buttons he had to push to set the time on the new electronic clock/radio/alarm next to the bed.

No chance of figuring that out without the instruction book, which he luckily remembered was in the nightstand drawer.

Then came the microwave. It had taken him a week to learn the difference between “re-heat” and “cook power.” Now he struggled with “cook time” and “clock time”

Another new electronic wall clock had a “menu” button on the back. That is never a good sign, and he realized there would be at least a seven step process (which helped as he repeated the serenity prayer to himself). Goodness knows if there ever were some instructions when they got that gift last Christmas.

Then it was the new digital electric stove where the sequence of touching buttons was probably more difficult than the launch of the first mission to the moon.

Fourteen attempts ended with a “Post-it note” next to that time display that said “it’s an hour earlier than this damn thing claims.”

Several of us noticed some saliva was forming in the corners of his mouth and his eyes were getting larger as he explained he couldn’t understand why the clocks in the car and the pickup couldn’t be changed in the same manner. Reading the instruction manuals didn’t make it easier.

“Whoever said this stuff was ‘intuitive’ was a bold face liar,” he roared.

But then we found out what was really bothering him. One of the 17 clocks they owned was located a few steps up of an open stairway near the front of their home. Handy place, because it was clearly visible as you came in the front door.

Like several of the others, it had a small hole in the back that had to slip over a screw head in the wall.

He said it was like trying to “thread a needle in the dark” while attempting to line up that hole with the screw head.

As he leaned over in an attempt to “peek” behind the clock . . . he lost his balance.

Falling down just three steps doesn’t seem like much of a disaster . . . unless you have celebrated 24 anniversaries of your 60th birthday.

As he explained that last “setting the clock” adventure . . . there was a little sympathy from the group that seldom gives anyone much slack.

So our hero said he would like to enjoy more time with his coffee buddies, but he had to leave.

He had a doctor’s appointment to see how much damage he had done to his shoulder when he landed next to a table and frightened the family dog half to death.

We’ll try to write again next week if the hand on the end of this sore arm is working better.


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