Ervolino: Daylight Saving Time ends, and it’s always exhausting

November 8, 2016

Late Saturday night — actually, early Sunday morning — something wonderful happened, shortly after MeTV reran a classic “Batman” episode in which the Caped Crusader (Adam West) faced off against “special guest villain” Clock King (Walter Slezak).

The digital clock on my cable box magically leapt from 1:59 a.m. to 1 a.m.

The clocks on my iMac and my iPhone did likewise.


Electric clocks were one of the big features in the Town of Tomorrow exhibit at the 1939 Worlds Fair in New York. But none of the clocks in the Town of Tomorrow adjusted themselves.

(Perhaps the self-adjusting ones were around the corner in the Town of the Day After Tomorrow.)

A few hours earlier on Saturday, I had tried (and failed) to see the new Marvel movie “Dr. Strange,” starring the omnipresent Benedict Cumberbatch as the suave Greenwich Village surgeon-turned-sorcerer.

Apparently the 7:30 p.m. screening that I had hoped to attend sold out sometime around 4:30 p.m. — thanks to the magic of digital technology.

As a 10-year-old outside the theater explained, “You go to the site and click on the showing you want, then download the UPC code to your phone. Then ...”

“Oh, shut up,” I told him.

When I was 10, there was only one phone in my life. It was attached to the wall in our kitchen and I wasn’t allowed to use it without permission.

As for clocks: My father had a wristwatch and my mother had a small alarm clock next to her bed.

The end.

Today, I have three wristwatches and lots of clocks.


One in my kitchen, one in my dining room, two in my living room, three in my bedroom ...

I also have a clock on my coffee machine, a clock on the front of my microwave oven and a clock on my automatic sprinkler system.

Last week, I bought a bag of carrots and there was a smiling clock in it, staring up at me.

“Time for carrots!”

As you (hopefully) know by now, Daylight Saving Time, which began on March 13, ended, unremarkably, on Nov. 6. And, as always, reminders of the time change appeared in The Record, USA Today, the New York Times, the L.A. Times. the International Business Times, the London Times, the Irish Times, the Roanoke Times and, of course, Time magazine.

Some ambitious folks — even those with far more clocks than I — can’t fall into bed on the final night of Daylight Saving Time without “falling back” first.

For these people, it’s like a holiday that they anticipate for days on end.

“Ooh! Why don’t you come over next weekend? We’re turning back the clocks!”

They put up a tree, sing songs with “time” in the title, and use their extra hour to cook two of Rachael Ray’s 30-minute meals.

Because I live alone — and tend to focus my ambitiousness in other areas — I often do not get around to all this clock-changing for a day or two. Or a few days. Or longer.

In March, the kitchen clock high above my stove didn’t get changed for 3½ weeks.

Every time I would pass it, I’d roll my eyes and moan, the same way I roll my eyes and moan when friends ask me to drive them to the airport.

Maybe I’m lazy. Or maybe I’m just spoiled by all these other clocks I have that change themselves and don’t bother me with this nonsense.

Besides, the kitchen clock so high up that I have to drag a chair out of the dining room to reach it. Then I have to climb all the way up there and take it off the wall. Plus, the clock over the stove always has this oily film on it and sometimes it slips through my fingers and lands in a pot of soup.

I really hate when that happens.

I also hate when, 20 minutes later, I’m having dinner and find a AA battery in my mouth.

“Where did this come from?”

When I first moved into my charming North Jersey bungalow, a little over 18 years ago, I used my extra fall hour to change all the clocks in the house — which actually took about three hours.

Changing the times on my video equipment was particularly gruesome and required me to dig out my owner’s manual. (The instruction booklet for my last VCR was two pages longer than “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”)

As I recall, it went something like this: Press MENU. Press SELECT. Press SETTINGS. Press SELECT. Press CLOCK. Press SELECT. Press ...


The pin on the back of the vintage electric clock in my dining room is broken, so that requires a different methodology: 1. Unplug clock. 2. Stand next to it for an hour. 3. Plug it back in.

And, yes, this involves both hands.

The big one and the little one.

Email: ervolino@northjersey.com