In 1984 the Eldorado Daily Journal asked its readers to save daylight during Daylight Savings Time, and offered a prize for the person who saved the most.
The rules were simple:
“Beginning with the first day of Daylight Savings Time, those entering the contest must begin saving daylight. Those who save the most daylight by midnight of the last day of Daylight Savings Time will be awarded a prize,” the paper said.
“Only pure daylight is allowed,” it continued. “No pre-dawn light or twilight will be accepted. Daylight on cloudy days is allowable. Moonlight is strictly prohibited and any of it mixed with daylight will bring immediate disqualification.”
Contestants were instructed to save their accumulated daylight in any container they wished, then bring the container to the Daily Journal office at the end of Daylight Saving Time – or when they thought they had saved enough daylight to win.
In his announcement of the contest, Bob Ellis, the Journal’s managing editor, promised: “All entries will be donated to less fortunate nations that do not observe Daylight Savings Time.”
The announcement appeared in the April 1st edition of the paper.
The contest caused a stir. Ellis was interviewed by various national papers. When asked what his rationale for the contest was, he said:
“It’s about time that someone recognized how valuable Daylight Savings Time is to us. It allows us to participate in so many more activities during the summer.”
The story was repeated in San Francisco, in New York, in Chicago and in Florida. Everyone seemed to miss the significance of the date.
Of course, Daylight Savings Time began on the 29th of March this year on this side of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, its proximity to April 1st makes you wonder if it isn’t, in fact, some kind of a joke.
I’m a chronic insomniac. It takes me about a month before I’m able to sleep again.
A Navajo sage once observed:
“Only the White Man’s government would be so stupid as to cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it onto the bottom, and think they have a longer blanket.”