Support California Assembly Bill 2496.
On Seeing the Cost of Time Change
Old Ben saw too many francs
burning up in France’s candle wax.
He trusted his vision.
He trusted his watch.
I am convinced of this.
I am certain of my fact.
One cannot be more certain of any fact.
I saw it with my own eyes. . . .
All the difficulty will be
in the first two or three days;
after which the reformation
will be as natural and easy
as the present irregularity,
for ce n’est que le premier pas qui coûte.
Frankly, old Ben didn’t heed
his own aphorism’s advice:
Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.
How could he know what he couldn’t see
when he played with his watch?
A scientist of the Age of Reason,
he didn’t know a chronobiologist.
His Junto never discussed the studies
showing traffic accidents increase
because they hadn’t heard of a car.
It’s hard to believe, Mr. Efficiency
didn’t observe workplace injuries went up.
The good French wine must have blurred
his vision and slowed his heart,
or why else didn’t he see the sharp increase
in heart attacks on the day they turned the clock.
But there’s the catch, they didn’t.
Ben’s study group was just too small,
his hubris too large, his temperament
less regulated than his watch.
his letter to the editor of the Paris Journal
doubtless of his own perceptions.
I’d like to believe Old Ben would
have felt in his gut he was wrong
if he could have flown to France
on a jet and felt the lag in his eyes
for a day, in his head for two,
and all along his digestive tract
for nearly a month. But I think
Old Ben would have been sure
it was simply the food he could see.
He wrote the editor he needn’t be paid
except with honor for his clever insight.
If Ben were still alive, I have no doubt
he’d be honored with a class action lawsuit.
The plaintiffs’ counsel would surely quote
Poor Richard’s Almanack to Mr. Franklin:
“Ignorance is not innocence but sin.”
Or maybe he’d close with the French:
Ce n’est que le premier pas qui coûte.
This is only the first step that costs.
Stone, David. “On Seeing the Cost of Time Change.” 2013 Writing from Inlandia. Riverside, CA: Inlandia Institute, 2013.