Daylight saving – curtains, hard-boiled eggs and erections


In South eastern Australia, daylight saving time (DST) has just commenced again. The clocks were advanced by one hour last Sunday, marking the symbolic beginning of summer, even if the weather is not yet anywhere near summery. I like daylight saving, but not everyone does. It is normal to have on-going discussions to its merits at this time of year and there is a perennial debate in the Australian states that do not observe DST.

Typically, the Council of Curtain Manufactures, drawing support for closure on the topic from local branches, is confident that the extra sunlight results in more rapid fabric fading hence generating an increase in demand for new supply, and so argues in favour of introduction. But dairy farmers consistently argue that the six-monthly chopping and changing of the clocks causes confusion and uncertainty among the herd, as the cows struggle to come to terms with the time that they are due in the milking yard. Those melancholic bovine eyes are often hiding the early onset of anxiety disorders, never exactly sure if they are time-adjusted correctly. The West Australian State Roosters Association mounted a strident objection to the proposal last time it was put to the WA voters, arguing that the change not only upset their crowing rhythm but also the egg-laying rhythm of their hens, forcing the hens to wait and lay eggs one hour after they were actually ready to. Apart from the uncomfortable physical sensations that this caused, the roosters also suggested that it made the egg shells harder, more calcified and made it more difficult for consumers to judge the correct length of time that an egg needed to be boiled. The clinching argument in Queensland, though, came from a group of concerned wives who argued that it was common for their husbands to wake up with a morning erection. They argued that if the hour was advanced, surely there would be severe embarrassment for all those men getting on the bus to go to work at the time they were still experiencing this early morning phenomenon instead of quietly dealing with it over breakfast and the newspaper.

And so it goes.

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