If every time zone in America — and by America, I mean mainland — got into a brawl, I’m positive Pacific would get trampled by Eastern, Central and Mountain. It’s a ridiculous time zone to live in, and frankly, it inconveniences the rest of the country. I’ve been here exactly seven months now and my body still hasn’t adjusted. Call it subconscious protest.
I wake up feeling spry at 6 a.m. PST. That’s 8 a.m. CST, which would be sleeping in for most working professionals. That’s about where the benefits of the time zone come to an end, though. I also fall asleep around 10 p.m. PST every night, but in my defense, that’s 1 a.m. on the East Coast.
By the time I get off work, half the NBA games on the schedule have been played, the exception being those in PST. On Sundays during football season, I’m watching my Vikings kickoff at 10 a.m. and to catch Monday Night Football, I actually have to leave work early.
You know all those television shows where the audience is expected to call in and vote? That’s a rare opportunity on the West Coast, where we see most prime-time shows two hours later than the rest of the country, at which point the voting is usually done.
Social media plays spoiler on a regular basis. If I want to be surprised by the next episode of The Office, Modern Family or Parks & Rec, I can’t check Facebook or Twitter hours before the show airs. I knew the outcome of The Bachelor this season before the episode aired, but what’s really sad is I knew the outcome of The Bachelor. And cared.
As a newsman, the one thing I do appreciate is being able to wake up bright and early to see news already taking place across the country. The other time zones get to check their newspaper for yesterday’s news, but I just sit here on my laptop, checking out the New York Times, Chicago Sun Times and Huffington Post, where stuff has already happened. Nice.
My girlfriend and I have a family plan from AT&T, which offers free minutes after 9 p.m. and on weekends. Given the fact our parents aren’t getting any younger, it’s not like we can just call them at 11 p.m. CST to save minutes. Therefore, most of our calls home — well, mine, anyway — take place on the weekend. Conversely, if anyone in any other time zone needs to speak with us in the morning, well, they generally have to wait.
When you live in the PST, you’re the one expected to break down the math for everyone. Those in the EST seem completely oblivious to other time zones, but who can blame them — we follow their lead. It’s not like adding up the hours is hard. I’ve got 10 fingers and a calculator on my cell phone. Wish I had the Abacus app on my iPhone but that would be a terrible waste of $0.99 and I don’t know how to use an abacus. (I’m from South Dakota, not North.)
Yes, it could be worse. I could live in Hawaii, where by my count it’s now 3:07 a.m., Friday, March 26.
Recently, I had a client who was stationed in Guam off a military base. It was my duty to call her on Fridays at 4 p.m. PST, but sometime Saturday morning where she lived. Essentially, I was calling into the future. The first time I tried calling her, time stood still. The wind stopped. No one moved. Somewhere, a dove exploded. I felt compelled to go to church. We shouldn’t be able to do things like call someone tomorrow when it’s still today. That’s reason enough to banish time zones, no?
Let’s just banish the PST. Or hell, let’s secede, Portland. CST is a fine time zone and I know they’d be happy to have us. No one will be able to spoil Lost for us anymore. We’ll be able to call our friends and family at reasonable hours and save minutes. We’ll be able to vote on American Idol. We’ll wake up in the morning and go to bed around the same time as most other Americans.
And maybe, just maybe, we’ll feel a little farther from our idiot neighboring state to the south.