Here it is November already, the indecisive month. It’s when we use the car’s heater in the morning and turn on the AC in the afternoon. All of which portends the coming of old man winter, which raises the question: Why is winter an old man? Why not something like an impertinent child? Oh, right, I forgot. El Niño.
Nevertheless, the folks at the Old Farmers Almanac are telling us we’ll have a wetter winter this time, and it will be cooler, and it’ll all be the fault of El Niño. Again. Or La Niña. Or La Llorona.
Not only that, but this Sunday it’s time to say so long to Mountain Daylight Time and hello to Mountain Darkness Time. The upside is that we get the hour back that we lost back in March.
All this messing around with our circadian rhythm dates back to when Daylight Savings Time was first decreed in 1918, and presumably had something to do with war production.
It was abandoned nationally in 1919 (over the objections of golfers) but came back for the World War II years.
I remember the big stink over it in the 1970s when there was an oil embargo and the thinking was that an extra hour of daylight in the evening would result in less energy usage, so President Nixon, along with Congress, figured we should have Daylight Savings Time year-round. As well as outlawing the sale of gasoline on Sundays.
For those unenlightened, the price of gas during the ’73-‘74 energy crisis climbed to a whopping $1.20 a gallon, up from 30 cents. No wonder people get nostalgic about the sixties.
Anyway, for the next four months or so we’ll be driving home in the dark.
But all is not lost, Thanksgiving is only three weeks away. There’s also Veteran’s Day this month, Sadie Hawkins Day, Clean Your Refrigerator Day, Black Friday, the Great American Smokeout and the Festival of the Cranes.
Most importantly, though, is Election Day coming up next Tuesday. Hopefully, that will mean an end to the nightly robo-calls we’ve been getting. No matter who you vote for, just git ‘er done, and whatever the outcome, I have a feeling we’ll all still be OK. Keep calm, carry on, and remember something the late columnist Molly Ivins of Texas once said, “The thing about democracy…is that it is not neat, orderly or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.”
Not unlike resetting all my clocks, especially the cuckoo one between my ears.
Oh, speaking of the abovementioned “wailing woman,” I just learned they’re making another movie about La Llorona. This time it’s called The Curse of La Llorona, and I’m wondering if they’ll change it around so much it’ll end up just like any other ordinary horror movie.
La Llorona is a great scary story on its own, better even than the Chupacabra and much more melodramatic. It’s the legend of the jealous wife who throws her two children into a river and in death walks the countryside as a spectral figure looking for them. In lieu of her own kids, however, she’ll steal any child she comes across to keep as her own and then, for reasons of her own, throw them into a river. The tale goes back hundreds of years and has made it easy for parents to keep their kids from wandering out at night. She could be compared to the boogie man, but I would avoid calling her the boogie woman because that sounds like a character out of Saturday Night Fever or something.
Anyway, I doubt if the movie will have the same impact as what a vivid imagination can conjure on its own and will probably throw in all the horror movie clichés. You know the ones. Like when the character hears an odd noise in the house and they say, “hello?” as if they expect someone to say hello back. I’ve haven’t tried that myself, but I have learned a lot of other things from watching movies.
For instance, in the movies:
• There’s always a chicken leg in the refrigerator.
• When someone starts to freak out you’re supposed to slap their face.
• When you want to burn down something, like a building, you should fling your $12 Zippo lighter to start it instead of using a match.
• Computer keys click very loudly.
• When someone says, “We have to leave right now!” you should keep talking for another few minutes.
• You can guess someone’s password on the third try.
• You’re hungry but never take a bite of what’s on your plate.
• You can be driving with someone and hold a drawn-out conversation without looking at the road.
• You are automatically smarter if you wear glasses.
• The ice cube tray is always empty, and it should be tossed back in the freezer without refilling.
That’s my list so far, but the next time I go to the Loma I might take along my notepad.