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Comments on the Eastern Time issue: It hinges on Indiana

Click here now to vote in ongoing survey, "Do you think Adair County should be on Eastern time"?
By Ed Waggener
ed@columbiamagazine.com
As this is written, ongoing survey, "Do you think Adair County be on Eastern Time," has received 145 votes since Wednesday, December 15, 2005, with a majority, 76, being against the idea. But 66 have weighed in favoring the idea.

Three people have voted "It makes no difference to me."

From a personal standpoint, I understand the three people who are indifferent. I haven't carried a watch since I wore out the one I got for selling Courier-Journal deliveries, if memory serves me right, back in Ancient Times. It was a wind-up and it broke. I never bothered replacing it.

Since then, I view watches as aspects of personal vanity and costly expenditures, with no real utility. Free time is available everywhere.

Other than for time zones, I don't even watch clocks. I do need to know what time it is in Australia, lest I call there at 2:00 a.m., and get an angry woke-up Aussie, who are always, in Adair County parlance, fractious.

I've found it very easy to eschew alarm clocks. They are another plague on mankind. If I have to get up two hours early to get to Indianapolis, before going to sleep, I tell myself, "Get up at 2:30 a.m.," and some kind of free, internal mechanism does the trick.

Not carrying a watch almost cost me Old Folks Home insurance

The only time I've suffered from not carrying a watch most of the past century was when the lady gave the the Old Folks test to see if the insurance company could take my money for Nursing Home Insurance without any risk at all that they might ever have to pay for it.

I am not blaming the insurance companies. They have a difficult balancing act. They have to know that you will die before you are unable to pay any more premiums, and that that event will occur before you get dementia. They have to know, with absolute certainty, that your demise will come before you run out of funds to pay them. That's just the insurance bidness.

Some questions were of only moderate difficulty for me. "What day of the week is this"? I answered immediately. It was in July, and when she asked, "What season of the year is this"? I almost stumbled, but the answer came to me just in time.

The one question she asked that almost left me without Nursing Home assurance was, "What does a person wear to tell time?" I tell time by the overabundance of clocks in the world. And by an internal clock that is seldom off more than 30 minutes. I had to think. It wouldn't be necessarily an ascot, or a beaver skin hat. A mackinaw? A Janes Fertilizer jacket? And then, from the dark reaches of my past, I remembered, "Ed you don't wear a clock. You wear a wrist watch!"

So I proudly answered, "A wrist watch!" I think I heard her say under her breath, "Just Half's-heimers," and I passed. They don't send scores, but I bet that I only passed by that one answer. So now I'm fully bled of funds by insurance; as always, I only eat on what is left over after insurance and prescription drugs, but I do have Old Folks Home Insurance going for me.

There are real Time Issues for some

Still, for school children, for those who commute out of Adair County to the East, for those in the northern reaches of the county, the time issue is important. Like it or not, we are a bedroom community, with three times the number of workers leaving the county as coming back in; I think the numbers are something like 2,700 outgoing, 900 commuting to work here.

Still, the real time problem may be Indiana

But the real problem may not be what time we're on in Adair County. The real problem is "What time is it now in Indiana"?

I can never tell whether Hoosiers set up their time system to perplex Kentuckianans and The World, or to draw attention to themselves, the way the Establishment set up the Scopes trial in Rhea County, TN, just to make Dayton the center of the world for a time. They took in everybody with that ruse, even the great H.L. Mencken, who went along with the notion that the Tennesseans were deeply bonded to ignorance.

In reality, it was just a Chamber of Commerce stunt, and that may be what the wily folks on Capitol Avenue in Indianapolis have done to the rest of the country.

When any geographic area in America takes up The Time Issue, they always bring up Indiana, and for a few long moments there are great discussions about what time it is in Indiana, which degenerates into questions about the exceptions for Evansville, or Ft. Wayne, or The Region, and some Encyclopedic Mind says "Vanderburgh County," and everybody wanders off into the Real World, too bored to think about time; or, the brighter ones here in Adair County says, "Let's just drive back to back up and and see. We'll get some White Castles." And off they ride to Indianapolis.

The crux of the matter

I think it may boil down to an issue similar to the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Hoosier Time Perplexion Coup, and to the Iowa Caucus vs. New Hampshire Primary promotions. As Steve Martin says in The Jerk, "It's a profit deal!" Maybe we can figure out a Time Perplexity which will shine the spotlight where it belongs, on Adair County, as always, the Exact Center of Civilization. Maybe someone will see how to make it a profit deal.

Could just do the pragmatic thing

Or, we might just go pragmatic, and follow the suggestion of a doctor friend on the various gender options, "I say," he said, "just tell kids to pick one sex and stick to it." Maybe that's what's needed for the Time Issue. Just pick one for all of Kentucky and stick to it.
Still want to vote on the Eastern Time issue?

Click here now to vote in ongoing survey, "Do you think Adair County should be on Eastern time"?


This story was posted on 2005-12-17 06:42:20
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