From the Pastor: Of Clocks and Cuckoos
This week brings the end to daylight savings time. I whine about the clock changes every year, twice a year. I cannot stand losing an hour of sleep in the spring, not just for one night but for as many as it takes for my body to finally adjust to the time change. Just so, I cannot stand “gaining” an hour of sleep in the fall, for I don’t really gain anything for a number of days either, as I wind up waking up at the “old” time, regardless of what the clock says. So I complain, bellyache and gripe about it as if it is a big deal. In reality, it is not. Compare this semiannual inconvenience to what is happening just a couple of days later and you’ll see what I mean. This Tuesday everyone who has not already cast an early ballot goes to the polls to vote for, among other things, the next President of these United States. Elections and what leads up to them also bring out the whiner in me. I moan and groan and grouse and grumble about the system, the voters and the dummkopf candidates much like I do about changing the clock.
There are several big differences between those two things, though, which you may not have ever thought about. First, nobody has ever told me to keep my religion out of politics when I complain about the time change. No, really. Have you ever seen anyone holding up signs proclaiming, “Keep your Benediction out of my Post Meridiem!” or any such thing? Second, nobody is ever “undecided” about the clock issue. If it was coming up for a vote next year, the polls could already predict which way the hands of time would turn. Nobody ever says, “Well, I just cannot make up my mind. I need more information.” Rather, they either love the time change or hate it and they don’t really care about its history, who else supports it or abhors it, or even if it might cause another Y2K-type worldwide appliance meltdown. Everyone is ready to vote now and decisively. Yet with the Presidential election, seemingly millions of people, having already had the benefit of listening to the candidates, having been bombarded with countless ads, having good information as to who is more immoral than whom, and having been embroiled in or at least reluctant witness to many passionate arguments about each candidate's policies, morals, manners, riches and looks, will walk into the voting booth still trying to decide which cuckoo will get the check mark.
A third major difference is that I really don’t have to let the time change affect my life very much at all if I choose to ignore it., whereas the President will control some aspects of my life no matter what I pretend didn’t occur. For instance, what would happen if I decided that I was not going to ever come off daylight savings time? What if I refused to change any of my clocks, my watch or even my cell phone time? (There is actually a setting on the phone which allows me to only change it manually if I desire, instead of it updating automatically according to location and time zone.) All I would have to do is put on my personal calendar that the 10:30 Mass is now scheduled for 9:30 and my unchanged watch would match with your changed watches and all would be well. But if I tried that with the elections, nothing would match at all. For no matter how fervently I proclaimed something like, “I insist that Cardinal Sarah is President” (don’t laugh, he was born on the same continent as our current Prez, after all) our Church would still be forced by President Hillary Clinton to allow contracepting polygamous lesbian women married to transexual men/women/other to become bishops; or women would still be engaged in something that is not to be called what it is, for the sake of deniability, in the Oval Office by President Bill Clinton, Jr. --oops! I meant President Donald Trump.
The fourth, and most telling difference between the two, is something I have completely forgotten. Which is too bad, since it was the most humorous of all the reasons, although that is not saying much. But that’s why I saved it for last. It was what I was thinking when I first started writing this stupid column, and I was chuckling about it as I tried to come up with the other lead in shenanigans. But, as happens so many times, I wasn’t able to write the whole story uninterruptedly, and by the time I have returned to the computer, my mind is blank. So unless it soon jars loose in this noggin of mine --before I have to get the bulletin printed-- I will have to end by asking you to just laugh really loud right now and pretend that whatever I failed to write was a real knee-slapper.
With prayers for your holiness,
Fr. Edwin Palka