The Road Ahead

Saving Time

Springing forward always makes me think of Sad Sam Jones, who pitched in the major leagues from 1914-1935. 

In Lawrence Ritter’s “The Glory of Their Times,” Sam tells of how he never threw over to first base to chase back a runner.  He once went five years without even attempting a pickoff move. “I once heard Eddie Plank say, ‘There are only so many pitches in this old arm, and I don’t believe in wasting them throwing to first base.’”

That’s how I feel about the clock in my car, the one clock I have dominion over. I never turn it forward and back. Although I don’t have the extension of my major league career to think about, I dedicate the occasional stray thought to the preservation of one of my few useful services to my family: I’m really good at opening jars. “Dad?” Karry will call from the kitchen. “Help.” 

Given that the vast majority of my contributions to the house fall under a loose category I like to call, “Intangibles,” I’m mindful of getting the most from my meager talents.  This is why I never complained all those years we went without a dishwasher. Any excuse to stand next to Karry.

So, for going on 25 years, I’ve saved myself two turns a year (fifty jars if you’re keepin’ score). My car clock’s in permanent Spring Forward Mode, so it’ll now be accurate for the next six months.  For the rest of the year, it’s always an hour earlier than my car says it is. During the winter, every time I turn the ignition I experience a small satisfaction realizing it’s not that late. Always makes me feel a little ahead of the game. Though it mostly has the opposite effect on my passengers, each of whom tends to experience an ‘Oh sh*t, what time is it?’ momentary freak-out. 

Like most of my idiosyncrasies, it drives my family nuts. But I like having an excuse to think about Sam Jones when I think about spring. I’d like to think that Sam would appreciate that, too.

There are only so many twists in this old wrist.

Can’t wait until Opening Day. 

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