I was a scarlet macaw in one of my past lives, a captive in a Paquime Indian village, long before the Spanish brought smallpox and Catholicism to Pueblo adobe dwellers in Mexico.
My hypothesis is not based on my appearance in this life. Perhaps a hint on Halloween, when I paint a featherless face and don crimson plumage. No vestigial physical attributes support my theory, except for the macaw’s massive beak. My jaw has been known to crack down on more than one misinformed political nut.
Every fall, I am reminded of my avian existence via a jolting flashback that follows the 2:00 am “you-get-an-extra-hour” hoax.
At 4:00 pm on Sunday, November 1, I was transported back 1,195 years. I am crushed by fatigue as I watch the seven-year-old girl who captured me approach to drape a mat of woven ferns over my cage. The memory forces my body clock into a vat of cement. I would bet a million feathers that it’s 10:00 pm.
Alas, it’s only 4:10 in the afternoon. In 2016.
Bad Bad Ben
One more time trip. It’s AD 1783 in Benjamin Franklin’s bedchamber in Paris, France. Witness the birth of his diabolical plan:
Benjamin was awakened by sunlight at 6:00 am. The night before, he’d dined with a family that complained of having to spend hard-earned coin on candles and whale oil to stave off the darkness.
“I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it was but six o’clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary that the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanac, where I found it to be the hour given for his rising on that day. I looked forward, too, and found he was to rise still earlier every day till towards the end of June; and that at no time in the year he retarded his rising so long as till eight o’clock.”
Daylight Saving Saves . . . whales.
Ben knew that time could not be saved, lost, forgotten, had, spent, or out-ed. Daylight could be tamed by citing Poor Richard’s Almanak’s annual celestial schedule, then moving the hour hand forward or backward on a watch. Need I remind you that said Almanak was written and published by none other than, you guessed it, Ben himself. Thus began the Saving of Daylight, one of the cleverest propaganda campaigns in history. I’d like add that Ben was the first unsung tree hugging save the baby beluga whale activist.
The Beware the Day After the Ides of March
Our body clocks are going to be stripped of an hour at 2:00 am on March 16, 2016. Our sixty minutes will be returned to us on November 6, 2016, two days before we the people hopefully eliminate the wickedest of presidential and congressional candidates.
If the nuts win, I will conger my ancient bird self, escape from my cage, eat a bushel of grapes, unfold my wings then hurdle through time and space to soar above said wicked heads.
I hope to have enough energy for an aim that’s true.