All Dennis Fuller wants is a peaceful night's sleep.
Is that too much to ask?
No waking up an hour early or an hour late, following arbitrary dictates from the powers that be.
No needless disruptions, fiddling with alarm clocks to change the body's natural circadian rhythms.
All Fuller wants is an end to daylight-saving time.
There is something whimsical about his quest, this soft-spoken Orofino man who seeks to free time from an artificial constraint.
In a sense, he wants to turn back the clock on our clock-turning habits. He would have us embrace constancy, taking the nation back to a day when we felt no need to conform our watches to the seasonal wanderings of the sun.
Fuller cites numerous studies in support of his proposal, highlighting sharp increases in traffic accidents, suicide attempts, heart attacks, sleep disorders and ambulance calls -- all linked to the twice-yearly disturbance in our normal routines.
He notes that daylight-saving time was first implemented as a fuel-saving effort in World War I -- a rationale that made sense in an age of coal and kerosene, but that pales in the light of modern electricity.
Daylight-saving time was repealed in 1919, only to return during World War II. From 1945 to 1966, local jurisdictions could decide for themselves when and if to observe the practice. It didn't become federal law until 1966. The beginning and ending dates have expanded twice since; states can exempt themselves from its effects if they so choose.
"I get mad every time I have to change the clocks," Fuller told me. "I started wondering why we do this to ourselves, so I did some research."
Prior to the 1880s, time -- or at least timekeeping -- was a local phenomenon: Noon in Boise wasn't the same as noon in Denver, or even in Twin Falls. Time was tied to nature. In some cultures, an hour in summer was longer than an hour in winter.
Railroads found this unmanageable, so in 1883 they implemented standard times within regional time zones. The federal government followed suit in 1918.
Some anti-daylight-saving time groups want to expand their efforts to include elimination of one or two North American time zones, but Fuller isn't interested in going that far. He just wants to set his clock and not have to change it.
He made his way to Boise in February, hoping to enlist legislative support. He trundled down the Statehouse corridors with a heavy satchel full of reports and studies, together with a draft proclamation petitioning Congress to end this self-imposed disruption.
The issue doesn't seem to have caught fire with anyone, but that could be a matter of timing.
Our clocks spring forward this weekend. Maybe Fuller should call lawmakers up Monday morning and ask how they feel about Daylight Savings now. I'm guessing they might be more receptive to a repeal.
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