Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

March 7, 2013

Gary's World: Time changes can be awkward

By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer

CROSSVILLE — This weekend the subject of the time change will rear its ugly head again and we will lose a precious hour of sleep. I can hardly wait.

Of course, I’m being sarcastic. I have a hard enough time getting up and going without losing an hour of sleep.

I’m sure many people feel the same, but I have to admit, I do like having an extra hour of daylight in the evening. It’s also another indication that a long-awaited spring season is on the way.

Springing forward can also offer funny moments.

There’s always some people who haven’t heard about the time change and as a result they are an hour late for some event on Sunday morning, or sometimes even Monday. If you work on Sunday morning, being an hour late could be a disaster.

Several years ago I remember being the subject of many jokes after my wife and I didn’t set our clocks ahead.

It was way back in the ‘80s, but I remember it so vividly as if it were yesterday.

It was a bright, sunny morning, and my wife and I left a little early for church that morning. We figured that with the extra time we had on our hands we would stop off at the donut shop and grab a donut and cup of coffee.

It was relaxing and we didn’t have all this pressure to get to church right away. As we pulled into the parking lot of the church, I spied a great parking spot right up in front. It almost never happened.

Nothing excites me much more than getting a prime parking spot without even trying. Well, of course, there’s food — that always excites me pretty much no matter when.

Anyway, I jumped out of the car after obtaining the righteous parking space, walked around the vehicle and opened the door for my wife — chivalry was alive and well back in the 80s. It still is, occasionally.

As my lovely bride and I strolled up the sidewalk to the church, I noticed several people leaving. As I reached my hand out to open the large, wooden door, it burst open and nearly hit me in the face.

A large crowd was exiting the building.

“What in the heck happened?” I wondered.

“Do you think something’s wrong?” I asked my wife.

“I don’t know?” she said.

Nobody looked panicky, so I assumed everything was OK.

As I stepped into the doorway, we were greeted by one of our friends.

“Hey, how come you missed church?” he asked.

“What do you mean?” I asked. “We’re here. Did it start early or something?”

Suddenly, I heard a rolling chorus of laughter that started near us and traveled across the crowd, down the hallway and deep into the sanctuary as it was emptying. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that far, but it sure felt like it at the time.

Kim and I looked at each other.

“You forgot to set your clocks ahead,” my friend said with a chuckle.

It was indeed the day of the dreaded time change and neither Kim or I realized it because we had gone out the night before and weren’t subjected to any reminders.

I suddenly began to feel uncomfortably warm, rosy-cheeked and nervous. I loosened my burgundy knit tie that was buried beneath my sweater.

“Oh no,” I said.

We looked at each other and realized we were innocent victims of the annual and occasionally embarrassing time change.

Now, there have been other years when we were on the ball and remembered the time change, set our clocks ahead and witnessed others fall victim to laughs and finger pointing.

To this day, after that event, I pay attention to the time changing Gods and make it a priority.

So please folks, pay attention and remember to set your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night before you go to bed. Don’t become one of the endless ravel of victims and subject yourselves to the awkward embarrassment my wife and I suffered as we strolled up to church an hour late as the crowd exited.

You may get a good parking spot, but it won’t be worth it.

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Gary Nelson is a Crossville Chronicle staffwriter. His column is published each Friday. He may be reached at