Stop. Immediately look to the upper right hand corner of your computer monitor or iPed (Chinese bootleg of iPad). What time is it? It’s debate time! But it’s also reflective of your time zone. Somewhere else in this great nation it’s a different time for someone else. Wherever you hear two people arguing over time zones (in Indiana, southwest North Dakota), we’ll be there. In the following debate, Jake and Glenn use the Socratic method to determine which of the four American time zones is the “best.”
Jake: Out of all of the timezones in the United States, my allegiances always have and always will lie with Central Standard Time (CST). It is right in the middle, so you get to experience the best of both Pacific and Eastern Standard Time. You even have a shadow cast over you by Mountain Standard Time. In this age of global warming and rising temperatures, it is occasionally nice to find some shade to cool down. CST is an old friend to me. If I left CST, I would feel like I was leaving my wife for a much uglier and stupider woman. I will never leave my wife and I will never leave CST. If that makes me a hopeless romantic, than so be it.
Glenn: It certainly makes you hopeless. Mark Twain once said “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” You aren’t doing any of those things if you stick with Central Standard. I too sprang forth from the womb of CST but have since managed to travel through or live in all other American time zones. Mountain Standard was by far the worst, and I would rather spend the rest of my life trying to climb Mount Rushmore than live under such a detestable regime. PST and EST are the same insofar as both show the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on TV at 11:30pm, which is late enough to prevent children from watching it and falling down a dark spiral of milquetoast comedy. CST cannot say the same, showing what amounts to a live execution every night at 10:30pm.
Jake: Quotes about boating aside, your point does not say which time zone you think is the best. At least I had the guts to put my horse in the race. Your horse is still in its stable, being pumped full of performance enhancing drugs, but, as we all know, you can’t win a race if you don’t enter it. CST is the time zone in which people with bold opinions live. Glenn, who currently lives in New York, has become as indecisive as a regular New Yorker. EST and PST is not a true choice. This is war, pick a side. EST contains Rhode Island and most of Indiana. Sure, I lived in Indiana, but in the CST part around in the Chicago metropolitan area. Rhode Island is the most insignificant state in the union because of its small size. Plus, everything happens later there than it does here. PST, things happen too early! I don’t want to watch watch a live TV event two hour earlier than CST or, God forbid, three hours earlier than EST. That is my nightmare, and it keeps me up at night more than any of the Leprechaun films or Jay Leno.
Glenn: I wanted to confuse you, like a Missourian visiting California for the first time and expecting to see NBC’s hit show Parenthood on at 9pm. Turning on the TV, he fills with despair at seeing the show’s 10pm start time. So instead he decides to peruse Twitter and has a heart attack. The heart attack stems from looking at the feed and seeing the results of that night’s show spoiled (someone has autism and someone has a secret) because it’s 11:30pm back in Missouri. The show has been over there for an hour and a half and your friends are already tweeting about it. Since you’re on the ropes let me deliver my knockout blow: Eastern Standard Time is the best. You get everything first (the sunrise, the Tonight Show, incoming ICBM nuclear missiles launched from Iran) and contain the best things in the US (Rhode Island, most of Indiana, the Liberty Bell). As a teenager, I used to hate EST more than myself, but now that I’m living in it I couldn’t imagine going back. It’s time to force everyone to move east the way liberals employed forced busing in the 60s and 70s.
Jake: First of all, NBC doesn’t have a hit show. Some of their shows may be of quality, but none do all that well in the ratings compared to American Idol or other excellent reality programming. In fact, many of NBC’s shows are set in cities using EST. Coincidence? I don’t think so. NBC seems to have put all of their eggs in the proverbial basket that is the Eastern Time Zone, and all of those eggs are either broken, rotten or hard boiled far too long resulting in greyish green yolks which are not at all appetizing. Much like our president, I am a moderate. That is why I choose to reside in his favorite timezone (he is a citizen of Chicago, IL) and support the three wars in which we are currently involved. CST is the timezone where the most patriots live. Shortly after 9/11 everybody else threw away their American flags like they were yesterday’s bagels and replaced them with pennants of their favorite sports teams. In the CST, people are still dressing like Lex Luger in 1994: head-to-toe in the red, white and blue. The two greatest colors and the greatest neutral in the entire color wheel. God bless America, and God bless Central Standard Time.
Glenn: God bless Central Standard Time? No no no - god DAMN Central Standard Time! God damn the Central Time Zone — that's in the Bible — for killing innocent people (the great Chicago Fire). God damn CST, for treating our citizens as less than human (Scott Walker’s attempt to destroy collective bargaining rights). Eastern Time, like Eastern religion and culture, is the pinnacle of human development. Even if we put aside Jake’s criticisms of #1 network NBC, full of hit shows like Cheers and Perfect Couples, his argument still falls apart. He is selfishly arguing for his own time zone just as I am selfishly arguing for mine, but the difference is that I have lived in three of the four American time zones. Pacific is nice, but it’s too close to the poisoned ocean and by the time you wake up at 1pm, the day is over in EST. Jake says that the CST is full of patriots, and this may be true insofar as Texas resides in the CST but what about South Carolina, the only state patriotic enough to secede from the tyrant Abraham Lincoln. They, and I, are sitting happy in the Eastern Time Zone - waiting for our second chance to defeat the North.