Feeling tired? Like you’ve lost an hour’s sleep? Well, that’s because you have. Big Timepiece and their going backwards and forwards all the time. They control the amount of sleep you get and it’s not right.
Some people get confused by which direction the clocks go in in March and October. I mean, they could stay perfectly still and everything would be all right, and I’m pretty sure there was an EU discussion about doing away with this nonsense, which would probably end up being a bit mad. I reckon if they did, yer man in 10 Downing Street definitely wouldn’t join in and would probably do the opposite … like put the clocks forward 6 hours or something because Henry the Eighth blah blah blah.
“It’s half-past three in Dublin, now over to our London correspondent, Peter O’Hanraha-hanrahan, where the time is twenty to eight tomorrow morning.”
Anyway, the simple way of remembering when clocks go forward and clocks go back is this: Imagine you are an evil villain. Not a James Bond type one, but one from the silent movie era. You know with the cape and the moustache which you twirl in a cartoonishly nefarious way. You capture your target – such as Maroon 5, John Terry, Sam Allardyce, a killer owl – whatever, it’s your own imagination.
As is the style of the character in question, you tie them to the railway tracks, but what you have planned is worse than any train. And anyway, the trains aren’t running due to a signal fault and wet leaves.
“Help! Help!”, cries your pathetic victim. Oh you’ll help them all right. Help them get really hurt because that’s what villains do. It’s in their nature. You can’t be benevolent in any way, it goes against the terms and conditions of the National Association of Villains. So, leaving them on the tracks, you then put on a massive talent show to find the best musicians you possibly can. You want drummers, trumpeters, buglers, some rusty tromboners, a couple of lads with a big triangle, clarinets, some hefty bassoons and whatever else you fancy yourself. Again, it’s your imagination, if you want someone with an 80s style guitar-synth, have at it.
Once you have them assembled, you need to do the training. There’s a lot of training involved. Not just in terms of the music you’re going to play, but how they move. There needs to be coordination. They have to turn and troop and step and tread and do it all with perfect synchronicity, like classic Arsenal pushing up for offside.
“Arms in the air and step, one, two, three, and step, one, two three!”
After weeks and weeks of practice, you’ve got it down pat. They are a finely tuned music and choreography machine. They know the routine inside out and back to front. They are playing a brass-led version of Take On Me by A-ha, and there’s an incredible sousaphone solo as the song builds to its climax.
Now, having kept Maroon/Terry/Allardyce/owl, barely alive with meagre rations of food and water you realise that it probably would have been better to keep them in a dungeon for a while instead of having to go back out to the train tracks every couple of days. What a time sink that was. You could have just done the train tracks bit right at the end. Still, you’re relatively new at this villainy lark so you’ll learn from it and do better next time.
Nevertheless, the time has come. You hire some minibuses and transport your musicians to the location. They assemble behind as you deliver your speech to the victim about how nobody can save them now and this is what they get for being your nemesis etc etc.
“Please no!” they cry, but you don’t care. You haven’t worked this hard and come this far to grow a conscience now. You twiddle your moustache in the most malevolent way you possibly can without tweaking that rogue hair which always causes your eyes to water and makes you want to sneeze.
You step out of the way, the music starts and your band starts MARCHing FORWARD down the train tracks, trampling and squashing your arch-rival as the oboes and mellophones parp out a number 1 hit from a Norwegian band in 1985.
There’s a whole other story about October, but basically you only need to know one of them because if you can’t work out that the only option after marching forward in March is backwards then there’s literally no hope you. Much like the Irish football team. Luxembourg? Oh dear.