Chapter 49
Central Time Sucks
The Tales of Texas

1a - The Mysterious Ski Rack
1b - Wheres the Other Half of That Moose
1c - The Waiter Who Didnt Yall
1d - Scorpions, Scorpio
2a - Diet Soda
2b - Riding into the Sunrise
3 - Modest Magazines
4 - Down to Houston
5a - What Does That Sign Say
5b - Just Follow Your Nose
5c - They Call It the Sunbelt
5d - The State Tree
6 - The New House
7a - Billboards
7b - Billboards Again
8 - Stereo Upgrade
9 - Wineries
10 - Unintentionally Left Blank
11 - CBW in TX
12 - Ice House Radio
13 - Goats and Cotton
14 - Dig We Must
15 - Dan Moody
16 - Dry Heat
17 - Dead Animals
18a - Bookstore Culture
18b - On the Open Road
19 - Weather
20 - Sightings in Bertram and Buchanan
21 - Too Many Birds
22 - Road Hazards
23 - Sightings to and from Houston
24 - The Great Wall of Train
25 - In the Heat of the Day
26 - Bite Me
27 - Bid on This Skeleton
28 - Willie
29 - Rural Countryside
30 - SUV SUX!
31 - Kinky on the Texas Monthly Hour
32 - Strange Yellow Sky
33 - Football is a Serious Enterprise in Texas
34 - Remember the Alamoo!
35 - What's That on the Radio
36 - Trip to Houston through the small towns
37 - Shoe Story, an Austin Anecdote
38 - Unintended Fireworks
39 - Flash Flood Warning
40 - Sin City
41 - Live music in Austin, but in theaters not in clubs
42 - Fear of Overpass
43 - The Big Sneezy
44 - New Texas
45 - Front Ended by the French Fry Mobile
46 - Dirt Farm
47a - Heard at the Texas Book Festival 2008
48a - Texas Book Festival 2009
49 - Central Time Sucks
50 - Temple Texas
51 - Christmas in Austin
52 - Pennants in the Wind
53 - The Road Less Traveled
54 - Texas-size Thunderstorm
55 - Cool Van
56 - Your New House Is That-A-Way
57 - C.S.I. Austin
58 - New MTV Game Show
59 - Equine Technology
60 - Look at That Prairie
61 - Get Your Water Here
62 - Corporate Anniversaries
63 - College Sprawl
64 - Hire These Guys
65 - Preparing for Winter
66 - Careful What You Overhear
67 - Bonnie Raitt
68 - Perfume
69 - Questionable Skills
70 - All-American Day
71 - Read Me
72 - Weird Fog
73 - Overpackaged Food
74 - What Town Was That
75 - Texas Book Festival 2010
76 - Bulletproof Roof
77 - The Oldest Photo
78 - Cheesesteaks Part 1
79 - Cheesesteaks Part 2

Repeat after me: Central Time sucks!

2000

I've seen these TV show previews for years and years: "Friday at 8, 7 central." I never thought what that really meant until I lived in the Central time zone. Having had only the experience of East and West, I didn't understand the impact of living in a one-hour time warp.

In the central time zone, unless you were born here, you hear everything slightly wrong. You hear "Friday at 8" and that's all, because that's all that ever mattered in the East or West. The "7 Central" part of the announcement disappears in the brain fog of trying to remember "Friday at 8." You miss TV shows you wanted to see, by an hour, all the time. Tune in just in time and, oops, there's the end credits of the show instead of the beginning, rats. Sure, it's really okay because everything is rerun eventually. And sometimes you can use the VCR to time shift the midnight replay, which, by the way, starts at eleven.

I've been tempted once or twice to set the VCR's clock to Eastern time. That way I wouldn't have to listen to the Central part of the announcement. But even I would get confused if I tried to program it from the listings instead of the previews.

Why do the networks time-shift for other time zones but not for this one? Why are we so damned privileged? What is the source of this stupid tradition? Here, people watch the news at ten and go to bed early. Or maybe stay up for Leno's monologue at 10:35.

Recently I have reduced the pain ever so slightly by finding that I can get some network schedules, on the web, pre-distorted for Central Time. HBO and TCM, at least, publish monthly schedules, and they have editions specialized for all the time zones, including this crummy one.

So we always watch the ads and the listings and when we want to remember something, we refer to the time as "Friday at 8, 7 Central Time Sucks." CTS instead of CST, just an eensy weensy little joke.

On New Year's Eve, 2001 arrives at 12 o'clock, 11 Central. Don't miss it!