Repeat after me: Central Time sucks!
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!