Dan Rattiner's Stories

Tinkertime: Tinkerbell’s Sister Campaigns to Change All Clocks in America

People in this country turned most of their clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night. I say most of the clocks because about a quarter of all the clocks now get turned ahead by themselves. They are in cars, in stoves, on TVs, on computers, on newer wristwatches, in clocks.

Fact is, they do not turn ahead by themselves. You know Tinkerbell from the Peter Pan story? At three o’clock in the morning, her younger sister Tinkertime flutters down the chimneys of all the houses in America while everyone is sleeping and flits around the house finding the clocks, so that by waving her wand, one or another of them gets turned ahead.

She does it in cars and trucks, too, which is why most people leave their cars unlocked on this special night.

Few people appreciate what Tinkertime does. She saves everyone all that wandering around the house and messing with clocks after Daylight Savings Time the following morning, when DST goes into effect. And then in the fall she’s back to once again save all that wandering around to get back to Standard Time.

Every year, more and more clocks and watches in the country are set up to receive the little fairy-dust dip of her wand. Early on, it was just a few clocks that did. Now it’s nearly a quarter.

If you have a clock or watch that needs to work with Tinkertime, all you have to do is take it down to one or another of the Town Hall Clerks’ offices, where you get the parking and beach stickers for the summer. Whatever it is they have to do, they do it in just a few minutes in a back room, and then you get the clock or watch back and it’s ready to be blessed by Tinkertime when she comes through from that time on. All the Town Clerks’ offices are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., five days a week, from Monday to Friday except for holidays.

Tinkertime has only recently started doing this. For thousands of years she stood in her sister’s shadow, just admiring her and everything she does for Peter, but about 20 years ago she got the idea for this project and has been pursuing it to make it happen ever since. You have to admire her determination.

Getting your clocks and watches set up not only helps you, it helps Tinkertime. The goal is, of course, that one day all clocks everywhere are tuned to her wand. As it is now, when a clock is set up, nothing changes on it that anyone, including Tinkertime, can see, and so she dips her wand at all the clocks one by one throughout the house and hopes. You can imagine it must be discouraging for her to do the dip and instead of the hands turning happily, have them just do nothing.

Well, with our cooperation, more and more clocks’ hands will move for Tinkertime, and won’t it be a happy day when dipping the wand with nothing happening will be a thing of the past.

Get those clocks down to Town Hall.

Also, you will soon be invited to a Fundraiser for Tinkertime in Southampton this June. It will be on the grounds of a grand estate, under a big white tent that can accommodate thousands of people, and will be followed by a private dinner for the high rollers. Doing what Tinker does is hard work, and when you think of all the productivity time saved, well, economists say it could move the needle on the National Economy by more than 1%.

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