Phillip Thompson

Crime Fiction writer

Sitting here like a drone in my Virginia home, waiting on Monday Night Football to start. I say like a drone because I do so knowing full well I won’t stay up to see the end. Why? Because I live in the Eastern Time Zone, and the game won’t begin (the lovefest pregame, that is) until 8:30. And living in an area where the morning commute resembles Occupy I-95 (without the signs) does not lend itself to late nights — especially since I did that anyway last night, but only because the Saints were beating the living hell out of the Colts and there was no way I was turning that off.

I’ve never liked Eastern Time. Everything comes on too late. The news, sports, Seinfeld, all the good shows (“Son of Anarchy,” “Justified,” “American Horror Story,” etc.). I miss the Central Time of my youth, where things come on at a decent time — I mean, you can actually watch an entire football game, or watch your favorite show and still have a little time to read, watch the news, whatever before turning in to face another day on the Commute of Death.

Time isn’t the only difference between the two zones, though. In Central Time, you’ve got, for example, okra, grits done the right way, the Saints (and New Orleans), the Cardinals (but not necessarily St. Louis), the SEC, the right kind of barbecue, the Gulf Coast, the Grand Old Opry, Beale Street, catfish, shotguns, tea (without the unnecessary adjective, “sweet”) and Faith Hill. Ok, you also got your water moccasins and hardcore conservatives, but the shotgun takes care of the snakes and the Opry and barbecue can pretty much take care of the hardcore conservatives.

Here in the Eastern Time Zone, we have sushi bars, bagels, I-95, the Government, the Ivy League, Boston (and unfortunately, the Red Sox), the Redskins, the Nationals, blizzards, nor’easters, Alberta Clippers, schools that start after Labor Day, lima beans (please), and “pee-CAN” pie (people, for the last time, it’s pronounced, “puh-cahn”), and far too many Starbucks. True, there’s New York (the city, not the Yankees, Mets, Football Giants or J-E-T-S), jobs and Vietnamese restaurants, but we spend all our money on gas to sit in traffic for so long that we never have time to go out to eat — or stay up late to watch the ball game.

Throw the World Series in there and you’re talking a sleep-deficit-fueled full-on rant. Like this one.

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