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    Wombat Bill
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The Covids - 12. Mayday, May Day

Originally written for May 1s t

“Hi Steve, Kev here, how’s things with you?”

“Oh a bit of excitement here today, tomorrow’s May Day and because of our family name we celebrate May Day, although this year will be a bit different.”

“Why is your dad a communist?”

“No, not at all, he’s a conservative through and through.”

“So why celebrate May Day?”

“Well basically because our family name is May, but we celebrate in the manner of the northern hemisphere tradition of welcoming the arrival of spring, new life and such.”

“That’s sounds great, I might see if we can do something here to brighten our day. Not much to celebrate about our family name, even though it is the most commonly used word around the world today.”

Kevin went online, did some quick research about May Day in England and quickly put together a plan for the day. From his research he chose three items that we wanted to be the focus of his family activities. He gathered the family around for a lunch time conference and allocated jobs to each, in typical Kevin manner. Item one was singing, so he put Christine in charge of that. Cake was the next item on his plan, so it was obvious his mother would be allocated that responsibility. Last item was dance and of course that would be his, but he needed his father’s help to construct a maypole for the dancing. In an effort to keep Kevin happy and with some belief that a party of sorts might lift their spirits, the family went about their assigned tasks enthusiastically.

Come the day all was in readiness. Christine had downloaded words and music for songs she thought appropriate. Jenny had been baking until midnight and Daniel converted the Hills Hoist into a maypole.

Christine presented her list of songs to Kevin but was rebuked for her choice of, Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, Tennessee Ernie Ford’s 16 Tons, Billy Bragg’s, There Is Power in a Union, Bruce Springsteen’s, Youngstown, Pete Seeger’s, Solidarity Forever, Loretta Lynn’s, Coal Miner’s Daughter and Woody Guthrie’s, Union Burying Ground.

“What’s wrong with those songs?” she asked “They’re all great songs of labour solidarity and worker’s struggles.”

“I think you’ve missed the point Chris. This is not a left wing campus protest; we’re trying to celebrate the spirit of spring and new life.”

“Yeah right, in the middle of winter, what a great idea. Do it yourself you crazy queen.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“The ‘do it yourself ‘ bit?”

“NO! the‘crazy queen’ bit.”

“I think you’d make a fabulous May Queen.”

Kevin thought ‘I’m not going to let her spoil my fun, I’m sure Mum and Dad will still join in. So, next we went off to check on the cake situation and was furious when he found his mother piping the finishing touches to her hammer and sickle decoration on the cake.

“What’s that supposed to be Mum?”

“Well I’m sorry if you don’t like it, but you didn’t give me much notice.”

“Don’t bother, I know this whole family is out to sabotage my day.”

As Kevin stormed off, Jenny laughed till she was almost in tears. Then Daniel came into the kitchen and asked “What’s got you so amused?”

“Oh, Kevin as usual.”

“What’s he done now?”

“Just him being Kevin is enough.”

Kevin then had another internal conversation with himself. ‘What’s a man got to do to get through to these women? I’m sure Dad won’t have let me down. I’d better go and check his maypole is not a coal mining tower.’

Kevin was relieved to see that the maypole was indeed a single straight pole attached to the centre of the Hills Hoist, after his father had removed the arms and clothes wire. He was however, a little disappointed that it had been decorated in only white ribbons but excused his father’s lack of imagination given the short notice and no opportunity to shop for coloured ribbons.

As Kevin took the end of a ribbon in each hand he heard the sound of Greensleeves coming from the house and started a slow waltz around the maypole. As the tempo picked up a little he began to enjoy the solo waltz. He then noticed Christine standing on the back deck and gave her a thumbs up. She smiled. As Kevin continued to twirl around, the ribbons wrapped around him. Then his father joined Christine and gave Kevin his best Stalin salute. He continued to twirl and as Jenny watched from the kitchen window she thought he seemed to be going into a whirling dervish trance. But as long as he was having fun she let him do it and returned to finish decorating the real cake for the day with sugar flowers. She scraped the hammer and sickle icing off the upturned cake tin and threw it in the sink.

While Kevin continued with his dancing the family set up the deck table for a celebratory morning tea and waited for Kevin.

When he finished his dancing, he walked towards his family looking like a mummy raised from the dead and Daniel said “Jen, while I didn’t approve of you stockpiling all those toilet rolls, it has proven to be of some use after all.”

(See comments below.)

For some strange reason, in Australia, early lockdown caused a shortage of some products in the supermarkets due to customers stockpiling. The most stored product was toilet paper. There were even fights in the aisles. Supermarkets had to ration the purchase of these products and that caused arguments at the checkout. See YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1nEnOmC6IQ

Copyright © 2020 Wombat Bill; All Rights Reserved.
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Great chapter. Don't worry we had the problem here in the UK when we went into lockdown, people stockpiled toilet roll, pasta, rice and certain tinned goods.

It was great to see Kevin able to be happy in this chapter when he was dancing around his maypole.

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Glad they are finding some reason to celebrate in the middle of lockdown ( and finding a use for all those loo rolls). I reckon some people will still be getting through their stockpiled provisions in a few years from now.

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On 10/5/2020 at 4:16 PM, chris191070 said:

Great chapter. Don't worry we had the problem here in the UK when we went into lockdown, people stockpiled toilet roll, pasta, rice and certain tinned goods.

It was great to see Kevin able to be happy in this chapter when he was dancing around his maypole.

Certain tinned goods? Everything was stripped from the shelves, I went to my local supermarket on the way home (6pm) on a Monday and they had a few carrots left, Wednesday, not even that. Not a single tin (food or beer), toilet roll, bag of anything dried, no flour for over 2 months. I think it took 3-4 weeks for them to get anywhere near normal stock levels of tins, and about 3 months for flour. They kept saying on the news that everyone was baking to pass the time, my question was "with what?".

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We had the same problem with people stockpiling on toilet paper! At one point I thought I was going to have to start using paper towels! OUCH!

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