Sometime early next April, I’m going to load up my computer with every single song I can find about the working life and play it loudly on a continuous loop at my desk for my co-workers to hear. It will be a wide range of stuff; the majority of which will be obscure and long lost like the Red Army Chorus singing “L’Internationale” or “Car Wash” by Rose Royce. The ones that I really like will get played over and over. I’m going to leave it on overnight so when I walk in at 8am, there is no pause. If anyone complains, I will admonish them openly. Why don’t you like Mayday? Don’t be such a scab! I will counter complain – why can’t you respect my Marx given right to excessively celebrate the actual most popular holiday in the world? When I whistle “Working Man” off key every day for weeks or do a brutal impersonation of Sam Cooke singing “Chain Gang”, you must automatically accept this or you will be in violation of the seasonal laws I decided you must follow. I will say dumb ass things like “Why are you in such a bad mood, it’s Mayday” and you must be happy because I’ve said this to you.
I am going to make everyone participate in a gift exchange called “Secret Fellow Worker”. We’ll draw names and swap stuff from the tool section of The Dollar Store, which will end up in the garbage after being used once or twice, if at all. We must wear certain clothes for a month with a *minimum* of 37 pieces of flare like union badges, orange safety vests and hardhats or green Fidel caps. Then we will gorge ourselves on far too much food just for the hell of it but since it honours farmers and all of those in the food service industry – we’re going to keep doing it yearly without questioning it. You WILL enjoy it! To not participate is disrespectful the meaning of Mayday. Eat until you bust, damn you. If you don’t, the capitalists win!
I’m going to make sure that on April 30th, the only things that will be shown on TV are Ask This Old House, Office Space, all the Ken Loach films and the Grapes of Wrath. Black and white shows will find a special place in people’s hearts even though they look super crappy in the age of Hi Def. I’m going to co-write a figure skating special called “On To Ottawa On Ice” – Kurt Browning and Patrick Chan will star as navvies building a canal, one of whom is guaranteed to die before the intermission. The survivors eventually fire their boss and form a co-operative after a long and bloody strike at Aggressive Hedge Fund Canal Concerns Ltd. You must watch it and talk about it endlessly the next day. It’ll be great. There will be nothing else on anyway. The Business News Network will be on blackout out of respect. If you don’t like it, tough.
I will be present for the raising of the Red and Black Flags at City Hall and have a massive public tantrum when somebody that doesn’t share my beliefs requests that they be removed. A team of dedicated volunteers will prepare beautiful banners of the Tolpuddle and Haymarket Martyrs to be hung from the Norfolk Street Bridge. I will be impossibly indignant to anyone who gripes about them. Have they forgotten the reason for the season? These martyrs were sent into exile, persecuted and many died for their belief in the working class!! This is The True Meaning of Mayday. Many of the English Tolpuddle group ended up in exile in London, Ontario. It would be anti-Canadian to not love them unconditionally. Tim Hortons will release a special Martyrs Blend, available only until May First. Every sip will be holiday magic in a cup. It is the duty of the working class to drink as much of it as possible to increase productivity.
For at least a month or two before the glorious day, you will find it impossible not to notice a near life sized model of “The Pyramid of The Capitalist System” in the middle of the mall. Don’t even think about messing with this sucker. It’s imperative that you and your children acknowledge and admire this sacred yet somewhat ugly fibreglass display. It is your beacon of Truth, a reminder of the reason for the season. Touch or tamper with it and there will be a General Strike! The weight of all of labour’s power will come down on you, subjecting you to universal ridicule for having the nerve to question our right to impose this on you. How dare you not subscribe to the only holiday that matters? In addition, I have also started to program a co-ordinated Mayday holiday light show for my front lawn that will run 24/7. Under the holy words directly from the good book – “Workers of the World, Unite” – a giant inflatable Karl Marx and Rosie the Riveter will dance and sing “Solidarity Forever” for all to hear, all day and all of the night. Isn’t that cute? It’s a You Tube sensation in the making! I’m going to leave it up until Labour Day, deflated and sad all summer long until it kills the lawn! It’s my right!!!
Is my new national holiday any more ridiculous than the December you just lived through? Wake me up when they start singing Auld Lang Syne, please.