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Like Justin Timberlake and sexy, I’m bringin’ May Day back

issue #6

Somewhere, lost between the risen Lord of Easter Sunday and the more laid-back Dos Equis guy of Cinco de Mayo, is the Roman flower goddess Flora, who used to reign supreme as THE party icon this time of year.

It's time to get crazy and have some wild fun! But watch your manners...

It’s time to get crazy and have some wild fun! But hey, watch your manners…

I don't always celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but when I do... What am I saying, of COURSE I always celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

I don’t always celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but when I do… What am I saying, of COURSE I always celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Nowadays, any May Pole dancing is purely coincidental, at strip clubs, with the only reference to Flora the flower goddess being dancers named “Daisy.” How did a celebration dating back before Jesus somehow get lost in the shuffle between Easter eggs and Mexican beer bottles? Even when I was a kid, which I’d like to point out was well after the resurrection and as recent as the 1970s A.D., I remember dancing around the sixth-grade May Pole and savoring the opportunity to hold hands with Sara Getlost as she cried out in springtime rapture, “Ewww! Ewww! Your hands are SWEATY! Ewww!”

It’s that kind of wild, springtime ecstacy that May Day and the goddess Flora were all about.

And did I mention the flower goddess Flora is cool enough to have a tat?

And did I mention the flower goddess Flora is cool enough to have a tat?

So what happened? Or perhaps more importantly: Is Sara Getlost now an alcoholic single mother of six living in an abandoned trailer, as my Mom predicted in her loving attempt to console me that school year? We’ll probably never know for sure. But even at age 12, I thought my Mom’s prediction was a bit harsh; I wouldn’t wish six kids on anyone. Regardless, what I do know is that the true spirit of unabashed springtime revelry was lost somewhere between holding sweaty hands with Sara Getlost and the first Girls Gone Wild video. I say this because, unlike Easter and Cinco De Mayo, the goddess Flora’s party was open to everyone.

There was no fine print
[Must be age 21 or older, or a practicing Christian to participate];

There were no pre-qualifications
[Eligibility based on proof of I.D. or Baptismal certificate];

And there were no strings attached
[Offer subject to change. See local liquor store or priest for details].

Because Flora’s annual May Day party had no such stipulations, it was celebrated for centuries by every country in the Northern Hemisphere. Except Morocco; they already have enough parties.

A painting for Moroccan president Milo Guadalupe on a typical morning in 1798.

A painting of Moroccan president Milo Guadalupe, nursing a hangover on a typical morning in 1798.

But for everyone else, dancing around the May Pole was just the beginning. Each country celebrated the return of spring in its own unique, generally intoxicated way, which was inclusive to everyone. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to be Mexican to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I’m just saying that if you find yourself drunk and wearing a sombrero while wandering the streets of East L.A., being Mexican wouldn’t hurt. The same goes for dressing that way on Easter.

Unless you are actually Chevy Chase, if you're dressed like this and not Mexican you won't make it out of east L.A. alive. Even on Cinco de Mayo.

Unless you are actually Chevy Chase, if you’re dressed like this and not Mexican you won’t make it out of east L.A. alive. Even on Cinco de Mayo.

As May Day approaches, I hope you’ll consider joining me and others in helping re-unite the entire northern hemisphere on May 1 by celebrating spring with flower goddess Flora. Naturally, there will be exciting activities for everyone, including:

Dancing around the May Pole together.

Dancing around the May Pole together (Hey, is that Sara Getlost?)

Sack races for flower children of all ages.

Sack races for flower children of all ages.

Free falling with Mother Nature.

Free falling with Mother Nature.

And whatever these people are doing.

And whatever it is these people are doing.

Together, let’s make May Day great again! Actually, my hands are getting sweaty just thinking about it…

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)

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About Ned's Blog (35 Articles)
I've been a journalist and humor columnist at the Siuslaw News for 16 years. I'm also a volunteer firefighter. If the newspaper ever burns down, I will have some explaining to do. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

51 Comments on Like Justin Timberlake and sexy, I’m bringin’ May Day back

  1. when in may……..do

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  2. That’s unfair to characterize Daisy that way. She works hard to supp… yeah. Never mind.

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  3. I will be sure to join in the revels and act like I’m at Coachella, but with much less pretention.

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  4. Only with you could we get Jesus, pole dancing and naked bums in the same few hundred words.
    However, there was no part of my inner voice that told me to look away. Instead I’ll pull out the pole and do a little May Day dancing myself. While there will be posts of naked buns, I may sneak in a pic or two of some wayward tulips who lost their sombreros.
    Thanks for putting a perma-smile on my already working Monday face.

    Like

    • Thanks, Michelle! It’s funny how a naked booty can always put a smile on people’s faces, depending on the source of the booty.

      Glad to know you’re joining the May Day movement, which is always open to interpretation. And naked buns.

      Like

  5. You know what I miss about May Day? Those lemons with peppermint sticks in them at the May Day celebrations in elementary school.
    What? You don’t know what I’m talking about?
    Exactly.
    No one else seems to remember them, either.
    I can’t for the life of me figure out why I would have created a false memory of lemons with peppermint sticks in them, though. Unless there was also tequila involved. It was a party school. 🙂

    Like

  6. You have a gift, Ned.
    A dark gift, certainly, but a gift nonetheless.
    Nicely done… Putz.

    Like

  7. I vaguely remember my mom telling my little brother and I that it was a special holiday where you would fill a basket with gifts and leave it on someone’s porch. We got really excited and did as she said. Everyone thought we were nuts. Is that a May Day thing? Or was my mom just trying to get me hooked up with that little blond boy down the street? Either way, I’m in, minus the naked butt painting.

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    • I actually came across that tradition, which I guess is primarily an East Coast thing? From what I read, the person who receives the basket is supposed to catch the giver of the basket and give them a kiss in return. Long story short: Yeah, your Mom was trying to hook you up.

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  8. It’s true, isn;t it? So few of our holidays are for everyone anymore. You always seem to need a citizenship, a religious affiliation, a union card or a supermarket points card (or a forklift driver’s card) to be a part of any given clebration . I’m on board Ned! Let’s bring back May Day – not to be confused with Mayday, a phrase used by sinking ships or falling airplanes, neither of which give the participants much time or reason to celebrate. Perhaps that’s why it died out (pardon the pun) in the first place – any modern usage results in the death of the affected. But we can change that – party on! Well written Ned.

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    • Thanks, Paul! We use Mayday-Mayday-Mayday in the fire service as well, when we want everyone out due to structural integrity issues, i.e., the place is going to collapse. Even though May Day has this stigma working against it, I think it can still be overcome with the right amount of finesse. And beers.

      Like

  9. Never met Sara Getlost. I do know her cousin though, Becky Pepperspray. Very unpleasant memories of her.

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  10. I have great news for you! May Day is still celebrated, the pole is still danced around with ribbons and flower garlands and crowns are still worn. It is a pre-Christian celebration and us dirty pagans still hold down the party on May 1st but we call it Beltane. Broaden your horizons young Skywalker, there’s so much more out there beyond the Christian umbrella.

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    • Hey, it’s not my fault you guys decided to change the name to something that sounds like an appetite suppressant. Besides, I know it’s still a big thing across the water. Over here, most people are still too hopped up on marshmallow Cheeps and buying Dos Equis to stop and celebrate May Day — but we should. I mean COME ON, what’s better than pixies, flower garlands and dirty pagans?!? 😉

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      • LOL I danced around the may pole in San Diego at Balboa Park a few years ago, it’s on that side of the pond.

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        • It’s gotta be the name, then. We really need to come up with something that sounds more enticing and “spring-like.” It’s like trying to get people to buy a burrito named “The Waste Wrap.”

          Let’s work on that…

          Like

  11. Ned, I never have danced around a May Pole (with flowers in my hair) and now I want to so badly! Oh, I hope I can find a party somewhere.

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  12. Chris Brown (not the felon) // April 29, 2014 at 2:07 am //

    I have no idea what you’re thinking, Ned. The flower goddess Flora is worth way more than a dozen Sara Getlosts. Unless, of course, she can blow cheese doodles out her nose. That one always made me laugh. If Sara can do that then Flora is toast.

    Happy cinqo de Mayo. In advance. Without taxes or gratuities.

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  13. Chris Rock has a great routine about how his mission in life is to keep his daughter “off the pole.” It’s advice that can touch any father. But I guess May poles are okay.

    Let’s face it; all holidays are just an excuse to over-imbibe. That’s not a criticism.

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    • It’s ironic that fathers are so adamant about keeping their daughters “OFF THE POLE!”

      But someone else’s daughter is fine.

      Not that I haven’t ever saved up my one-dollar bills.

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      • Actually, I’m probably the only guy who doesn’t like strip clubs. I think I’m too repressed. I can never buy into the fantasy. Those girls don’t want me. They only want my cash. Once my wallet is empty, I’m ignored. It reminds me of dating in New York.

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        • Lol! I’ve gone to about five strip clubs in my life. All on the same night when my friends took me during my bachelor party before my first marriage. I had no fun whatsoever because all I kept thinking was, “I wonder if my wife knows any of these women? I better be on my best behavior just in case.”

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          • Not only am I unable to buy into the fantasy, I always end up feeling bad for the girls and thinking the guys are pathetic losers.

            I went to a strip club in Canada once, (in Kitchner) and one of the girls took my friend and I backstage. It was all very innocent. We were young, cute American boys. We got back there and there were a bunch of babies and children! It was like a daycare center! Talk about cock-blocking.

            Hummm…maybe this expose on strip clubs needs to be expanded into it’s own post.

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            • Yeah, that would pretty much ruin the fantasy element. “Would you mind if I breastfeed my child while I give you a lap dance?”

              The circle of life.

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  14. You could count on me to participate in every one of those activities if you could promise me the weather would be as nice as it looks in those pictures.

    Like

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