203. May Day
© Bruce Goodman 1 May 2014

Roland had to do a school assignment on the topic of May Day. He looked up Wikipedia:

At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom in France to give a sprig of lily-of-the-valley, a symbol of springtime, on May 1. The government permits individuals and workers’ organizations to sell them tax-free.

“Get off that computer and do your homework,” said his father. Roland’s father got drunk every night. “I told you to get off the, off the fucking computer.”

Roland knew when to ignore his drunk father’s commands. “It says here, Dad,” said Roland, “that on May Day the French Government lets people sell lily-of-the-valley tax-free.”

“Well, bully for them, the big fucking generous gov gov govment,” said Roland’s father. He poured himself another drink. “Get off that fucking computer and do your fucking homework.”

Roland got off the computer. He knew that last drink would finish his father off and he’d have to put him to bed. He did it every evening.

There was no hope for workers; not with the unions and governments stuffing everything up. The only hope was in cigarettes and the bottle, and no one could really afford them anymore.

He heard his father snoring. Roland went back on the computer and did his homework. Hopefully, one day, he might change the world.

But for today, if he called Mayday! Mayday! he’d be arrested for issuing a false emergency.

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