May 1, 2021

Just Saying…

By Q.C. Jones

May Reflections, Recollections, and Ramblings

First, warm greetings and salutations from the dandelion drenched Quad Cities. Not to be cliché, but a visit to a store did reveal a stack of folksy signs bearing the old saw, “April showers bring…” Like guests who arrive a half-hour early for the party and create a nuisance, these “flowers” arrived early, and before I had the chance to apply the right chemicals to my yard.

Keeping with the dandelion stream of thought and remembering the words of one elementary school teacher that dandelion seeds were brought to our fruited plains by those dang Pilgrims. I decided to quickly revisit our yellow top friends/fiends (depending on which side of the yard war you happen to be on). Here is a quick report from Medical News

Today:

“Dandelion is a plant with yellow flowers. Taraxacum officinale is the most common variety of this plant, and it grows in many parts of the world. Botanists consider dandelions to be herbs. People use the leaves, stem, flower, and root of the dandelion for medicinal purposes.”

If you happen to be under treatment and your doctor prescribed dandelion, or if you are currently tipsy from your morning nip of Löwenzahnwein (German dandelion wine) and planning to make more, act quickly. Get immediately into your vehicle and drive straight for QC Jones’ east end shanty. Your prescription is ready. But let us switch back to May.

May 1st means many things to many people. Possibly the biggest celebrations of this day occur in the old Soviet Bloc, China, North Korea, and Cuba. Boys and girls, parents, and grandparents, get up early don their best outfits and head down to the big parade. These parades are grand in scale and feature bands, dancers, and hundreds of paper mache floats all artfully designed to look like tanks, artillery, and missiles. After a quiet picnic lunch, they resume the celebration by adoring giant posters of their fearless leader. Those Commies – if I can use the term – really know how to party.
While the propaganda flowing from Radio Free Moscow, might say otherwise, the celebration has its roots in Chicago, just 170 some miles to the east of the QCA. On May 4th, 1886 there was a large demonstration at Haymarket Square near downtown tied to the creation of eight-hour workdays. The gather turned ugly when a group of anarchists decided to toss dynamite bombs at the assembled police. Lives were lost on both sides. The event, known as the Haymarket Affair, served as the catalyst for the International Day of the Worker on May 1st. This is some solemn stuff and organizations in the QCA still commemorate the day, albeit without a plethora of tanks and soldiers.

While in The People’s Republic of Commie-land, May Day brings out followers, in the QCA it mostly brings out flowers. The curious event of placing a basket of flowers and other goodies on the front stoop of friends and loved interests lives on. Here is how it works. A person gathers flowers, candies, and other goodies of all kinds then gingerly creeps through the neighborhood leaving the surprise basket at the door of their prey. If the person receiving said basket happens to catch that person, they give them a kiss. Frankly, your pal QC does not know if this quaint tradition will survive life in the age of Ringcam security doorbells and porch pirates, but it still works in my neighborhood.

NationalToday.com is a website whose mission states: “Our goal is to gather all the special holidays and moments from around the world — the occasions that bring people together — and help everyone celebrate with special events, helpful tips, discounts, deals, and plenty of fun.”

Their website shows at least 89 separate celebration days in May and we have only touched on two of them. Obviously, we have reached the vertex of the ink/space continuum and cannot/will not cover them all. Allow me to pick just a couple more that I am sure you will want to celebrate.

Cinco de Mayo, May 5th for my tequila impaired friends, is the celebration of a Bunker Hill like victory of a rag-tag group of Mexicans over the forces of Napoleon III back in 1862. While the battle neither ended nor turned the tide of the war, it did demonstrate the Mexicans could win a battle against a highly regarded European Army. Many say the day was obscure and not widely celebrated in Mexico until some marketing genius at a Mexican brewery decided to tie the day to the consumption of cerveza across North America. The mere thought conjures up Gary P. Nunn’s classic song, “Corona con Lima” which translates to Corona with Lime.

Before we blast let me give you a two-for-one day. This year, Memorial Day falls on May 31st, which I think is exceeding cool because the day is also National Macaroon Day. The combination of the launch of Summer with my favorite summer cookie, must be an omen (and National Paranormal day is on May 3rd). A coincidence, I don’t think so… Just saying.

Filed Under: History, Humor