(Published in the May 2010 issue)
Right after the soothing words, “Is there anyone on board who can fly this plane?” the last thing you want to hear from the cockpit is, “May Day! May Day!”
How did May 1 become aviation’s distress signal? Blame it on the French, and their term m’aider, which means “help me.” Indeed, if ever a country needed a global 9-1-1, it’s been France. After all, when you’re surrounded by hostile enemies and the only protection you’ve got is some pretty fabulous cabernet and an arsenal of crêpes, you’d cry for help too.
But, please, Pierre, next time leave May out of it. We have our own agenda for this month.
In sports, the Kentucky Derby (May 1) leads off the month. In 135 previous races, only three fillies and nine geldings have won the Derby. Not surprisingly, three fillies and nine geldings is also Gloria Allred’s favorite jury pool make-up.
The only distress signal you might hear on Cinco de Mayo (May 5) is “Pronto de Mario.” Bartenders shout this phrase when running low on Dos Equis or tequila.
Mother’s Day (May 9) causes panic attacks for procrastinating children sifting through the depleted CVS gift-card aisle 10 minutes before mom’s Sunday brunch-settling for a “blank inside” card where you have to write your own poem (avoid the Nantucket series).
Sex in the City 2 will be released this month (May 27). It’s always fun to see what new sexual positions Kim Catrall will pretzel into and how the writers pretend Cynthia Nixon is hetero, but why is Sarah Jessica Parker still with frumpy Matthew Broderick when she could be back with Big? What’s more, Matthew cheated on her and she stayed! Am I mixing movies with reality? Is Sarah smokin’ hot or a gunny sack full of antlers? I don’t care! My bunko group is meeting at the wine bar before the big premiere and we’re taking a limo, so, OMG, I can’t wait!!!
No filly has ever won the Indianapolis 500 (May 30). Danika Patrick gave up trying, joining NASCAR instead. She’s not winning there either. I see that a gelding has won at Indy, however. Three times in fact: former Dancing with the Stars champ and auto-racing superstar Helio Castratednads (2001, 2002, 2009). Whoops, spell-check is telling me “Castroneves.” My bad.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but if it’s devoted to raising awareness about mental illness, why do they call it Health? LA Fitness isn’t called an Illness Club. That would be a hospital.
In romance, this month inspired the May/December concept, which usually involves a much older man with a much younger woman. Or three women, like Hef with The Girls Next Door. When iguana-mouth Hugh would pucker up, all I could think was, “Recoil, Kendra, recoil!” In 50 years, Kendra can turn the tables, playing opposite Brangelina’s grandson in the remake of Harold and Maude.
Memorial Day (May 31) is a day off for most of us. A day for family barbecues and picnics and laughter and volleyball. Flip a burger, stub a toe, get a bee sting and drink so much you forget what you’re supposed to be remembering. Oh, yes: It’s to honor the brave men and women who’d love to be with us-and the burgers, the toes, the beers and the bees-but sadly cannot, because they didn’t come back. Enjoy it for them.