MAY DAY

May Day - two words both ancient pagans and victims of aircraft disaster know all too well. For one, it’s a time of celebration. For the other, it’s a certain death sentence.

Thankfully, I am firmly in the first camp, though my ex-brother-in-law and his wife-to-have-been are now in both.

I love May Day. It’s as British an institution as Yorkshire Pies or Pret a Manger (French, lit. ‘ready to trough’). Yet every year, despite its long history as a springtime fertility ritual, I cannot convince a single May Queen to touch my grey secret with a ten-foot maypole - not even one that my sad father handcrafted specifically for his own occasion.

Brexit has given us our May Day back, but some people still insist on being bad apples in the bobbing contest of patriotism.

I remember fondly chasing unmarked women through the streets whilst disguised as a horse; becoming a giant green man and inhabiting the kind of mental space a giant green man might inhabit; and grand old traditions like black-face morris dancing, which has nothing to do with racism because all the participants try their utmost hardest to not think a single racist thought whilst wearing it.

The sight of strictly gendered virgins prancing around a giant phallus, tying themselves in knots until they achieve finality reminds me of British society in a nutshell. It fills my heart with warmth. It should fill yours too.

So this bank holiday, go out and shout ‘May Day! May Day!’ from the rooftops (of your own or a consenting neighbour’s house), and hope that somewhere up there, the glorious Red Arrows aren’t doing the same.

MEAT KIDS

A rare birth defect in newborn children in South Yorkshire has given rise to a wave of exclusively carnivorous babies, unaffectionately nicknamed ‘meat kids’. These children are both psychologically and physiologically averse to anything but raw meat. Any other food they ingest is coughed up in the form of dense black cubes that are impossibly hot to the touch.

This condition is putting yet more pressure on overwhelmed parents, who now have to add the cost of fresh meat to the ever-growing expenses of child rearing. A number of parents are tackling the stigma by trying to improve visibility of the condition, raising money for their campaign by selling novelty baby onesies emblazoned with slogans such as ‘Another steak please!’ and ‘Gammon babies are cute’.

But child psychologist Jane Adams has criticised the campaign’s methods, saying, “The pace of progress can be slow and society may not yet react well to seeing newborn babies eating raw meat.”

To compound the problem, the abnormal protein intake is rumoured to imbue these children with a vast amount of physical strength, with early data suggesting they will have double the strength of an adult by puberty. It is unclear how this vast difference in strength will affect parent-child relationships. Gym memberships are expected to skyrocket as worried parents struggle to maintain dominance.

The short-term strategy of the government and the NHS seems to be one of denial, but soon they will be forced to act, before the ramifications of a high-strength meat generation throws the intergenerational divide into civil war.

@samnicoresti & @AvALiversidge