CALLER: Mayday Mayday Mayday, Rights Guard, May Day is down. Emergency situation, International Workers’ Day, May 1, is down. Over.

RESPONDER: This is Rights Guard, Yourtown, Yourland. Request your position, nature of distress, and number of persons on board. Over.

CALLER: Too many to count! This is a distress call! Get all emergency personnel and equipment to the point of distress. I repeat: get all emergency personnel to assist May 1. May 1 is down. There’s a Mayday emergency situation. Stop the downfall! Over.

RESPONDER: This is Rights Guard, Yourtown, Yourland. How old is that holiday and what is the nature of its distress? Over.

CALLER: It’s 130 years old and celebrated the world over. It commemorates the fight for workers’ rights. Some workers’ rights are endangered. Stop the downfall of that symbol! Over.

RESPONDER: This is Rights Guard, Yourtown, Yourland. What is your connection to that date and can you assist? Over.

CALLER: Cannot assist. We’re not (…….). We cannot assist. We are (out of power). Send for local — or international — assistance. Rights are endangered! Over.

RESPONDER: This is Rights Guard, Yourtown, Yourland. What is the nature of rights that are endangered? Over.

CALLER: The right to work 8 hours, the right to meet your financial obligations through compensation for work performed, and the general human right to work. Important rights, all of them! Over.

RESPONDER: This is Rights Guard, Yourtown, Yourland, Roger. Important rights, but not essential. Stand by for further instructions. Over.

CALLER: Negative, negative, these are rights of the first order. I request immediate assistance. I repeat: I request immediate assistance! Over.

RESPONDER: This is Rights Guard, Yourtown, Yourland, Roger. What is your cargo? Over.

CALLER: That is a long story and not a priority! Over.

RESPONDER: This is Rights Guard, Yourtown, Yourland. Your cargo might be top priority. We need to establish whether your cargo has caused the distress. Over.

CALLER: (Whatever). Our cargo is international, cultural and political in nature, legally secured, firmly attached wherever carried, globally. It is a very important date to very many people, it needs protection now! Over.

RESPONDER: Provide more detail of your cargo. Over.

CALLER: There used to be bulky military parades and party gatherings, long ago. There could be political purposes. But not so much anymore. It’s all perfectly safe now. Over.

RESPONDER: Rate political purposes on a scale of one to ten, one being a sit-in, three a rally, seven being mass terrorism, ten an assassination of a top leader. Over.

CALLER: Well, a President was blown up at a May 1 rally in Colombo long ago, so that’s a ten. And the French tend to find something to protest, so that’s a two or a three. People in East Europe prefer to go on picnics & outings. If it overlaps with Orthodox Easter, or if it rains, they stay at home. That’s minus ten really. Bottom line: it’s legal cargo everywhere and nature of cargo could not cause the havoc. Over.

RESPONDER: Roger. Where did the rights come from that are in trouble? Over.

CALLER: These rights were fought for by workers everywhere, at a high cost to human life. They made for a dignified existence for most people. May 1 is declared the International Workers’ Day so these rights would be preserved forever! Over.

RESPONDER: Roger. Stand by, stay on this frequency, do not shift to any other frequency, over.

Break-break, pan-pan pan-pan pan-pan, all stations, all stations, this is Rights Guard speaking. A 130-year-old tradition has hit a wall and is down. I repeat, the tradition is down, there are reports of rights in danger. The International Workers’ Day is in distress. Any person currently in labour force, proceed and assist. I repeat: any person currently in labour force, proceed and assist. Over.

* * *

CALLER: Calling Rights Guard. Calling Rights Guard. We haven’t seen signs of any assistance, emergency or otherwise. I repeat: we haven’t seen signs of any assistance, emergency or otherwise. Rights are still in trouble. Please advise, over.

RESPONDER: This is Rights Guard, Yourtown, Yourland. Silence is imposed on this frequency. Mayday emergency situation. Over.

CALLER: I know, I called it in! When is the assistance coming?!? Over.

RESPONDER: This is Rights Guard, Yourtown, Yourland. May I have the name of your holiday again? Over.

CALLER: It is the International Workers’ Day, a.k.a May 1, a.k.a. Labour Day! Over.

RESPONDER: This is Rights Guard, Yourtown, Yourland. Our review of your case has shown that workers have given up the 8-hour workday in favour of more connectivity, 24/7. And 365 to boot. Your distress call has therefore been downgraded to blue-sky alert level. Over.

CALLER: What’s a blue-sky alert?!? Over.

RESPONDER: Blue-sky alert is for our information only. Please advise me when you are on the scene and the number of rights you pick up out of trouble. Silence is imposed on this frequency. Over and out.


This post was previously published on Medium.