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Danny's Reading: I Hate May!

Average: 3.4 (21 votes)

As far as months go, this one has not been brilliant. I'm not sure whether it's just me, or the month of May in particular, or perhaps a combination of the two, but either way, it could have been a lot better, a lot shorter, and a lot less tiring. And, while we're at it, a lot less windy.

May is, apparently, the windiest month of the year here in Malta. Not just a gentle breeze, which I have no problem with, but full force gales which don't bother blowing around you because it's much easier for them to go right through you, leaving you filled with a chill that works its way from the inside out. I don't mind sunshine, and I can even appreciate rain so heavy that fish swim through it at eye-level, but I'm not a fan of the wind.

It is not, however, the constantly whistling wind - or the fine dust that it whips into your unsuspecting eyeballs - that is the source of my irritation, although it doesn't help. The truth is that I don't know what it is that's been making me feel so irritable lately...which, of course, just irritates me further.

I'm normally the kind of person who is fairly relaxed about life in general. If I have a problem which can be solved, then there's no point in worrying about it, and if I have a problem that can't be solved, then...well...there's no point worrying about it. In other words, I rarely worry about...er...anything. Which tends to annoy other people who seem to spend a lot of their time worrying about everything, including why I'm not worrying about anything. But I don't really worry about that either.

Except that now I'm beginning to see a pattern emerging. While other people seem to stagger their irritations, stress and frustrations over the space of a year, it would appear that I breeze through June to April in blissful ignorance, and store it all up for May. Me and May just don't seem to get along.

All I want is for May to be over and done with for another year, as quickly and as painlessly as possible. And, apart from that, I want everyone to leave me alone while it's getting on with it.

Of course, I also want to win the lottery every week, but that never happens either.

Obviously, the tiny part of my brain that remains rational and reasonable during the merry month of May does realise that it's impossible not to make any human contact whatsoever for thirty-one days. Unfortunately, the rest of my 'May-Brain' just wants to bite the head off anyone who attempts to take communication beyond a purely perfunctory 'good morning'. Which doesn't exactly make me flavour of the month with friends, colleagues and loved ones. Or anyone else, for that matter.

One of my favourite films growing up was a 1984 comedy / horror film called Gremlins, produced by Steven Spielberg and starring, among others, Phoebe Cates, who I kind of had a thing for when I was twelve, and was probably the main reason for the film being one of my favourites in the first place. The plot revolves around this strange creature called a Mogwai - cute, fluffy and wide-eyed - named Gizmo, who is given as a Christmas present to a teenager called Billy. Purchased from a mysterious little shop in Chinatown, Gizmo comes with three rules - he should not be exposed to bright light, he should never get wet, and he should never, ever be fed after midnight. Of course, Billy eventually breaks all three rules, causing the Mogwai to multiply and turn into horrible reptilian creatures with claws and sharp teeth, whose idea of a good time is murdering and eating everyone within a six mile radius. You'll be pleased to hear that Phoebe Cates, who plays Billy's girlfriend, survives the massacre...only to get married to the actor Kevin Kline, and vanish into Hollywood obscurity. Oh well...I'm not twelve anymore, and I now have a thing for Jessica Alba.

Anyway, back to the month of May. The point is that I sometimes think that I should have three rules of my own, just for this one month of the year. Not, of course, that I intend on turning into a horrible reptilian creature with claws and sharp teeth, but, well...you never know. Better safe than sorry, and all that...

The first rule of 'May Club' concerns me and my iPod. I love my iPod. I love my iPod probably more than I ever loved Phoebe Cates. Possibly even more than Jessica Alba too. (Sorry, Jess. If you're reading this, call me...) I switch on my iPod and effectively switch off the world. And I like my music loud, which, of course, makes conversation with anyone impossible. I'm aware of this, and this is why, when in company, I put the music on pause and put the headphones in my pocket, where they can magically tie themselves into amazingly intricate knots at their leisure.

If one should choose to follow this to its logical conclusion, then it should become blatantly obvious that, if someone approaches me and starts talking, and the headphones stay in my ears...well, you know...I'm not in the mood for a chat. Nothing that person could possibly say is more important than the lyrics of whatever song I may be listening to at the time. If, in fact, I am actually listening to anything at the time. Just go away.

Incidentally, if anyone pulls on the wire and yanks the headphones out of my ears in order to make themself heard, I will throttle them with said wire. Because that's just wrong, any month of the year.

The second rule of 'May Club' is relatively simple and straightforward. People should not ask me for anything if they are not prepared for the answer to be 'no'. I’m not saying that the answer will necessarily be no - after all, I might not actually hear the request over the racket from my iPod - but it is possible. And while I would normally offer an excuse and an apology, my May-Brain seems to believe that a simple no is more than enough. Any further explanation or justification is just... no.

And finally, the third rule of 'May Club'. Don't take anything that I may say seriously (except for Rules One, Two and Three, obviously.) I don't mean it. It's just me misdirecting my irritation and frustration at the wrong target, mainly because I have no idea who or what the right target is. Honest. I'm not a bad person. It's just May. Or me. Or maybe a combination of the two.

The good news is that it'll be June soon. I like June. June likes me. Until then, I'm switching on my iPod and switching off the world, and waiting for the wind to die down. I'll be at home, watching Gremlins. And if you need anything...well...no.

Just kidding. See you next month.

By Danny

Danny is a teacher at EC Malta English school.