Wit’s End: Get Ready for the Worst. Summer. Ever.

This summer is going to be one of the lamer ones on record, with 6,000 new rules governing that slice of American life called “leaving the house.”

Feet on a laptop that has a beach on its screen

Weekly Newsletter

The best of The Saturday Evening Post in your inbox!


Like a mole emerging, blinking, into the sunlight, the nation is poking its snout into the air, and there is cautious talk of some non-home activities resuming.

But make no mistake: This summer is going to be one of the lamer ones on record. Gone are the carefree days of doing whatever the hell you feel like in July and the barely-remembered schoolyard retort: “You’re not the boss of me.” This year, the local July 4th fireworks extravaganza has been cancelled, and your federal, state, and county government is very much the boss of you. A year ago, acting responsibly meant trying not to hit anyone with your car, but by this summer, 6,000 new rules will govern that slice of American life called “leaving the house.”

Major buzzkills in the summer of 2020 may include:

Shopping. Does your niece have an upcoming birthday? Eager to browse the latest nonfiction releases? Bathroom faucet leaking and you need a . . . thingy from the hardware store? STAY IN YOUR CAR, MAGGOT. Don’t even think about physically entering a shop. “2019 called: They want their sense of entitlement back!” It’s 2020, and here’s the rules:  If you phone in advance, specifying the exact item you want and your debit card number, a store employee grateful to have a job at all will text you when it’s available for curbside pickup. Please wear a mask and do not breathe on said employee. Sneezing will result in your immediate arrest. Thanks, come again!

Summer camps. All children’s summer and day camps are cancelled. The public pools are closed, so hopefully you have a rich friend with a pool. (Don’t try to befriend people with swimming pools in 2020. It’s too late, you presumptuous peasant.) Any child trying to climb a public play structure in the summer of 2020 will be hosed down by city workers with a mixture of lye and tap water. Public libraries will remain open between the hours of 1:00 and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, allowing up to ten masked children inside at one time. Once in the library, each child will be relegated to an individual Caring Square, a six-by-six-foot area of carpet, because caring for other people means staying away from them, you grubby little vectors. Now scamper back home to your parents, who are beginning to get the hang of heavy day-drinking.

Travel. Cancelled. Persons attempting to cross state lines in the summer of 2020 will be chased back to their abodes by a masked mob brandishing sticks. In the absence of law enforcement, the mob is authorized to take corrective action against citizens attempting a chill road trip to Sedona or Moab. Anyone on a beach is a de facto “beach bum” subject to a loitering citation. From June through August, you’ll stay in your backyard and like it, you human murder hornet.

Family reunions. If your clan insists on getting together this summer, at least have the decency to exclude Grandma. She’s better off confined to her home, a locked-down nursing facility, or a wise old tree that embodies her spirit as in the movie Pocahontas. While the family matriarch shelters in place, relatives can enjoy her ghostly presence with brand-new Holo-Gram technology, enabling 3-D apparitions of Holo-Gramma, Holo-Grampa, and Holo-Old Lady at Church Back When Church was a Thing. Just don’t try sitting on Holo-Gramma’s lap, kids: She’s nothing but light particles in air!

Nights on the town. Remember when “dinner and a movie” was a cliché? Though not very adventurous, it’s what most people did for fun. This summer, though, conversations may go like this:

“I’m planning to bungee-jump off a rock cliff into an 800-foot gorge out of sheer existential boredom.”

“Yeah, I get that. I really do. Good luck!”

“And if I survive, I’m thinking of going out for dinner and a movie.”

“What? Seriously? Have you thought this through?”

“I just miss being around people, you know? And the new Christopher Nolan film will be in theaters in July —”

“Theaters? I wouldn’t be caught dead in a public movie theater. Do they even take your temperature before you enter?”

“No, I don’t think so. But they’re seating people several feet apart —”

“Wow, I guess I had no idea you were so selfish. What if you’re an asymptomatic carrier and strangers die because you’re ‘tired’ of watching feature films at home? ‘Oh, takeout’s not good enough for me! I’m the King! I get whatever I want, watch me bang my scepter and make bad choices that benefit only myself! Bang! Bang!’ Just wow.”

Personal Grooming.  With all the waxing salons closed, plan on seeing a lot of hairy legs, back fur, and other unpleasantness this summer. Look for the 1920’s unisex swimsuit to make a comeback: short, one-piece overalls that cover everything from the neck to mid-thigh. It will be for the best.

Going into June, 2020 continues to be a rough year, but there are things even a national shutdown can’t take away. Long, sunny days, burgeoning gardens, and having our immediate family members around 24/7, literally every second of our lives, are some of the things we can look forward to, as well as hiding in the garage per usual.

And don’t forget to run some medical experiments for the greater good. Germany is kicking butt on the global pandemic scorecard, possibly because beer has anti-viral properties. We will be testing that theory at home this summer. Results to follow.

Featured image: Shutterstock

Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now


  1. I really enjoyed your humorous article and will send a copy to friends and colleagues. I get so aggravated at people carrying on in public like nothing is happening in the world, possibly spreading their asymptomatic contagious selves to innocent victims. This pandemic is not over and people need to stop being so self centered. Thanks for the article.

  2. I am 86 and I remember My Father getting The Sat Post I
    would wait for it to see the Norman Rockwell cover. Dad would read it cover to cover on day one always liked the cartoons too
    We get it now Still enjoy the stories and cartoons

  3. As I sit here alone in front of my computer for another day of virtual communication I’m still laughing at Maya’s creative description of life within the boundaries of the evil virus restrictions. Which do we find more evil, the virus or the restrictions? Thanks for a good laugh!!

  4. What a gruesomely accurate, horrid summer ‘sneak preview’ THIS is! However, I’ve actually already experienced at least one of them already. Yes, last week I attempted to buy myself a little bag of some See’s Candies favorites like the scotchmallow, rum nougat, walnut square but sadfully could not.

    Now it wasn’t as bad as what you have under ‘shopping’ here, BUT it wasn’t good either. As I walked up to the entrance (which you could not enter) I picked up a set of instructions as to how to buy/order the candy which now requires a phone call in advance, payment and more. Unfortunately there was no answer at either number. So I’m not going to bother for awhile. I’m sure the days of free samples are gone for good too.

    I don’t care if movie theaters close permanently, but DO if the traditional department stores do; especially Neiman Marcus. I’m made to feel like royalty there, even if I don’t actually buy there ($$$$). Just a visit to their cologne bar es muy fantastico, Ms. Sinha!

    On the family reunions, some of the coming changes may be for the good. It’s unlikely I’ll have to put up with my ‘sort of’ mother-in-law trying to embarrass me (and her Boston Terrier!) at Thanksgiving or Christmas ever again. With the new abnormal, there may be a few positive offsets we can’t foresee yet.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *