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
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