Simon Says

A modern twist on an age-old children’s game. Follow these simple instructions and get ahead in the game of life.

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Simon says raise your left hand if you’re ready to fly like a bird.

Simon says raise your right hand if you’re ready to fly anywhere other than Antarctica, because being confined to your home, city, and state is causing mild forms of depression.

Simon says stomp your feet if you want to go to Canada, the United Kingdom, or Japan.

Excellent! No one is stomping. None of those places want you there.

Put both hands down if you are confused about the new rules of flying the friendly skies in a pandemic world.

Ah ha! I see everyone is confused. But Simon didn’t say to put your hands down. So throw those suckers back up in the air until they fall from exhaustion—a similar result may take place when trying to decipher where exactly you can fly, how many times you can change your flight without penalty, and how to stay six feet away from someone while actually ON an airplane.

Simon says line up carefully in the queue, your boarding group has just been called.

Simon says whatever you do, DO NOT utter a cough, anything that resembles a sneeze, or begin sweating while standing in said queue. To do so will surely put you in violation of the mandatory questions you answered prior to getting through security. While no one has the legal authority to banish you from the flight, the nasty looks you will receive from other passengers and social policing agents will surely make you want to crawl into a dark hole, never again to see the light of day—on the ground OR in the air.

Pull your mask down to say a friendly greeting to the annoyed looking airline hostess as you take your decontaminated seat.

NO! You’re not listening. You’re out, out, out if that actually happens! The ONLY time you are allowed to pull your mask down is when the TSA attendant confirms your photo ID while secretly snickering at the fact that you have clearly lied about your weight.

Simon says fasten your seatbelt, while attempting to touch as little of it as possible.

Simon says pull down the tray in front of you and give it a solid wipe down, including all those disgusting, hard to reach areas around the hinges. This will signal that you are privy to the new and improved flying experience, and may even incite a wink from the airline steward. You may need their support (i.e. “blind eye”) later, while attempting to eat your in-flight snack without reapplying your mask between bites.

Simon says don’t give in to the temptation of ordering beer or wine on an early morning flight. I know it doesn’t seem logical that these are the only beverages being served, but try to ignore all the various aspects of flying that make absolutely no sense. Focus on getting to your destination without incident.

Reach down and give your emotional support animal a good pat.

Almost got you there! I know, and I’m sorry. That was cruel. The fact that airlines have now banned emotional support pets from flying the friendly skies is yet another change we all have to live with.

And Lord knows, when flying the pandemic-friendly skies, we all need as much support as humanly possible.

Simon says take a long deep breath. You are now relaxing on a beach in Cancun, Mexico—one of the few places on Earth that feels “normal”—where you belong.