by Jim Harris

As we all know, mandatory schooling for children was invented solely for the purpose of keeping kids out of adults’ hair. All that jazz about reading and writing is just an excuse to give school an air of respectability. After the passing of child labor laws, we couldn’t send them to work in coal mines anymore, so we sent them to school.

So why close schools for two months every summer? It defeats the whole purpose of keeping kids out of the house. Oh wait, I just remembered — the teachers need time to recover from their nervous breakdowns. OK then.

So anyway, this is why summer camps were created — to fill in the gap from June to September. Even though there are many camps out there, most are already full. I have therefore once again stepped in to help by creating — at great personal expense — a full roster of useful summer camps for panicky parents who need camps NOW.

Camp Worry Wart: Why are kids so easily bored? Because they don’t have enough to worry about. At this camp, they’ll learn about the Taliban, rogue meteors, Kim Kardashian, global warming, nuclear war, old age, exploding suns and, of course, the fact that they’ll all have to get actual jobs one day.

Coroner Camp: With the huge success of TV series like CSI and Bones, where forensic detectives root around through human remains looking for God knows what, so many kids today want to be coroners when they grow up. The board of health prohibits cadavers in the camp, but we will supply the kids with lifelike bodies that have actually been shot, stabbed, strangled or set on fire. There are more than enough in Philadelphia to supply all the kids. Each camper will be provided with a pair of tweezers, a hacksaw and a magnifying glass. What they do with the implements is up to them.

Sports Fantasy Camp: Teams of retired professional sports stars who made tens of millions of dollars but are now broke (like Lenny Dykstra, Allen Iverson and Pete Rose) purposely let the kids win games to build up their self-esteem. On the last day, however, the ex-pros will play for real and beat them by an enormous score just to keep them from getting too conceited.

Camp Don’t Trust Anyone: You don’t want your kids to go through life getting ripped off by unscrupulous hustlers; do you? This camp will teach the little ones to be on guard for scams, lies, damn lies, Ponzi schemes and Vince Fumo. And, for good measure, at the end of the second week, the camp counselor will inform them that camp doesn’t run two weeks, as they were told, but rather two months and that they will not be allowed to communicate with their families for the entire two months. Another valuable lesson learned.

Celebrity Intern Camp: Runs all summer. Kids get to work with famous people. For instance, I’m a celebrity (in my own mind, at least). So kids can become my interns and do things like paint my garage or get me coffee, all the while assimilating important information about my celebrity lifestyle. Later on, they can write a book about me and make tons of money. They can also steal valuable artifacts from my house like my crown that was once worn by King Henry VIII or the horse that Napoleon rode, and the kids can sell them on Craig’s List.

Camp Freedom: A joint project of Sarah Palin and the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, this camp will teach kids how to handle assault rifles in a responsible manner. Meals will consist of moose meat, giraffe kidneys and the livers of Democrats.

Camp It’s Not My Fault: There’s almost always a good excuse for bad behavior. And when there’s no excuse, there are still diversions and smokescreens that can be thrown up to escape the consequences. The instructors will teach time-tested tactics like “But Johnny’s mother lets him do it,” “All the other kids have one” and, of course, “I have a headache.” Prepares kids to be defense lawyers.

I already have a few new camps in the development stage for next summer, including:

Travel Camp: Visit exotic places. Learn about other cultures. Live with real pygmies. Or live with Mitt Romney’s offshore bank accounts.

TV Camp: A chair, a TV. What more do you need?

Oil Spill Camp: The kids will visit the Gulf of Mexico and pour a humongous amount of vinegar into the Gulf in order to produce an ocean of salad dressing.

“Survivor” Camp: Based on the “Survivor” TV show, this camp will help kids answer questions like “If you’re eating a bowl of insects and a fly lands in your food, what do you do?”

Thanks to you all for patronizing my camps. Working together, we can ensure that we never have to suffer the horrible pain of having kids at home all year long.

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