Parents have a last resort in Duct Tape Camp

I'm going to tackle a difficult subject today. One that most professional journalists are loath to take on. Not out of fear, mind you, but out of ignorance. OK, there might be just a touch of fear in there as well. Fear can be a healthy emotion, especially if used properly for changes in the system. And this is one system that cries out for change, for direction, for money.

This sounds like your typical teenager, right? Ha! Wrong.

I think you all know where I'm going with this: the criminal lack of federal funding for Duct Tape Summer Camp. It's a little-known fact that George Tenet's departure from the CIA had nothing at all to do with small snafus in the war on terror and everything to do with a cover-up involving duct tape and the powerful Summer Day Camp Lobby.

Oh, sure, summer camp isn't a new concept. Since Adam and Eve, parents have looked for a way out of spending the heat of the summer months trapped with their offspring.

Cain: Mooooom! I don't have anything to do! I'm bored!

Eve: Where's Abel? Go play ball with your brother.

Cain: He's ... uh ... not here.

Eve: Camp! Summer camp! Now! Adam! Where's that brochure?

And thus was born the parental joy-giver that is summer camp.

There are sports camps, academic camps, art camps, self-improvement camps and even special-interest camps that can teach your impressionable offspring the joys of joining the circus.

But until now, Duct Tape Camp has never been offered in those little pamphlets that parents swoon over right before school is let out.

Duct tape has only been around since World War II, so why the rush? Because I'm the mom and I said so, that's why. That, and untold hordes of children any day now are about to be let loose for the summer.

We need progress on this issue, people, and we need it quickly.

Close personal friend Ms. Cynthia McGuinness, proud mother of two house apes, is already threatening her children with Duct Tape Camp if they begin to misbehave. Apparently she walks around with a roll of duct tape on her wrist as a shiny silver bangle of doom, inspiring good behavior and excellent table manners in her progeny.

If this isn't something our tax dollars can get behind, then send me to my room.

Seriously, send me to my room.

How often have you spent time with an over-talkative child and thought, I wish I could duct-tape his mouth shut, my kingdom for some duct tape!

Oh, sure, you'd never actually do it, but the thought is there, and it brings a smile of joy to your face as you contemplate the silence such an action would bestow upon you. Until, of course, the child got the duct tape off, which is when you'd realize that you forgot to duct-tape his/her hands.

Ha ha! I'm only kidding. This isn't something I'm advocating. You should never, under any circumstances, duct-tape your child's hands or mouth. Duct-taping them to the walls in order to keep your house clean also is not something you should attempt, as it doesn't work. Weight-to-adhesive ratios being what they are, the child wouldn't stick for long. This is especially true for teenagers. Not that I would know anything about that sort of activity.

So what we find here is simply that the threat of Duct Tape Camp is what you need. This is where we need some money from the federal government. Every summer-camp pamphlet should be required by law to put Duct Tape Camp on its list of camps offered. This way parents have the option, if they so desire, to hold Duct Tape Camp over their children's heads in order to increase their cooperation during the heat of the summer.

Mother: "Clean your room before you go play."

Son: "I don't want to! No! I hate you!"

Mother: "Hmm... I see Camp Sealth is offering Duct Tape Camp this year..."

Son: "Uh, after I clean my room, may I peel some grapes for you and wash your car?"

People, write your representative. With your help, we can all make a difference.

You can write Pamela Troeppl Kinnaird by email at

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