Hi Readers, are you busy making your family holiday? And, like, spending a lot of money buying stuff, and spending a lot of time addressing your holiday cards and all that? Well, I was going to do that, too, but then I decided the hell with it. Instead, this holiday season, I am giving myself and my family a nice, little surprise gift, which is going to aid our finances rather than drain them, and that is that I am quietly turning our apartment into a for-profit school.

Let me give you the tour. This is the living/dining room, which I am transforming into the Educationorium. I am doing this primarily by throwing away all my children’s toys. The children are starting to get a bit grumpy that they can’t find their things, but I just keep letting them watch these YouTube videos about hexaflexagons, and then they quickly forget what they were looking for.

Besides the Educationorium, the school will have a Science Lab, here. Yes, that is a toilet. It’s a Japanese toilet, very expensive: it offers a bidet function, a heated seat, and soothing music. I got it through a Pell grant. Here we will be plunging, so to speak, into our Pooptacular science curriculum, with which we prove ourselves to be the Number One for-profit school in teaching about Number 2. Our multi-tiered Fecal Matrix Study will engage your child in all things Poo—which includes, lest you look down upon it— human physiology, history, simple machines, and ecology. And before we wash our hands of it all, we will hold a pooper-scooper design competition, with the winning design to be patented, manufactured, and offered for sale online at Maker Shed to benefit our school. “Young designers welcome!” is our motto!

Now, let me show you the crown jewel of our school: yes, that’s my iPad. My 11 year old, who will be taking a sabbatical from his fifth grade class to become our school’s Director of Curriculum, is going to lead our literacy program by reading aloud from many important, free-to-download texts. Our first unit will focus on the postmodern writing techniques employed in the just-published, “13 trends for 2013 from the Ford Motor Company.” The children will scaffold the cutting edge ideas from the acclaimed Edsel manufacturer with real-life economics experience: putting my 1970s Pez collection for sale on EBay, say, or enjoying an afterschool course in online gambling.

Let’s have a seat here in the Garden. Yes, it is a windowsill, but we converted it with these two-by-fours so that we have seating, as well as room for our basil. This is where our Native American study will take place, and it all culminates in our annual campout. For that much-anticipated evening, I will convert the Garden into a replica of the famous Serpent Mound in southern Ohio by carefully placing some stuffed animals under my daughter’s Hello Kitty quilt. We’ll sit on the mound and eat “bison”—that would be Snickers bars, now, keep my secret—and I will smoke some American Spirits, and then we’ll listen to Omnitica on the Curriculum Director’s Ipod, and do a rain dance. Then we’ll check our online bets. Finally, we’ll go to sleep under the neighbors’ fire escape. It’s going to be magical, I am telling you. You can’t pay for an experience like this.

I’m glad you asked that. Our tuition is 100,000 dollars a year, and that includes a daily fruit snack. Sliding scale is something we do offer, but we offer it only to our school mascot, Frieda the lizard, who is attending our school partly via the corporate sponsorship of the Petco down the street.

Yes, admissions are extremely competitive. We only accept two students per year, and one of those students must be one of my children. If you do not have one of my children in your family, you must have a child who is not in need of any financial aid. If your child happens to be the first student to go here, I will name the school after your child, or you, depending on how much I like your name.

Thanks so much for coming! You may email my intern Josh to set up a playdate/interview/shakedown at theinternjosh@gmail.com.

Now before we close, I must revisit my recent column about minivan stick-figure decals in order to quote my dear colleague, Dr. Katherine Giuffre of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dr. Giuffre is a Doctor of Sociology rather than a “Dr.” who purportedly helps people, like moi, but we will forgive her that shortcoming in light of her wonderful interpretation of minivan stick-figure decals, sent to me by email, which reads: “Oh. I thought they were “kill” stickers—like fighter jets in WWII used to have on their noses to show the number of the enemy shot down.”

Another lovely idea, presented by one Mr. Ben Fox of Albany, NY, is that they are “Carbon Ass-print stickers.” Mr. Fox, who lives in a rural part of Albany, kindly adds, “We usually don’t see these stickers around home (people are pretty poor, and/or behind the times) but once you get to the big shopping area near Albany where the suburbanites congregate, they are abundant on SUVs.”

Much love, my dear friends, and happy holidays,
xx “Doc” Fuss