Back to school? Humbug. There ought to be a law against summer ads for school supplies.  Come  August you cannot visit a Staples or a Wal-Mart or most other stores without running a gauntlet of “back to school” stuff. In my view, this practice creates kiddy school supply junkies.

After all, just weeks earlier, the kids finished school with all their supplies. What happened to all their stuff? Did it all suddenly vanish?

While sitting on my neighbour’s deck recently sipping a Heineken, Leo’s kids were hounding him for must have school supplies.

His daughter Melissa demanded if he had bought her new school knapsack yet.

Leo asked her where the Batman knapsack he had tripped over in June was.

Melissa replied, “I don’t know dad. But I need one with Spiderman now. That’s only fair.”

Her comment I thought certainly added a new dimension to the fairness test.

Meanwhile his son Josh pleaded that he absolutely needed to buy a dozen red pens. When Leo queried where Josh’s June stash was, Josh responded, “Dad, you just don’t understand.”

Melissa, interrupting, said, “If you get him more red pens, you have to get me that Spiderman knapsack. That’s only reasonable”

Her argument was unassailable I thought.

During their heated debate, my mind drifted, visualizing research on the subject, like a study undertaken by a professor Jean-Jacques Lemouche, of l’Université de Montréal, who found that pencils do indeed disappear over the summer. He was adamant that three boxes of his former HB yellow pencils had turned into butterflies on July 1 and they were now flying around all over Mount Royal.

Oxford Professor of Metaphysics Sir James Pedley disagreed with the butterfly theory. His study concluded that every summer, all school supplies simply get sucked into a school-supply Bermuda Triangle. “I’m sure you’ll find my computer mouse there,” lamented the professor.

The issue also caught the attention of Sigmund Freud, who observed that most of his patients were very depressed at the end of summer, as they could never find a pen or a pad of paper. Although he initially dismissed this neurosis, Freud noted that his own lunch box disappeared every July.

Even Albert Einstein was plagued by this problem. He ran around frantically one August day repeating to himself, “E=MC2” and shouting, “Quick, I need a pencil. Where is the pencil cup I had in June?”

I went home and thought about writing to my MPP about pushing for a ban on these back to school ads, which incite the kids.

But just to hedge my bets, next summer, I am keeping an extra eye open on my own pencil case.