When The Whip Comes Down
Posted by LOTGK on December 12, 2007
Bob Dylan once sang, “The times they are a changin.” In the 1960’s, when a child got in trouble, breaking a window, throwing apples at cars, catching the school field on fire, catching the garage on fire, or blowing stuff up, they would be punished for their discretions and hopefully learn from their mistakes. Punishment would be swift usually consisting of a whipping with a belt or a wooden paddle. The child knew they were being punished.
Nowadays, children are sent to counseling or given a stern lecture not to ever do those bad things again. Such as a teenage son sneaking a girl out the back window of the house in order to not be detected by his parents.
I come from a family of seven children of which I am the youngest. I had the benefit of learning and observing from the older six and the mistakes they made and the punishment administered from Dad. Apparently, for the first several years of my life, I was given a pass on punishment. I wish I had known this, I could have really stepped up the badness.
When my older brothers would do something wrong, my mother would tell them, “Wait til your father gets home!” The blood from my brothers face would drain upon hearing this and a few moments of plea’s and bargains would be attempted. Alas, Mom didn’t make deals, she was the silent enforcer.
Since I was never in trouble before, err, strike that, since I was never punished before for being bad, I only knew from my brothers tales just what the punishment was. (And living with them I knew that what they told me wasn’t always the entire truth. Sometimes not even close to the truth. Sometimes down right lies.) Anyway, I did know that when Dad came home from work, the brother in trouble would begin to squirm and figit. (Dead man walkin)
Finally, my day had come. It was my turn. I had broken a window or set a field on fire, I really cannot remember, and I was waiting for dad to come home from work. Dad slowly walked into the den, and the rest of the family made themselves scarce leaving just dad and me. Dad asked me what I had done wrong and I told him the truth for fear of added punishment. After the confession, the punishment would commence.
I was then given the option of being grounded for a week, no going outside, no fun at all, or get the belt. I sure as hell didn’t want to be grounded and have to stay indoors so I selected the belt. I figured a few licks of the belt and punishment would be over and I could get back to playing time. A few minutes of pain seemed the right choice. I chose poorly.
Dad said alright then, and took off his leather belt off, and carefully and deliberately fold it in half, and snapped it once or twice causing it to make a loud crackle as a sort of warning of what was to come.
I would then assume the position, (Bend over with my hands on my knee’s) and dad would whip my ass several times, according to how bad I was with the belt. Each lashing would sing it’s way through the air and land with a hard force on my ass. It hurt so bad I was sweating at the end, and I only got 5 whacks.
I dared not cry, and when dad announced I had been punished, I turned around to face him and he told me to remember this lesson, the pain of my ass, and the dread waiting for punishment to commence. I was then told I could go.
I quickly left the den not giving dad a chance to change his mind and out to the back yard where my brothers were waiting for me. George’s first words to me were, “How many did you get?” He seemed disappointed when I said only five. We then dispersed and went about our business.
Thinking back all those years, I learned some very valuable lessons. I know many people feel you should never spank a child, but it was certainly a deterrent making me think an extra second or two before I did something stupid. The belt was always there, always hanging in the closet just waiting to be used again. And it was a few more times on me, but was put away after several years. I think dad figured out that he wasn’t really whipping me hard enough to make it hurt and be an effective deterrent.
My son gets lectures, some very long winded ones when he gets punished, and then getting grounded depending on the nature of what he did wrong. My son has never been whipped with the belt. He should consider himself lucky. And the reason for this?
I can still hear the leather belt snapping and feel the pain on my ass when the belt met flesh.
LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL