Beyond Babedom

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Weapons of A** Destruction

Now that Mothers’ Day is over and we  have some time until Fathers’ Day, it’s time to reminisce about our parents in a not-so-rose-colored-glasses way. My friend Billy and I recently had a jolly good time discussing what “tools of discipline” our parents used on us. And I got to thinking: how many different ways did our parents beat us?

Back in the day (and I use that term just to annoy my sister, Camille), this was something natural; we all got hit. If not on a regular basis, then at least occasionally. We were hit for fighting with each other (violence begets. . . oh, never mind), we were pummeled for saying a “bad word” (that apparently didn’t stop me), and we were bludgeoned for general bad behavior.

In Billy’s house, his mother was the wielder of the Weapons of Ass Destruction (WADs). But, for the life of me, I cannot remember what weapon he told me she used. A wooden spoon? A badminton racket? A cat ‘o 9 tails? Gary, my hubby, on the other hand, had it quite easy.  His mother would simply throw her flip flop at him – the mother-of-leisure approach, I guess.

In my house, both Mom and Dad were the “deliverers”. We all preferred Mom; she didn’t have quite the swing Dad had. And they had a choice between two straps  as WADs. The first was Uncle Sal’s old army belt, sans buckle, which was soft, brown leather and about an inch and a half wide. When we were really bad, though, we got the second strap; the one embellished with fake jewels, inlaid with metal grommets. Ouch. If you earned this one, it was Dad swinging it and you wouldn’t soon forget.

But, what unintended consequences did all this beating beget? My cousins Chuck and Mike taught us a game – called Hot Beans – which was played like Huckle Buckle Beanstalk, with a torture twist.  (No wonder they became Republicans. . . .) In the game, one  person would  hide The Strap while everyone else hid their eyes. Then, the search began. The sadistic part was when the person who found the belt got scream “Hot Beans” as he whipped every player he could, until they were ” home safe”.

Home safe. Relatively speaking.

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 9th, 2011 at 3:27 PM and is filed under Social Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. Kevin says:

    Oh boy, am I gonna get it! My father was the one with the heavy hand. Many times, I got it. It was either his belt and later he made a paddle. Most of the time he gave us the look and that usually did it. But upon a few occasions when We tested the waters and the look didn’t do it, well need I say more? The paddle was more effective! My youngest sister Melissa would say,” I hear firecrackers “! Missy never was spanked by my father. Well she was the baby of the family. My mother on the other hand would yell,” wait until your father gets home”! Once I did something to really piss her off and she chased after me with the broom and I didn’t have time to open the kitchen door and flew right through it,LMAO now, but then when Pop got home, my ass was red hot! Oh the good old days,yes indeed!

  2. Jan says:

    I remember. It looks all to familiar. That belt still gives me chills after all these years. Not my Mom, but my Dad. I never beat my son with a belt…..never…..

  3. Chris Munson says:

    My mother and father occasionally used corporal punishment administered in the form of spankings to the naked buttocks, but never used any implement other than the open palm. My mother was quite adept at concealing her intent until the last moment. I must have been 9 or 10 years of age when I committed some unpardonable offence against decorum while at mass. My mother whispered to me, “When we get home, you’re going to get chastized.”. I turned to my older sister, Judy, and announced proudly, “When I get home, Mom’s going to make sure I am chastized.” Judy smiled knowingly, and replied, “I’m sure you earned it.” We returned home, my mother said, “Go into your room, and take off your pants.” At that point, I knew, and have never forgotten the definition of, “chastize”.

  4. Geoff says:

    Lucille, this is a really well written, provocative column. I’ve been noticing lately a strange long term consequence of the physical punishment you describe; Have you ever noticed how people will talk about these beatings with a perverse sense of pride? Almost as if they are talking about the “good old days,” revisiting the now sepia toned scene of the crime with what can only be described as a sense of longing. “Sure I got knocked around…and I had it coming too!” It tends to be lumped in by hack comedians with all those boomer reminiscences about how “our generation didn’t wear seat belts or bicycle helmets and yet we all somehow survived.” But it’s not the same thing at all really…I suppose it’s an attempt to reconcile random violence perpetrated by those who are supposed to be protecting us from that very thing…Anyway, this is your blog, not mine. Just wanted to let you know you’re writing geat stuff!

  5. Laura says:

    Just try to beat a kid with a belt or wooden spoon these days….they’ll call Dyfs on you!

  6. Terri says:

    My mom had the quickest hand in the east. Whack across the face, whack across the back of the head, whack across the ass. No time to duck or get outta the way. LOL Of course if you ran away, you just got it worse. Better to take your punishment! And if you were really bad, out came dad’s police belt! Not me though. I was a good girl! ;)

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