Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Crime and Punishment

I heard an interesting little segment on my favorite radio show a couple of days ago. They did a segment where they had listeners call in and tell the most unusual punishment they received growing up. I am going to sort of steal their idea. Of course it won’t be exactly the same as this is a blog.

My TN dad was something else when we were little. I am sure having four children ranging from 7 to 2 was an experiment in agony, for the adults anyway. One of fun things for us as children was having so many other siblings to blame our numerous misdeeds on. In this case, we all chose denial rather than blame each other.

I don’t even remember what the crime was. All I remember is my dad lining us all up in a row. He said he was going to use an old Indian trick (back then no one used the words Native American so excuse the use of the word Indian) to determine who the perpetrator was. He whipped out his pocket knife and his silver Zippo lighter. I still remember that shiny silvery lighter. He lit it and held the flame under the knife and told us he was going to get the knife hot. Then he would put the knife on all our tongues. The knife would not burn those that told the truth. The guilty party would have their tongue scalded. I remember knowing that I didn’t commit the crime, but I was still worried about getting my tongue burned. I mean, after all, it was a hot knife.

The knife didn’t burn my tongue and I remember saying something like, “Daddy I didn’t do it! The knife didn’t burn my tongue” in an excited voice. I didn’t figure out until I was an adult that he didn’t really get the knife hot. I really thought he did. I remember thinking when I was a little older how mean that was. Actually, I think I must have been traumatized because it is one of only a few memories that I have as a small child. Knowing my TN dad as an adult, I realize that he wouldn’t scald our tongues with a hot knife. I suspect he was trying to teach us a lesson about all of us saying we didn’t do it, and the importance of telling the truth. I learned that if you lie, Daddy will put a hot pocket knife on your tongue. Oh I’m just kidding! Actually as a parent myself, it’s really pretty diabolical. I have to give him respect for that creativity of the idea.

What was your unusual punishment? Would you use it on your kids? Or even better than than, did you use an unusual punishment? I need to know so that I can steal your ideas and use them on my kids conduct some very important research. Yeah, that's it.


Mental P Mama said...

Yikes! This TN girl only got two spankings in her life...for saying something bad. I was a quick study;) My own two (16 almost 17 y-o twins) are so good, that I have never had to punish them. I am not kidding. I can't believe I'm typing this but it's true. God am I lucky. Anyway, just read your comment...about the NS...I'd get it checked out. I have so many friends in that boat, and there are as many options as there are people. Good luck!

Karen Deborah said...

wow, how scary. My mom just screamed bloody murder and beat everybody's butt with a belt, or coathanger, or flyswatter, or wooden spoon, or switch or any other dang thing she could get her hands on. I just remember being confused. I think one summer we got it just because she was too hot. Grim. BUT we all turned out to be hardworking good people so I guess it's better than being a spoiled brat.

Susiewearsthepants said...

Yeah, I think mental torture is worse than a spanking.

Ms. Judy said...

This wasn't a punishment but her own brand of torture ... my sister eight years my elder called me a "moron" when I was little. I asked her what it meant. She told me to go look it up in the dictionary. But then she refused when I asked her to tell me how to spell it so I could look it up! The big meanie!