While reminiscing with some family members over the many ass whoopings I’ve received in my life, I realized something. I appreciate those ass whoopings. Not just the fact that they helped mold me into the man I am today, but also the subtleties behind the beatings. The skill with which I got my ass whooped. It really is a lost artform.
My dad was the chief disciplinarian. The bulk of my ass whoopings in life have come from him. The thing I remember most about getting beatings from him is the psychological warfare that surrounded the beatings. For instance whenever my dad had to come pick me up from school for some stupid thing I did I had to deal with the pre- at home ass whooping – car ass whooping. He would be in the front driving and I would be in the back seat crapping my pants and praying for some sort of divine intervention.
As a rule I always tried to avoid any and all eye contact with him on these rides home, but somehow I always ended up looking up just as his gaze was fixed upon me in the rear view mirror. As soon as he saw my pupils he would go crazy. He would be reaching for me with one hand while driving with the other, flailing wildly at me while I pressed myself as far into the backseat as I could. Each time he missed he would get angrier and angrier so I knew the only way to satiate his madness was to lean into one. It was insanity at it’s finest.
Then came the at home ass whooping. The main event, if you will. We would get home and my father would tell me to go wait for him in his room. The waiting was without a doubt the worst part. He always seemed to take forever too. He would go to the bathroom, make a few phone calls, have a sandwich, balance his checkbook, and re-arrange his CD collection before coming in. I would be sitting there on his bed, crying uncontrollably the whole time.
By the time he had actually gotten to the room I would be so exhausted from being scared and crying that I actually sometimes forgot that I still hadn’t gotten beaten. Sometimes he would come in and I would be sleeping. He would walk in and start off real calm. Ask me something along the lines of “so did you think of anything to say for yourself.” I would always answer the same thing, “sorry and it won’t happen again.” Then he would calmly tell me to get him a belt out of the closet.
Choosing a belt out of the closet was of crucial importance. Common sense says to pick the smallest flimsiest belt and hand it right over. WRONG! This would only infuriate him more. He would just toss that flimsy belt aside and walk over the the closet to find the biggest, thickest belt he owns. This is why I would pay careful attention to choose a belt that was just big enough to not piss him off, but just small enough to not make me leave me walking funny for more than two days. It was sort of like Indiana Jones picking the holy grail.
By the time the ass whooping finally commenced, I was almost relieved that all of the preliminaries were done. By this time there was only one more hurdle to jump. I had to try not to cry too much. For some crazy reason my dad always felt that I shouldn’t be crying while he was hitting me with a belt. He would ask me while beating me sometimes if I wanted him to “give me something to cry about?” As is the fifty lashes you just gave me wasn’t reason enough.
In retrospect it is really staggering to see all the layers. The actual moment when the belt hits my ass almost becomes an afterthought. I believe this is what we are missing these days. Their is no artfrom to disciplining kids these days. It’s all just standard procedure. I for one, will try to have a bit more respect for the process.