I had a fierce dose of the scribbles yesterday.
It was a miserable fucking day anyway with grey skies, frequent heavy showers and a bit of a bite in the wind. It was one of those days when Penny prefers to piss on the floor rather than face the garden. I can’t blame her. I would have done the same if the toilet was in the garden.
I scribbled my little scribble here but for some reason I opened The Book. Or the Memoirs. Or the Autobiography. Or whatever you want to call it. I sat back with the laptop on my lap [where else?] and started tapping the keys.
The section I found myself in was my schooldays. I know they say that our schooldays are the happiest days of our lives but they obviously didn’t go to my school, or else they are deranged. I hated school from the first day I found myself in Junior Infants under the tutelage of a bunch of sadistic nuns to the day I finished my Leaving Cert under the tutelage of a bunch of sadistic De La Salle brothers. I hated every aspect of those years, from the grind of having to cycle miles every day to the endless homework that was just designed to deprive us of any joy in the evenings. The only time I was happy was when I was on my holliers [holidays] but even then there was the gloomy prospect of the return to school.
Deliberately focusing on a particular period has the remarkable effect of sharpening the old memory. Yes, the old memories came flooding back and the one aspect of my schooldays that seemed to come to the fore is the pain. There were indeed days when I survived pain free but it’s remarkable how many times I was thrashed with the cane, the Leather [twelve inches of reinforced leather strap that was the weapon of choice of The Brothers], rulers or indeed anything solid that came to hand. And the hand was where most of the thrashing and pain occurred. I was a mild mannered kid and not particularly bold so I can only reason that the thrashings were more an outlet for the Brothers’ inherent sadism.
Of course any form of physical punishment now is outlawed but in retrospect I don’t think it did any lasting harm. In the short term it was fucking painful but in the long term it taught us to behave and also stimulated the brain as we came up with ingenious excuses to avoid the thrashing. I might point out that there was a healthy respect for authority in those days that is entirely absent nowadays. Coincidence?
Kids these days just don’t know how easy they have it.