Corporal punishment in school (or why I hated being a student in the ’70’s)

Although I was never what you would call a rebel, I have to admit, I did receive punishment in school as a kid. Not the kind of punishment kids today get…..none; but real punishment at the hands of the school principal or even worse, the vice principal, who was a nun!

Back then, school officials were allowed to abuse children. When it wasn’t from the half inch thick leather belt, it was a yardstick across the knuckles or a hand across the mouth, or virtually any other form of abuse. The punishments never even fit the crime. Not doing your homework, not being respectful to others, or breaking any of the school rules often resulted in a beating.

My first offense was understandable. After all, I did break the one cardinal rule in a school shared by both Catholics and Protestants. I played with Protestant children during recess. How was I to know they weren’t Catholic? They never wore Protestant uniforms or hats. They never appeared any different than I was, and hell, they even spoke like other kids.

When Sister Kotell ( I once called her Sister Kotex, but this is a different story with a different amount of straps) seen me playing with those kids, she dragged me across the playground and into the office (by the ear) and ordered me to hold out my hands. Of course, being totally terrified, and knowing full well how much it hurt to have your little hands beat with a leather strap, I pulled away. She put so much force across the belt, when she missed my hands, she actually hit herself across the legs. Her next action was to double the amount of straps. Twenty on each hand, and a threat to double that if I pulled away.

All the time she was beating me, she repeated the same line. “You shall not play with children who are not Catholic. They are EVIL”. I wonder what she would say these days, as I am actually married to a Protestant.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. Never play with Protestant children where that old bitch could see us.

I wasn’t the only one abused this way, all kids were. Sometimes I hear people say kids these days have it too good. Some say there are no consequences to poor behavior. I tend to agree, but I think things went way too far back then.

the bone collector

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Fuller


While eating lunch at a friends house, Tommy was interrupted by the owner of the house. Kenneth, an old man who lived alone with his son, hollered loudly. “Don’t break that turkey neck, it looks like Elvis!”

Tommy was astonished. Kenneth took the bone, washed it, and placed it in a display cabinet he built behind the table.

Kenneth’s son Mike explained to Tommy that since his mom died, his father seemed to lose it, and began collecting bones that look like things.

Kenneth cut in. “My collection won’t be complete until I find one resembling Martha, my dead wife.”

This story of weird collections, and a man’s way of dealing with loss, is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

no time for the old stuff

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


Edgar was a man on a mission. He was always in some sort of rush.

Edgar loved electronics, and anything futuristic. “No time for the old stuff” he would say; his home being an electronic marvel.

Always in a hurry, this morning he was involved in a car accident. His car hit something on Highway 660 and his life was changed forever.

The last thing he remembered was the image of a moose on his dash cam.

These days, Edgar prefers the simple things in life, such as reading by the light of an oil lamp, and napping…lots of napping.

In Newfoundland, hundreds of people lose their lives in moose accidents each year. Some, like Edgar are fortunate enough to escape alive, with some severe challenges. This is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

Click on the Froggy for more stories.


Beauty among the ruins



As he looked out the window, he was reminded of the warm Autumn days, with rainbow leaves and calm waters. He remembered the ponds mirroring the skies and the trees, showing off their robust fall colors, and how the cool breeze rustled the leaves as they fell to the ground.

But those were dreams. Today is much different; the calm waters in front of his window are not the ponds of his dreams, rather puddles left by Hurricane Matthew, as the waters washed out his town. Miraculously, he was still able to find beauty among the ruins.


the place you want to be

Jimmy McLoud was a small time criminal who lived in The Bronx. When he wasn’t stealing from the strip of stores downtown, he was terrorizing his poor mother. His low life friends weren’t much better, any of them would cut the other’s throat for a dime, and he knew it.

Disillusioned with his dead beat life, Jimmy tried to end it all. Drinking a bottle of Drano, he thought it would be quick….

but it wasn’t. He didn’t die. In fact, he was very much alive, and in horrible pain. The doctors say he burned out half his intestines. The doctors put him into an induced coma so that he could withstand the pain.

I know what you are thinking. Jimmy is in a much better place now, a place he could only dream of. Wrong, oh so wrong.

Jimmy awoke to find himself in another place than the hospital room where he was left. He found himself in a dark room, alone except for the glow of the person or thing standing in front of him.

The being stood over seven feet tall, and with the glow from the flames that flickered from it’s head, the face was as terrifying. Jimmy had met his maker, and it wasn’t God.

A long tail, pointed at the end swayed above the thing’s head, and when it spoke, the smell of shit filled the air.”You are in a special place, the place you want to be” it said.

“From here, you can be anything or anyone you want. You can look like anything you want, and if you wish, your greatest fantasies can be granted…for a small price. I ask that, upon a time of my choosing, your eternal soul is mine.”

While Jimmy thought this was all some horrible nightmare brought on by the powerful painkillers he was given, he could not take a chance.

“I want to be someone special. I want a beautiful wife, a great job, and lots of money. I want a family who loves me, and I want to be successful. Most of all, I don’t want to be no good no more.”

The thing laughed. “A life of having nothing, and you don’t want to be no good?” With that, the being flicked his fingers, and Jimmy disappeared from the darkness and into a beautiful sports car. His beautiful wife sat next to him, her long blonde hair waving in the wind. She looked at Jimmy with love in her eyes, and Jimmy like it, he liked it a lot.

a better place to be

In a hospital ward somewhere lies a woman nobody knows. ‘Jane Doe’ is written on her charts. There’s never been a visitor in her room except for the old man who found her lying in the street, fighting for what little life she had left. When he found her, her clothes were tattered and she was malnourished, and barely breathing. It appeared as if she had been beaten, often.

He visits her quite often, and prays for her. In the past ten years, she has not communicated with anybody. She lies there motionless,  except for the small smile her lips try to make.

In her head, a different story plays out. She is ‘living’ a life she simply refuses to leave.





too good to be true I

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Frank Coolridge. Frank lives with his wife and their three kids, in a little town called Kelvinville. Frank  lucked into a job in the town’s only bank, no doubt due to his wife’s family connections; and he makes quite a tidy sum.

Coming home from work today, Frank was greeted by his beautiful wife. Sharon, a girl in her mid thirties, was always quite the looker. Frank often asks himself how he could be so lucky.

Sharon has supper on the table. She made his favourite dish again. She always knows what he wants, and is eager to please him.

His beautiful wife works from home, a stockbroker by trade, she earns a good paycheck. The thing that surprises Frank the most is the fact that she never appears stressed, and always has this great smile, which is accented by her long blonde locks. She is truly a beauty to behold.

Their children are excelling in school, as always. On weekends, Sharon’s mother comes over to sit the kids, so that the young couple has plenty of time to enjoy themselves. All this is truly too good to be true. Everything is perfect….except for the dreams.

Each night, Frank dreams of bright lights. Lights so bright they almost blind him. Often he goes to sleep with his head under a pillow, to no avail. He seen a doctor about it, but thus far, nobody can tell him what is going on. He also suffers massive headaches.

While driving to work this morning, Frank suffered the biggest headache. He pulled his Mercedes to the shoulder of the road and just sat, holding his head. It was then the flashbacks began. Images of flashing lights and people in white clothing filled his head, and the sounds of sirens roared loudly.

He continued on to work, vowing to cut down on coffee. While at work, he couldn’t concentrate. he began hearing voices. Was he going insane? No, it was too real.

The voices are so familiar. Some of the voices are male, some female, there are even kids voices, urging him to wake up, but he isn’t sleeping…

To be continued…



My Opinion, For What it is Worth…

I admit it, I buy lots of stuff online. I have to; I live on an island where the stuff I want just isn’t in the stores, and if it is, the price is often outrageous.

I have been using eBay for several years, but thanks to the Canadian Government and their application of duty for anything over $20, and our worthless dollar, I am actually paying too much for the items I order, which are mainly technology items. The duty is another thing: A ‘hidden’ cost that is impossible to foresee.

As of late, I have been making several purchases on Canadian websites. Although the prices are not as good as the American sites (Thanks again to our dollar), I can still find quite a few good deals.

I ordered several Bluetooth speakers. I find those little things so handy around the house and in the shed. Instead of my old Realistic transistor radio, whose sound and reception were beginning to fail, I can enjoy music right from my iPhone, through the Bluetooth speakers. No wires, but unbelievable sound.

Anyway, getting back to my rant. After ordering and receiving an item, the seller (and Amazon) asks if you could rate your transaction, and maybe write something about your experience. Seeing how I am a blogger, and for my love of the written word, you could imagine the review I wrote. Several days after I sent in the review, I received an email from the seller.

Apparently they were pretty impressed with my review. I was asked if I wanted to review other items. I was even offered an 80% discount if I wished them to send me items to review. Of course I would have to purchase the item, but at a great savings. So I agreed.

My first thing to review was a food thermometer. I received the item very fast. When I tried the item, I was disappointed with a few of its features. When I wrote the review, I was immediately contacted by the seller.

“Thanks for the review of our fine product, but could you please edit it before publishing it? Better still, could you please send us your rough copy for our approval before you post it?”

What the hell? Do you want an honest review or do you want me to lie? If you want me to lie, you can go to hell. I agreed to give my honest opinion of your product, so others will know what they are getting. I will not lie.

“Sir, we do not want you to lie. We just want you to write about your positive experience. Please write about the pros, and leave out the cons.”

I wrote back, this time less enthusiastic as I was in the past. I told the seller how leaving out the truth and lying is the same thing. I also let them know how dissatisfied I was with their treatment of me, and how I am not for sale. Apparently most people accept their 80% discount and write what they are told, but I for one, cannot be bought. Furthermore, I explained how I will never purchase anything from this seller again. I will also tell my friends of this fiasco.

I have not been asked to write another review.

‘The more things change…the more they r̶e̶m̶a̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶a̶m̶e̶ change…

My kid just celebrated his 14th birthday. We gave him our ‘Old’ iPhone. The thing cost over $700 two years ago, and when we upgraded to a newer phone, we were stuck with our old one. He doesn’t have to know it is used.

When he opened the box, his other 14 year old friends exclaimed “Wow, you finally got an iPhone!”

Finally?? He is FOURTEEN for crying out loud. I was 50 when I got my first one….and I PAID for it with my OWN money.

We aren’t stupid though. We got him a ‘Pay as you go’ package where we put $25 cards on the phone once a month…if all his monthly chores are completed on time.

I tried this earlier in the summer and it backfired.

“Empty the dishwasher at least twice a week and keep your room clean” I promised, “And every week I will fill your ATV with gasoline.” (yes, you read that right, he has his own ATV. His grandparents purchased a $5000 ‘Side-by-side’ for him when he was (get this…TEN YEARS OLD!)…against our wishes of course.

“I have to do the dishes TWICE a week??? No Way, not worth it!” He says. The ATV sits in the garage, rotting into the ground.

We made the same deal with the phone card. I imagine next month, the phone he finally got will be collecting dust on the dresser. No card means no texting. He might actually do something this time, but I doubt it.

That’s another thing. Kids don’t understand the real use of a phone. No, it wasn’t developed for taking ‘selfies’, it was originally made to make calls. Kids these days text rather than actually speaking. They have their own language consisting of words that may or may not ‘sound’ correct, but are definitely not spelled correct. “Hey kid, did you know that if you turn the phone the other way, you can actually take pictures of things other than yourself? I thought not. Alexander Graham Bell must be rolling in his grave.






On the way to work today I noticed an old man walking along the side of the road. He walked feebly, with the help of a cane, then I noticed who it was.


When I was 17, I had a best friend named Jerome. He was a poor kid from the poor side of town. We used to work together at the local Canadian Tire store. We were flunkies. The manager had several kids he used to do all the store’s dirty work, such as cleaning up spills, tearing up boxes, clearing snow, and emptying trash…things the regular workers didn’t want to do. He called us ‘flunkies’.

Me and Jerome often cruised around town together. I had my first car back then, and it was fun to ride around town in the search of girls. Remember, we were only kids back then, and this was great fun. Often we would have a car full of girls, and we would drive around like we were the kings of the world.

One evening, Jerome called and said he wouldn’t be going ‘girl hunting’ for awhile. He met somebody. “Wow!” I thought to myself, “Jerome is settlin’ down.” He was quite smitten with the girl, even though I found he mistreated her when they were out together.

One evening, we all went to the movie. Jerome was especially cruel to the girl, and I didn’t like what I saw. She stormed out of the theater, crying. He basically told her to ‘F**K off!, which I guess she did. On my way home, I seen her walking by herself. I stopped to ask if she wanted a ride, which she agreed.

When we drove up to her house, I did something I never did before, I asked if she would like to go out sometime. I know, my best friend’s girl, but he didn’t treat her good, and she was so pretty….long black hair that almost touched her waist, and the prettiest face ever. I couldn’t resist. And she said yes.

That was the start of it; me and Pauline. We dated for a few nights, to get to know each other a bit better, and then she introduced me to her family. I must say, her dad and I got along so good. Her mom was a bit of a flake, popping ‘nerve pills’ and complaining all the time, but her dad, he was a very nice person. In the two years Pauline and I dated, Amos became a second father to me.

He said I was like the son he never had. We went fishing together, and basically had long talks, mostly about life. He was a simple man who worked at anything he could find. He worked in the construction industry, mostly building houses. He never had his carpenter papers, because he couldn’t read. Amos was ashamed of this.

Pauline had a sister named Anne who was as wild as the wind. She had a boyfriend who took her places, but treated her cruel. In fact, I know of several occasions where he actually cheated on her, sometimes while she was with him. I knew that relationship wouldn’t last. It didn’t. Neither did me and Pauline.

Pauline had told me about her job. She said she used to clean up doctors’ offices for money ‘under the table’. A few dollars here and there, but enough to get by. This wasn’t true. She didn’t work at all. It was all lies. When we weren’t together, she would sit in her room alone, popping pills her mother would provide. “It’s her nerves, that’s why she is the way she is” her mother would say. I don’t think it was her nerves, I think it was the pills. Either way, I was beginning to see that maybe Pauline wasn’t for me.

Pauline didn’t have an education, I think she dropped out in grade 9 or so. I believe I only stayed with her so long out of pity, and that is no way to build a relationship. When we were together, I would often find myself embarrassed to have her around. People would talk to her, and instead of responding, she would giggle as if they said something funny. At first this was cute, but it began to get on my nerves.

It was Amos who helped me make the right decision. “She isn’t right for you Teddy” he said, to my surprise. “You are a nice guy, and a smart person. Pauline has ‘issues’ like her mother.” He said. “You can’t believe anything they say, and I bet if you really listened to what she was saying, you would understand.” he added.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. A father warning his daughter’s boyfriend about his daughter. Either he really didn’t like me, or he respected me enough to be honest with me.

“Don’t do like I did, Ted. When I fell in love with Pauline’s mother, my head was in the clouds. My friends warned me that there was something not right with her, but I wouldn’t listen. 25 years later, I see what they were talking about, but now I have two girls, I just can’t leave. Don’t let my regret be your regret.”

Me and Amos stayed friends even after I split up with his daughter. I never seen Pauline again, but I hear stories of how she got mixed up with bad people, had a couple of abortions, and is now living with a much older man who treats her like a slave. I talk to Anne all the time, she agrees with her father, saying  I made the right decision to leave her sister when I did.

I hear Amos’ wife passed away a few years back. It was then that Amos began to ‘live’ again. Someone said he had gotten himself a girlfriend. I remember seeing him and some woman at the mall. For once in his life, Amos looked happy.


I pulled my truck over and got out. I went over to greet the old guy. He returned my greeting with a big hug. “Teddy, you look great!”

He didn’t look so great. His face was weathered and craggy, and he shook while he stood in front of me. “Are you doing okay?” I asked. “Doing okay, just old, that’s all.” he said.

We spoke for awhile, mostly about family. He extended his congratulations to me on my recent marriage. He said he seen my wife and I in church and commented on how perfect we were for each other. He talked about his wife, how she spent years in mental hospitals, and how Pauline did as well. He said he was glad my life turned out good, and he was glad I had listened to him way back then. He said the conversation we had back then was one of the most difficult things he ever had to do, but he was glad I took his advice. I am glad as well.

“Gotta keep in shape now!” he said, “that’s why I am out here walking. You know what women are like…”

I shook his hand, laughing. “Take care Amos” I said.

“You too, Son” he said.