Corporal Punishment
Corporal punishment they used to call it. I would call it a pain in the arse, because
that’s where the teachers used to hit us.
According to Wikipedia, Corporal punishment is a form of physical punishment that
involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence, or for the purpose
of disciplining or reforming a wrongdoer, or to deter attitudes or behaviour deemed
It didn’t really work. Not in my opinion, anyway. I can’t ever remember not doing
something bad at school because I might get the cane or the slipper, and that would
probably apply to my friends, too.
‘The cane’ was a long flexible bamboo stick that was whacked across your rear end or
the tops of your legs while you were bent over a desk or touching your toes. ‘The slipper’
was a gym shoe, plimpsole or training shoe used in a similar way. Believe me, it brought
the tears to one’s eyes!
I was caned twice and slippered once during my 6 years at secondary school in the UK.
Not a bad record, all things considered. Many of my Friends had reached doublé figures
before they went off to the relative santuary of university or the dole queue.
We played a game which was loosely based on Rollerball, from the film of the same name.
We called it Rollerchairs. We’d sit on a hard plastic chair and push ourselves backwards
with our feet around the classroom in a race to see who was the fastest. There were no rules.
We could hit, punch and kick as much as was needed to eliminate our opponents.
One lunchtime, in the middle of a heated race, the headmaster came in the class and I was
concentrating so much on repeatedly kicking the back of the chair in front of me that I didn’t
notice him towering over me, nor the deathly silence in the class, save the ‘bang’, bang’,
‘bang’ of my foot on the back of the chair of the boy in front of me.
Suddenly, I noticed the quiet in the room and I jumped up with a start, knocking the
headmasters coffee cup from his hand and spilling it all down the front of his clean white shirt
and green jacket. I was caned for that, 10 times!

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