As a somewhat precocious child (my parents preferred the word “rude") I was often in trouble with my parents. My parents, on the other hand, were old-fashioned Jamaicans who believed that the remedy for “precociousness” was a good flogging every now and then. We can argue about the merits of corporal punishment but what always fascinated me was the fact that the flogging alone was never enough. There was always some kind of verbal commentary before/during/after the process. I’ve taken a moment to jot down down some of those comments along with my thoughts on those comments as they were said to me. If you were also a precocious child some of them may sound familiar to you -
So you think you is a big man now? Clearly I’m not. Big men don’t get buss ass.
What yuh crying for? I soon give you something to cry for. Thanks, but no thanks. Clearly I already have enough to cry about.
If you evah see mi dying trial. Huh? If there’s anybody on trial here its me. You’re just the judge and jury. And executioner.
Bwoy if ah box yuh, yuh feneh grease. I always wondered - What is a “feneh” and why were we lubricating it? Mind you, I couldn’t ponder on this too long as I was too busy running for my life.
Pickney dis is for yuh own good. Ahhh… I’m not so sure about that. Can you provide any hard evidence to support that assertion? Any empirical data? Have any studies been done? And If I say I’m not entirely conviced of this proposition could we postpone the flogging while we discuss it?
Dis going to hurt me more than it hurt you. I don’t see how that’s possible since you’re the one with the belt and I’m the one getting licks.
Boy if I box yuh, yuh think is a train lick yuh. I doubt it. You lick hotter than any train.
Boy, go for the belt! Its not enough that you’re about to flog me, I also have to go and fetch the instrument of my suffering??? There must be something in the United Nations Charter of Rights against forcing persons to assist in their own torture.
You wait till ah ketch yuh. Well, that’s why I’m running. I know what happens after the “ketching”.
What is wrong with this child God?! If God answers, you let me know. I’d be very interested to hear what he has to say about me.
Boy I tyad to talk to yuh! But you’re not too tired to beat me though? Apparently a good flogging is less tiring that talking?
Boy, if you touch that pot/cookie/fridge/football/stove/matches one more time! Lets just say I was a curious child. I always had to see what exactly was gonna happen after that one more time. The result was always the same though – a buss ass.
And my all time favourite…
If you can’t hear den you must feel! This line was usually delivered between slaps, so it came out something like this: If (slap) you (slap) can’t (slap) hear (slap) den (slap) you (slap) must (SLAP!) feel!