By Daddy X
This is a true story as I remember it from over 55 years ago. Names of the innocent have been changed.
Mother Meriam Theresa, school principal, also taught my seventh grade class. She wasn’t one of those really mean nuns, at least not purposefully so. One day in religion period, she was expounding on the virtues of a scapular, a kind of Catholic ju-ju that drapes spaghetti-strap style over the shoulders. Flat paper or cloth pendants illustrating some religious importance hang between the ‘angel bones’ as well as on the chest.
A disturbance broke out in the back row--two boys laughing uncontrollably.
“Mister Farley? Mister Keane? Exactly what is so funny back there?”
I managed, “Nothin’ Sist… Sis- t-thhh-hahaha…”
Mister Keane? What do you have to say? I heard your voice.”
My buddy Roger sputtered, “Snikkk … ptsccchtcc ... Tgaaahhhahaha-“
“If you boys won’t tell me what you said, the entire class stays after school!”
A collective sigh settled over the room. It was now obvious to Roger and I what would happen. Hand smacks. More common infractions usually called for the regular light pine rulers that weren’t too bad. Not as awful as the triangular oak ones. But as it stood, Roger and I knew what he had blurted out was serious punishment material. We were both scared to tell, but we had also seen such transgressions in this class before, and how the good mother dealt with them.
The black clad nun’s florid features now bulged from their starched white frame. “So, Mister Keane, what was it you whispered? I know it was you,” she said.
Roger looked at me and burst out laughing again.
“What was it? Mister Farley, I’m addressing YOU! What did Roger say?” she asked, staring scarily into my eyes.
“I’m not ratting,” I said. “I’m not gonna rat on anybody. You know I won’t, sister.”
And she knew I wouldn’t. We’d had several challenges to my determination already. I had always prevailed in the past, on one occasion standing at the back of the class all day for an entire month in lieu of an apology.
Roger was a stand-up dude, so he finally told the nun that he’d thrown his scapular down the cesspool.
“Whhhaat?” she was livid.
“S-Sorry sister,” stammered Roger, head down, shaking from his incessant giggling.
We knew what would happen. She’d beat us. She’d beat us like the other nuns had done before. When an angry nun holds your fingers back and smacks your stretched-out palm with the ruler of her choice. I wonder if they used to talk about technique among themselves at night in the convent.
Mother Meriam would start slowly, each whack a little harder, until the sixty-something woman was hopping in place in time with the blows. Face flushed, getting increasingly out of breath, she’d become quite excited. After some arcane number of smacks, likely limited only by her stamina, she’d let up in sharp gasps of air.
The holy woman then shuffled back to her desk and sat down to catch her rather elusive breath with a sly grin growing slowly across her lips. A puddle would remain where she had delivered the beating. She’d smile deep into the victim’s eyes from her chair at the head of the room as her body shook from a silent chuckle.
After a couple months in her class we knew what would happen if anybody misbehaved. Sometimes one of us would do something just to produce such a response. The spectacle of this highly regarded woman of god pissing (?) herself was right up the proverbial alley of eleven year-old boy-humor. Tough kids of that age are able to take a lot of pain, and are proud to demonstrate the trait. We knew nothing of D/s or S/M. Squirters’ and other sexual determinations hadn’t been brought up yet in public. It really didn’t hold much for a boy’s imagination beyond the scatological, but we did know on some level that something was very amiss.
Of course, if Roger or I had told anybody about the beatings we’d received, we would’ve had to deal with it all over again with our parents. Such holy women wouldn’t hit a child (for Christ’s sake) that didn’t deserve it. They finally took me out of Catholic high school in tenth grade when I was brought home in an ambulance. Our high school teachers, of course were men… Priests. I found they hit much harder than the nuns, especially when you block their first punch.