I must have been about 10-11 years old. And one day I was upset at my brothers about something…actually I think it was about a girlfriend that was over at our house. Anyway, I started chasing one of my brothers with a broom. He runs into the bathroom and I decide to do my best Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan) impression and throw the broom like a spear. I aimed right at him, and I would have hit him too…except he shut the door and the broom went through the hollow core bathroom door.
Now my Dad was old school. He believed in discipline, he believed in the “spare the rod, spoil the child” philosophy. So when I saw that broom sticking into the door panic set in because I knew what my Dad would do to me. I began to devise a plan or I should say a set of negotiations with my younger brothers (age 7 years and 8 years old) about possibly taking the blame for this “accident”. I remember telling Kevin and David that if one of them would take the blame for this mishap, I would take the blame the very next time we got in trouble. But my brothers would not have any part of my little offer.
When Dad gets home and he sees the damage the first thing he does is ask me…Me, being the older and more intelligent one tells Dad, “I didn’t do it, Kevin did it”. So he goes to Kevin and asks Kevin and he says, “I didn’t do it, David did it”. He goes to David, asks David he put the hole in the bathroom door and David says, “I didn’t do it, Wally did it”. Dad was pretty efficient (and smart too)…he then told us to go down to the basement and line up, he was gonna whip us all 3.
We’re all lined up nice in the basement, but before Dad comes down I try to negotiate a deal again and of course it fails again. Dad shows up…he says, “I’m gonna ask you boys ONE MORE TIME who put the hole in the door”. He asks me, I said Kevin. He asks Kevin, and he says David and he asks David and David says Wally.
The next sound we hear is my Dad’s belt swishing through every loop on his pants as he whips that belt and he starts whipping me by holding one arm while I seemingly ran around him crying. Maybe I though that if I ran around him long enough he would get dizzy and fall down, I don’t know. The entire time he’s whipping me he’s saying, I’ll give you something to cry about!! I thought well YEAH you are!
When he got done with me, he started on Kevin and whipped him the same, and then he finally lit into David. He never did get the truth out of us…well, except David.
Years later when we were all adults we were reminiscing about old times and our youth and I said Dad, remember when you whipped us all 3? He said, “Yep, one of you boys threw a broom through the door”. I said yes, and do you know who did that…Dad said, I knew all along it was you. But you boys just needed whipping. It was a helluva lot funnier as an adult than it was when I was a kid.