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The Biff

by anonymous

Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 14 Dec 1997

What I remember most about corporal punishment in Catholic schools in the early sixties is that there were elaborate rules. We had to carry "deportment cards" in our shirt pockets. Every teacher had a hole puncher in his pocket and if we got in trouble we got punches. Every day after lunch in homeroom, the teacher checked the number of punches. If you had more than five you got sent to Brother Hayes after school. For the four years I was in the place, all I ever saw Brother Hayes do was paddle kids after school and test the microphones before assembly.

After school, there'd be a line outside Brother Hayes's office, which was off the side of the locker room. Outside his door was an old exercise horse. One by one he would check our cards and have us bend over the horse. You had to yank up the tails of your shirt and drop your pants to make sure you weren't padding your ass. Then he'd have at you with a thing called a "biff". Don't ask me why it was called that, but it was It was a piece of leather, like what they used to repair shoes. All I remember was that it hurt like hell.

You got one lick for every demerit punch, plus extras: one if you were a sophomore, two for juniors, three for seniors (you were supposed to know better the older you got.) If you got sent to be biffed more than once in a quarter, your licks got doubled.

I remember we had a big debate going as to what kind of underwear gave you the most protection. This was a time when most guys wore boxers--we just called them "drawers" then--and few were trying briefs. The general consensus was that long-johns were the best. But to be honest nothing really helpled that much. It hurt like hell and the welts lasted for weeks.

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