No, it won’t be the first (nor, I think I can safely say, last) punishment, in my 4 plus years with my Master. But, it was a first time for this sort of punishment (sadly, also probably not the last), and my first time writing for The Punishment Book, which makes enough firsts to inform the title, I say!
In my last post on my blog, “New World Order,” I wrote about the new arrangement my Master and I have come to, regarding discipline and punishment and how they will fit in our lives. In it, I discuss the dubious joys of Cod Liver Oil....
Well, now I’ve had a taste of it, and let me tell you, no “spoonful of sugar” is gonna help that medicine go down!
But before I get to that, I should discuss why this sort of thing is going to be happening to me at all.
I blame Tom & Jerry. It was after seeing the cartoon “Baby Puss,” as a wee girl that I became obsessed with the idea of “Castor Oil” as a punishment. (Of course, the reason I’d paid such attention to the cartoon in the first place was that it starts with the threat of a spanking with a hairbrush! It also left me with some other interesting ideas, but that’s a post for another time!)
Uncyclopedia humorously states: “Castor Oil is one of the oldest forms of punishment for children, with use going back to the Neolithic era. Until the early 1980s parents found it almost as effective as spanking, although it has, along with lynching, suffered a downturn in recent years due to political correctness.”
Continuing in the humour, this time unintentional, The New York Times published an article called “Subsitutions” on April 4, 1884, which includes this jewel: “So great is the juvenile horror of castor-oil that all parents know that not even the threat of a severe flogging can induce a small-boy [sic] to swallow the nauseous dose ... It follows that castor-oil as a punishment in schools is far more to be dreaded than flogging, and should it be generally adopted, small-boys will everywhere petition for the restoration of the rod.” (For any spanko, it’s worth reading the whole thing!)
And from the wonderful CorPun website, we get the “Home Office internal memorandum, 14 June 1923 Knowle Hill (Kenilworth, Warwickshire) Training School for Girls Notes by Miss Wall.” After an “Outbreak Of Insubordination” (whee!):
“Miss Langley then spoke of Ethel Milton, 13-5/12, who had had 12 strokes of the tawse on the seat. She said that a few days after this Ethel started bouncing a ball in the passage and knocking it against the office door on purpose. She did not feel that Ethel had sufficiently recovered from corporal punishment on the seat for her to administer another whipping, so she said she was to have one tablespoonful of castor oil. This she refused, so she was given two, which she took.”
Whoops! That was a punishment fail, at least for Miss Ethel Milton!
It continues: “I asked Miss Langley to discontinue giving castor oil as a punishment [...] I also asked Miss Langley to consider whether, now that the school was in better order, she would be able to administer corporal punishment on the hands instead of on the seat. She demurred about this and said the girls had been told they would get it on the seat, and she did not think they would pay attention to any milder form of corporal punishment. She also said that she understood it could be administered on the seat to a girl of any age, under or over 16, and said she felt entitled to give it to a girl of 18 if the case necessitated it.”
Back in the states, it was also used for corporal punishment:
“Another form of punishment my parents applied was a good dose of Castor Oil. This was usually meted out whenever we kids dared "sass" our parents. Don't ask me what how a dose of castor oil was supposed to cure a "sassy mouth," since it gave you the squirts; but believe me, it worked, perhaps because it tasted almost as vile as Lifebuoy soap. But the worst—even worse than Lifebuoy soap and castor oil—form of punishment my parents delivered was the 'Switch.' ”
(The article continues, divertingly: “But my parents, being innovative, found another use for their peach trees, and that was making "instruments of correction" for their children. In case you didn't know it, peach branches—the new green ones, not the old brown ones—are extremely flexible and pliant and make fantastic switches. In fact, they make far better switches than mimosa branches, which tend to be brittle and snap off after a good whack or two on your child's behind or bare legs. Let me ask you: have you ever been whipped with a switch off a peach tree? If not, then you have no real understanding of pain. Trust me, it hurts and then some. Fact is, being flailed with a peach branch stings like no other sting you will ever experience. Forget a belt. Forget a fly flap. Forget a wet dishrag. A peach switch is the winner no hands down.
So, with that in mind, here's my point (And you didn't think I had one). I think today's children would greatly benefit from a good old-fashioned switching with a pliant peach branch. In fact, I may just start a company—Switches Unlimited—and sell peach branches on E-bay. Who knows? Maybe it'll start a fad, and parents all across the nation will begin flailing away at their rotten little kids with peach switches; and before we know it, children will once again be children instead of miniature adults who think the world revolves solely around them.”)
Now, by this point, some of you may be wondering where I am going with this post, because I was not given Castor Oil, but Cod Liver Oil. Well, although the former does have its benefits, and we may use it in the future, the latter is even safer (no “squirts”!) and is more immediately effective in that it tastes like a fishery has died in your mouth.
My Master was suitably impressed by the effectiveness of this method by watching my face immediately upon my swallowing my dose. In the end there were two expressions: my face, screwed up in sensory misery and much self-pity, and his in absolute sadistic delight that he couldn’t hide for the world!
What had I done to deserve this punishment?
Ah.... [sigh] I have this habit of dealing with emotional situations by getting all worked up (generally about unimportant or not-even-real side issues) and then crying and getting so upset that it takes way longer for my Master to deal with the situation (which generally goes: Calm Zille down. Try to discuss rationally. Calm Zille down again. Re-attempt to figure out what is A.) the Real Problem and B.) what are Zille’s Issues. Possibly calm Zille down again. Finally get The Point across to her and watch her have an “Oh! Sorry about all of this!” moment. Give Zille hugs because she is upset.) than was even remotely necessary, and is very frustrating for him. Once I get to my irrational place, I honestly don’t even try to meet him halfway, or to fight my downward spiral of emotions and negative thoughts.
I don’t want to be like that. I’m on an anti-depressant which works very well. I meditate (not often enough, of course) so I know I can focus my mind. I have the tools to make this sort of thing happen less frequently, possibly, after a lot of work, almost never. It’s laziness on my part that I don’t try to keep myself from repeating a negative pattern which I know all about (from years of experience of it repeating exactly the same way every time) and could do something about, even just starting with baby steps. (Like, you know, actually listening to him on the first go-round!)
And, realistic expectations aside, what we have agreed to is that, to keep his excessive zeal for “fairness” to keep from getting in the way (so that he never punishes me at all, because he always talks himself out of it, because it could somehow always be “unfair”), I have to accept that sometimes, a punishment may not be what I consider fair. Which I think makes me like any child who is being punished, come right down to it!
The way he is able to do this is by using less severe forms of punishment (you will all hear about The Despised Paddle soon enough, I’m sure), and using something like Cod Liver Oil. It’s a “win-win-win” situation. Firstly, instead of him just ending up feeling frustrated and vexed at me, he makes me submit to him – and this makes us both feel better, because he wants me to submit to his will, and I want him to make me so that I feel loved and cared for. So now the situation ends quite differently, with us both happier about the conclusion (even if I do have to use mouthwash repeatedly for the rest of the night!). And, if upon later reflection, perhaps it wasn’t an entirely-merited punishment, well, who got hurt? Not me – I just got a tablespoon of vitamins and minerals.
When we originally discussed the idea, I told him that I thought it would work best if he made me go to the kitchen with him, and he got out the bottle and poured the spoonful and made me open my mouth, because that would make me feel most like a kid again, most off-balance and powerless. He agreed.
And that’s how it went down. After he’d helped me through my emotions, and I’d come out the other side and gotten my hugs, he informed me that I would now be getting a Cod Liver Oil punishment. That focused my attention, I have to tell you! I think I can safely say that feeling bad about letting things get all emotionally out-of-hand and jumping to all sorts of conclusions has really not caused me to take the effort not to do it again, the next time things came up.
But when my Master said I was being punished, suddenly things got very concentrated. I asked him why, and he explained. Suddenly, things were very calm and clear in my head. (I also calmly and clearly didn’t want any Cod Liver Oil, but that was another matter!) I didn’t argue, just asked why, and accepted the answer.
I didn’t leap up to go take my punishment. (I’m not sure what I looked like in the moment, very still I imagine.) My Master said, gently but firmly, that I asked for things to be like this. It was a real test of the moment; because this is new for both of us, and he needs confirmation and assurance as much as I do. I replied that I understood, but he really couldn’t be expecting me to be eager to take my punishment! He smiled, and the test was passed, and we moved forward...
Forward to the kitchen! There he cracked open the new bottle of Ick Oil, and I watched nervously. I know my parents actually gave me the stuff as a child (not as punishment, but health supplement – my mom was a health nut), but I couldn’t remember the taste – I just knew it wasn’t going to be pleasant....
“Would you like me to warm it?” My Master interrupted my recollections. “What?!” I replied, aghast. He reiterated the offer. I asked him why on earth he’d want to do that (Hoping “Extreme sadism,” wouldn’t be the answer!) and he said, “Well, it might be too cold!”
Ooooh. He thought he was being nice. I repressed a shudder, and explained that I’d really rather have it cold, thank you, because warming it up would only make it fishier and more vile. “Ah hah,” he said, storing the information for the future – this time I couldn’t repress the shudder, and I kicked myself for volunteering information!
He poured the viscous toxic waste into the spoon. Oh no. This was happening. I looked around, hoping perhaps a natural disaster would occur and we’d have to leave. Fire? Earthquake? Anything?
He held the spoon out to me, and I’m proud to say I only backed up a little bit. He reached out and grabbed my nose (had he been watching that damned Tom and Jerry cartoon?!) and I considered the situation, as the spoon hovered in front of my mouth.
This was the first time, and it would be affirming and confirming our new situation, which I really wanted to work. So I ought to open my mouth and just accept things. Yes, now....
The Ick Oil was deposited in my mouth. I swallowed fast. At first, nothing but an oily feel. Okay so far … and then, suddenly it was an oil-spill with thousands of dead sea creatures, all in my mouth and throat.
He hugged me to him, and told me he was proud of me. I just wanted to rinse my mouth, and as soon as I could speak again for the vileness, I begged to be able to do so. He was very kind about that. Although it took a long time for that taste to go away. Also: no matter what, just don’t burp for hours. Just don’t!
I think this punishment will turn out to be very effective. Perhaps maybe I should “petition for the restoration of the rod”!