Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Switch (Again)

As I mentioned yesterday, this week is a trying one thanks to the paying job and this little holiday coming up.

The house above is on the way to Haven Beach near Old House Woods. As I was studying the photo for inspiration, the branches stood out. And branches--especially thin ones--always remind me of switches.

Since I'd already written a post on switches last year, and because this is a very busy week with no time for anything except worrying to focus on anything except survival writing, I decided to recycle it. Because that's the kind of quality entertainment we provide here. The Switch Redux. Recycled posts. Repetition, ramblings, ridiculosity and reruns.

(I'm not sure that "redux" is an official word, nor that it's used properly. But surely after reading "ridiculosity" you realize that we're not here to demonstrate anything that is proper.)

And now, without further ridiculosity ado, here's the recycled post from September 2008.

When I was a kid, someone gave us a pony named Thunder, who was the most stubborn animal that ever lived aside from my two sisters.

Whenever I rode Thunder, I'd break a branch--otherwise known as a switch--off a bush to use as a crop, to give her a a gentle tap (and the occasional whack) when she walked instead of trotted; when she stopped dead in her tracks instead of moving forward, and when she reached around and bit me just because I nudged her with my heels to get her to move at all.

She was one ornery (pronounced AHN-ree) pony.

Back in those days, dinosaurs roamed the Earth. And switches were often used on children, usually as a punishment for some wrong doing. Go ahead and call Social Services, but you ought to give them the whole truth, which was we all made out just fine in spite of the fact we were hit with switches, flyswatters made of steel, and hairbrushes made of lead.

But we're not talking about all that, we're talking about switches and I have a story about one switch in particular.

When I was about six, my sisters and I spent the night with my grandmother, Nanny, in Gloucester. Middle Sis and I fought a lot, but not just cat fights. No, these were legendary brawls involving teeth, hair and eyes, hitting, lots of kicking, biting and torture of all sorts.

Nanny knew what a tough job it was to prevent these fights. This particular occasion, to keep us in check, she carefully selected a very large switch from her yard and placed it on a shelf out of our reach but within sight. She told us she certainly hoped she would have no use for it, but reassured us that she wasn't afraid to use it if necessary. Then she returned to the kitchen to fry the best fried chicken ever to touch an iron skillet.

Chesapeake Bay Child, ordinarily a very loving and caring individual, especially to her younger sisters, suddenly felt an evil streak come over her. It hit her like a tidal wave and she could not fight it. For reasons that are not entirely clear, I pulled up a stool, stood on it and grabbed that switch off the shelf. I have no earthly idea why, but I then commenced to walk up to my grandmother, who was wearing a dress and hovering over the stove. I started to hit her bare legs. Yes, Chesapeake Bay Child took a switch to her own beloved, fried-chicken-making, favorite grandmother.

I have no idea how this story ends because I very successfully blocked out anything that happened next. I want to say that in spite of the egregious violation on my part, she resorted to laughter and a phone call to my mother. I don't recall flyswatters or hair brushes being used, so the humor must have outweighed the act of disobedience.

Note: No children, ponies or fried-chicken-cooking Nannys were harmed in the making of this post. A few bushes had their branches torn off, and one ornery sister got her hair pulled, but otherwise everyone came out unscathed. Physically, anyway. The jury is still out on the mental part.


Tune in again tomorrow for another exciting rerun episode of Chesapeake Bay Woman Grasps at Straws Just Days Before Christmas.

And, of course, more ridiculosity. Redux.


Kate said...

I could write a long comment, but really, to sum it up... horses are as scary to me as snakes. I never had a bad experience with either, but I'm not interested in taking chances with them!

WV: buree What I'd rather do with myself when faced with the idea of riding a horse.

Ann Marie said...

I think I just laughed.... like outloud.. I think that is what that sound was!!!!

TSannie said...

that was good...

O dear...my WV is, and I am not kidding you,


big hair envy said...

If I remember correctly, the THOUGHT of being switched was always worse than the actual switching. Of course, that's been about 75 years ago, and my memory may be going.....

WV snobal
If I never see another snobal, it will be too soon!

ghostless said...

Dogwood branches they had enough spring to sting! WV is embed...which is what the branches would do into the back of my calves as a child!

Mrs F with 4 said...

I had no idea you called that a switch - I thought that was just for lights...*sigh* I see there is some way to go before I am completely assimilated.

I have nothing exciting to add.... except my in-laws are on day 2 of a 21 day visit, and I am considering fleeing for the hills. Or somewhere.

WV : slythomb - is that like a stinkbomb, but smellier?

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

You should see what a Weeping Willow switch will do you!

Country Girl said...

My mother used a little red whip. It was thin and stung like the devil. We all hated that red whip, and I being the eldest, took it upon myself to get rid of the whip. I put it on the top of the trash heap pile on trash day and waited for the trash truck to come and cart it all away. Gone forever! Unfortunately, my mother saw me hanging around the trash looking suspicious and came out and confiscated the whip and proceeded to whip me right there. The trash truck arrived while I was being whipped. And the little red whip lived long in our lives.