Friday, 15 February 2013


Have you ever been threatened with punishment as a child and figured it would be no punishment at all? That's what happened one day to my sister Diane and I when we were small children.

As we sat at the kitchen table one lunch time, Mom brought out a chocolate cake with lime green icing from the fridge. She set it on the table and admonished, "Don't you kids touch this until I get back." Then she left the kitchen to retrieve something from the freezer in the basement.

Diane and I eyed the tempting cake and wished Mom would hurry up. We could think of nothing else as the seconds slowly passed. Diane reached a tentative hand out and picked off a little of the icing. "I'll just have a little taste," she assured her selfe. Then I picked off a flake of icing and ate it.

When it comes to tasty food, there's no such thing as eating just a tiny bit. Dian and I soon began tearing off larger chunks of icing. By the time Mom walked back into the kitchen, we had picked almost half of the icing off the cake.

"Look what you kids did," Mom exclaimed. "I told you not to touch the cake and now you picked off so much icing." Then she interrupted our excuses by pronouncing our sentence. "Since you picked off all that icing, you're going to have to eat the half of the cake without it for lunch. You won't get any milk to drink with it either."

At first, this sounded like an easy punishment. Having nothing but chocolate cake for lunch sounded like a dream come true. Then reality set in. The bites of cake stuck in our throats.

We begged for just a glass of milk but Mom firmly refused our requests. "You didn't listen to me when I told you to leave the cake alone so I won't listen to you now."

Diane and I managed to get all the cake down but it was a hard struggle. We learned our lesson well after that experience. That was a far more effective punishment than a spanking and it also taught us about having too much of a good thing.

I wrote more about my childhood antics in Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School. It and my debut memoir, When A Man Loves a Rabbit, are available from this page. My newly-published book, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity, is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm .

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