…the Big Bid for Infant Freedom… and the dire consequences lurking thereby…

…from the outset, this ol’ Jurassic would like to make it clear that I’m not a strong advocate for needless wholesale corporate punishment… but there are times when the  administration of… of… well… just read on… it’s almost a ‘once-upon-a-time’ true story… over 60 years ago, when Master Gallacher was possessed of all the WURLD-ly knowledge available to a wee five-year-old lad from Dockland Govan in Glasgow… my even wee-er sister was all of three-and-a-half, going on forty… with money always scarce, Mam and Da rarely went out on a date together back then, but on one such blue-moon event, they went off to the cinema (I think it was after the silent movies era, but I couldn’t swear to it)… a very, very, very much older girl of around fourteen or fifteen was detailed to babysit the pair of us… the trouble started the minute the door closed on our parents’ over-the shoulder ‘goodbye…see yeez later’… it was only about 5 p.m., and we generally didn’t go to bed until at least 8 or 9 o’clock… we wanted to build a cardboard box fort around the legs of our tiny dining table… the sitter, Helen Foster by name, resisted all our efforts to construct our castle… we squealed, we screeched, we screamed… proper little brats, truth be known… eventually, when Ms Foster’s back was turned, we made it… the Big Bid for Freedom


…hand-in-hand, this infant Govan version of Bonnie and Clyde bolted through the door and off down the street… the budding Evil Mastermind in me had a plan… about four streets away the River Clyde presented a playground universe… particularly in the form of the free ferries that crossed from the Govan side across to the Partick side of Glasgow… the service shuttled forth and back every 8 minutes… a passengers-only fleet, and more attractive, the vehicular ferry

car ferry

…this was the craft of kids’ dreams… ‘coz it had an upstairs deck with railings from which to scan the length of the Govan shipyards… magic land indeed… we scampered aboard the big boat and stayed there for what seemed like hours, heedless of the panic we’d left behind with the Forlorn Foster Witch… about ten o’clock, we docked on the Govan side for the umpteenth time, and there waiting for us were Mam and Da, and the tearful Ms Foster… the editor should prob’ly draw a curtain over the punishment proceedings when we arrived home… suffice to say, my sister and I had hardly any skin left on our respective criminal backsides when we went to bed…


…did we suffer mental anguish for the rest of our lives from that?… not a bit of it!… if it had happened in these modern times, with all the P.C. nonsense that swills around, we could prob’ly have had Mam and Da locked up in jail for centuries… I reckon I’m the better respecter of proper authority nowadays… but I’m still a bit leary of boats… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

12 responses to “…the Big Bid for Infant Freedom… and the dire consequences lurking thereby…

  1. I was expecting that ending Seumas. Punishment was given out swiftly in those days. I hid in a department store clothes rack and my mother gave swift justice, spanking me in the lady’s restroom. It was a lesson I never forgot. At least she didn’t shame me in front of others. I’ve heard that kind of trick is somewhat common with children. She spotted my little shoes under the hanging clothes. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Public canings at school assembly – just to crank up the day – were the ultimate humiliation in my era. Probably accounted for the eight schools I attended before enlisting at 15.


  3. Spoil the child indeed, just look around. When our boys were of age about on the cusp of teenage hood, we as parents were warned sternly by a very serious 12 year old, that he would have us, his parents, arrested and put in jail if we so much as touched a hair on his fair head. I pointed to the ceiling, and advised him that if I was in jail where would he go, for with out a payment to the mortgage, his beloved roof, and bedroom and 3 squares would all vanish. I told him to remember that newspaper was a good insulator against the cold of the damp earth in his new home to be. Of course I had settled down by then, but he was this close to getting one upside the back of the head, just a wee brain rattle mind you. Why would I hit a child you ask? Because he called his mother a nasty word, and deserved to be tuned up. It was a different time then. My boys are amazing men today, none the worse for wear on their tender bottoms of past.

    Liked by 1 person

    • …I think there are millions of guys like you and I out there, Lockie, who came up that way, and would gladly still behave that way … the world has gone to hell in a hand basket, not the least contributor is a lack of respect and manners … :):) cheers, that man 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Many a time I heard the words “Commere ye wee heathen, so I can take the skin aff your backside wi’ the flat o’ me hand” and many a time that promise was kept!
    Did I turn to a life of crime or civil disobedience and anarchy?
    It taught me all about boundaries, rules and eventually “usin’ the heid for thinkin'”
    I.e., a law abiding, reasonably sensible and successful human being.
    (I mean APE 😀 😀 😀 )

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What is this? The old curmudgeon club. Where there is a club, there is a bar. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your parents would have had the babysitter hanged drawn and quartered for negligence, criminal neglect, attempted infanticide and god-knows-what-all-else.


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