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Question Of The Day

How Were You Disciplined as a Child?

The days when you could go around slapping any child you wanted to are long gone.

Welcome to Question of the Day. It gives interns something to do!

You can't do anything these days. You can't build your house out of asbestos any more, you can't claim unemployment when you're working… pretty soon, you won't even be allowed to run out into a busy road with a bag on your head! Health and safety's got us by the balls.

Another thing you definitely can't do any more is discipline other people's children. Those halcyon days when you could go around slapping any child you wanted to are long gone. But, thankfully, there are still many living testaments to those simpler times walking around the streets of London. We asked them to regale us with stories from their childhood.


Evelyn, 72, retired.

VICE: How did your parents discipline you as a child?
Evelyn: Smacking, for bad behavior. Also, we had a thing called "the Bogeyman." If I ventured past a certain street, my parents told me he would run off with me. It scared the living daylights out of me.

Lee, 33, barista.

Lee: Mom and Dad made me do chores. If I didn't do something I'd have to mow the lawn, or rake the back garden.

Did you ever have any run-ins with the law?
I used to wear bandanas and hang around outside, so the police always thought I was a gang member and would jump out of their cars when they saw me.

How about teachers at school?
I was mostly well behaved, but one teacher had the worst punishment. She'd make you fill up a one-gallon ice cream container with stones, one by one. She had everyone convinced that she could tell if you did it by the handful, or one by one.

That's insane.
Yes it is insane, but it bloody worked.

Andrew, 47, motorcycle courier.

Andrew: Mom was bad cop, Dad was good cop. If you didn't listen to your mother, then Dad was brought in.

Did they tell you any lies to deter you from getting in trouble?
My dad always had to have his own chair, which no one else could sit on because he had a war wound on his leg. It was only when I grew up that I realized he would have been two and a half when the war ended.

Shit, he really took you for a pack of fools there.
Yes, he did.


What were your teachers like at school?
I went to a grammar school—they just used their voices, really. You can tell by someone's tone of voice if you've crossed the line.

Ever get any heat from the cops?
No—I was terrified of the police when I was younger. I remember they told me off for riding on the pavement when I was ten, and I was terrified they were going to take me home and tell my dad.

Rachel, 27, entrepreneur.

VICE: How did your parents discipline you as a child?
Rachel: I remember my brother being disciplined quite a bit. He was the naughty one. My parents once threatened to take his Ghostbusters toys off him because he slashed the inside of our car with a knife.

Jesus. How about at school?
Me and my friends used to climb out of the windows and smoke weed in the park across the road. I remember one of the teachers saying: "I know what you do at lunchtime."

What do you think gave it away?
I dunno, but one time we decided to buy a cooked chicken from a supermarket and put it in our locker. The smell must have wafted down to the staff room. We got a week's detention for that.

Eric, 50, roof thatcher.

Eric: My parents were quite laid-back with me. My dad ran a pub, so I'd just go and hang out there.

What about your teachers? Any nasty ones?
Of course. I never really got into trouble, though. I got lines once for drawing a cartoon on my notebook.

Lines for a cartoon? That's pretty harsh. Do you have your own children?

Are you strict with them?
My son is well behaved. He's actually graduating today, we're about to meet the Prince of Wales.

Wow, look at you. I guess those lines did the trick.

Previously - What's the Worst Lie You've Ever Told?