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BOTD 10/21-16 " BFTP - 1960 - Price of Prefect's Privilege" A Zac Production

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David M. Katz


A Zac Production

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12 September 1960

Dear Uncle Bransom,

I have the most exciting news.  I have been appointed as prefect! As exciting as this news is, I am now presented with somewhat of a dilemma.  Dear Uncle, I would so much like your advice.

As you know, St. Peter's seems quite keen on wielding the stick and slipper and many a boy here has found himself bending over, sometimes with pants or PJ bottoms down, in Mr. Stewart's study or before an angry master, at least once. Uncle, I do not mean to boast but I have escaped the cane and slipper and not because of wit or craft on my part but simply because I choose to follow the rules.  Anyway, Uncle, they don't make naughty boys in to prefects do they?  Besides the Headmaster, and all of the masters, the prefects are also allowed to keep their charges in line with some swift pain to the backside but there is more to that last part than most boys realise.

Uncle, therein lies my dilemma. It is only when you are made a prefect that you find out that you don't automatically get the authority to use 'corporal punishment'. In order for me to be allowed to whack the other boys then it is required that I experience a whacking myself!  Oh, my heavens no, not because of any shortcoming on my part, but simply because the thinking is that "if I am going to swing it then I need to feel it." So it would seem, that in order for me to have all of the privileges afforded a prefect, I will need to feel what it is like to get a right good thrashing. This is not just for me but all the prefects, even those who have been whacked before.

I must be honest and say that this perturbs me greatly. I do so want to be prefect with all of the rights and privileges that come with the role but I so do not want to be whacked. Who does? Uncle, please keep my confidence, but I must say that the idea of being beaten frightens me terribly! After all, isn't that the whole point of 'corporal punishment'? Uncle, I am also told that it is intended that I receive at least part of my thrashing on my bare bum!

Of course, I could simply decline to administer whackings but I am worried that the other prefects would think I am a wimp who doesn't want to take the whacking required for the power - even if they would be right. Furthermore, I am most certain that would make a joke of my authority. I am sure all the prefects before me that I can remember have been whackers - some more, and some much more, than others. Admittedly,  I can't remember last year's head boy ever doing it but he must have done it a few times even if most of the time he just needed to look at you to make you behave.

I have desired to be a prefect since I entered St. Peter's and I would think it most befitting that I have full authority that the title affords me.  The idea of being beaten simply disturbs me.

How would you advise me in this situation?

Your loving nephew,


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Last edited by David M. Katz on Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


Editor Extraordinaire
Dear David,

Only you can decide if the privileges of being a prefect who can whack other boys outweigh the pain and embarrassment of the obligatory whacking. My best advice, however, is people usually have more regret for the things they don't do.

Some things you might consider when making your choice:

1) You won't be alone in this rite of passage. Others have gone through it and survived, just as the new prefects will also survive.

2) A whacking you've agreed to take isn't nearly as frightening as a whacking you've earned. The headmaster or whoever gives it won't be angry or disappointed with you -- the opposite, in fact. The context in which we experience pain can make it worse or less. You've probably been hurt playing sports but brushed it off and kept playing, for instance. Think about what this whacking will gain for you to help you put the pain in the right context.

3) The rule has a reason. If you whack other boys, knowing what it feels like should make you more just in meting out punishment. People often forget what punishment feels like, making them too harsh with others. Think of this as a safeguard.

Best of luck with whatever you decide. There is no wrong decision. Do what you feel is best for you.

Love always,

Uncle Bransom

Pi Beta

Dear David,

In a moment of self-promotion, I suggest you read I story I wrote on that new-fangled invention that is yet still to see the light of day called "The Web". Read it, think it through and then follow your conscience.

Uncle Pi


Dear David,

Don't be a wimp. Almost every experience is to be tried once. It won't kill you and may make you more keen to take risks and enjoy life having a good time rather than sticking rigidly to the rules in future.

With love and affection,

Uncle Pi


K Club.


Dear David,

My word, you really have been a good little boy during your time at St Peters! I knew you were naturally well behaved and good mannered, but to go through all your years there without once being whacked is, as a former pupil there myself, almost beyond comprehension.

I knew things there were going to change for the worse when the old Head - Mr Wells - retired. 'Jack the Whack' we used to call him, but not within earshot obviously! There was never a week went by that you didn't feel the cane across your arse - made men of us is all I can say.

And there's another experience you've missed too David. That of having your best friend gently rub some soothing cream into your sore bum after lights out! That made soldiers of us all!

I shall be very disappointed in you if you don't make the right decision.

Uncle Bran



Emlyn Morgan

This boy is making his uncle think too hard. scratch Thinking too much hurts. I give up. I'm just going to send for him and whack him! Smile

David M. Katz

16 Sept 1960


Your letter distresses me. Your late father, my dear brother, would be flipping in his grave to know his son even thought it an option to not take the whacking. Dear God, David, stiffen that lip and grow a pair. It is just a whacking; you'll survive and will be all the better for it. Take the thrashing. Should I hear that you decided otherwise then I shall come to York and thrash you myself.



Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


Yon lad mun be a right jessie to have made it so far wi'yout getting skelped...

Tha shouldst man up, lad; no wonder 't empires not what it were wi' sech cowardice in the young and all...

Leonard Weeks...


Dear David,

I'm glad that you seek responsibility, but it would be sad to accept only part of the role. I understand why you're worried. I called your headmaster, and you have until next week to decide. Therefore, I'll be up to visit you this weekend, and I shall thrash you very thoroughly. After that, you won't be worried about what your headmaster might dish.

Uncle Jack

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."


K Club.

My dear David,

"He can dish it out, but he can't take it." - Is that what you want your charges to say about you behind your back?

You not only need a whacking once, you'll need it again from time to time just so your memory doesn't fade.

Your loving uncle,


I think you need to think this will mark your last year of school and your future life as opposed the temporary marks on your bottom. At heart you wat the full rights of a prefect, may be your authority in your role and I think it one you will come to regret if you dont take the medicine. It will also be a story to tell your grand children. I cant tell you what to d but but only advise .

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