Re: HIST: Eisenhower and Cincinnatus (was: Neal Stephenson's new essay)

my inner geek (
Sun, 15 Aug 1999 16:27:58 -0700 (J. R. Molloy)wrote:
> > "I think that people want peace so much that one of these days
> > government had better get out of their way and let them have it."
> > --Dwight D. Eisenhower

I believe that when my father was in the NSA his function was to decode messages for direct delivery to President Eisenhower. He said his status was "CNO Crypto". Something like "Chief Naval Officer Top Secret Cryptographic" or something like that.

I always suspected that our civilian life in our home at 111 Mizar Place in Vandenberg Village was a "deep cover" assignment to generate two healthy male bodies: gluttons for punishment that could withstand endless criticism.

The street next to Mizar, called "Alcor", was where I was first introduced to "Play Dough". I tried to eat it, but it was too salty.

Our next door neighbor was the president of a local bank. One day his son, about my age, invited me over to show me his treasure. He had a little toy combination safe filled with silver dollars.

He got bored after a while and shifted his attention to his spirograph. When he wasn't looking, I slipped one of the silver dollars into my pocket, figuring he wouldn't notice it missing.

I forgot about the silver dollar until the next day when my father found it in the laundry basket, still in my pants. My father asked "where did you get this?" By his tone, I knew he was angry and that I was in trouble. I couldn't tell him the truth or I'd be dead! I said, "I found it." He said "Where did you find it?" I searched my mind frantically for a likely location, but panicked and walked to my brother's bedroom closet and pointed to the floor.

My dad knew I was lying. He said, "Son, I think you're lying to me." "If I find out you're lying, I'm going punish you like you'll never forget!" I started crying and told him I stole it from Todd, the bankers son next door.

He made me take it back to Todd and apologize to him and his mother.

When I got back, he said "Son, you're in trouble, and you're going to get punished. It's bad that you stole the silver dollar, but it's worse that you lied to me. I'll give you choice: do you want to be restricted to you're room for a month, no going outside to play, or do you want a spanking. I thought about it, and chose a spanking.

He said, "O.K. I'm gonna give you another choice: do you want me to spank you with my hand, or with a belt?" My dad's hands were huge and heavy, so I said "A belt." Then we walked into his bedroom, opened up his closet where he kept the rifles, and we looked at all the belts hanging there.

"You get to decide, Son. Do you want a fat belt or a skinny belt?" I thought about the weight of the belts, and decided on a skinny belt. "Take off your pants!" I started crying. "Shut up and stop crying or I'm gonna spank you even more! Now take off your pants!" I took off my pants. "Now pull down your underwear." I cry and pull my underwear down to my ankles.

"Son, ask much as this is going to hurt you, it hurts me even more. But it's important that I teach you a lesson that you'll remember for the rest of your life! I'm gonna spank you across you butt 20 times, and I'm going to let you count out loud, up to twenty. Now bend over on the bed!" I cry. "Shut up and stop crying!"

The first whack was loud painful. I screamed at the top of my lungs and yelled "Daddy! Please please!" and I put my hands back to cover my behind. "Son! I love you very much and it hurts me to have to do this. But later in life, when you get older, you'll understand. Now count, that was 1".

Whack! This one was even worse. I think maybe the belt missed my buns and hit the back of my thighs. I screamed. "Count!" "Two!"

Another crack! This time I noticed that I didn't have any louder cry, and that it was best to scream "Three!".

Then I started sort of drifting out of my body, and decided that I hated my dad. I decided that when I grew up I was going to something to try to stop this from happening to other kids.

"Four!" etc..

By the time we got to twenty, I was amazed at my tolerance for pain.

My dad hugged me, with tears in his eyes, and said "Son I love so much. But so help me god, if you ever lie to me again, I'll kill you. Now go to your room."

For some reason, I never was able to remember my multiplication tables. I hate money.