Author: Darren Roache | Date: 01 April 2017
My Grand Uncle John was of the opinion that many of the issues in life that one may have with difficult people, could and should be resolved with two lashes of the Bull Pistle.
The event which I am about to describe may be enshrined in both myth and legend. The accompanying dialog can only be considered hearsay, as much of it is a combination of my recollection of the gist of the conversation which followed the event, coupled with how well I knew my grand uncle. My cousins and I used to sit around seeing who could best speak and sound like Uncle John. I will however assure you that what I am about to describe is a fairly good representation of man himself, Uncle John.
I was about 17 or 18 at the time. One day I witnessed Uncle John and another gentleman in a heated argument. Actually, it was the man doing all of the arguing. Uncle John was behind the counter of his rum shop. Whereas Uncle John was calm and composed, the other gentleman was becoming increasingly agitated, raising and flailing his arms, shouting and hurling insults laced with profanities at Uncle John - poking him in the chest and face. I was somewhat in awe as to how well Uncle John was composing himself, and not allowing himself to be drawn in by this other gentleman's aggravation.
Well, as with all things, all men have their limits, and my uncle was by no means an exception to this. After what appeared to be an eternity - it was actually about 20 minutes or so. Uncle John simultaneously reached behind his bar counter with his right hand, and seized the cantankerous gentleman with his left hand, in a seamless and fluid motion. With the same poetic movement, he repositioned the gentleman to a place of convenience, where he proceeded to administer two very deliberate lashes across the back of this individual with the Bull Pistle that he had just miraculously produced from behind the counter.
The gentleman proceeded to leap a hasty retreat out of the upper floor window of the rum shop. He hit the ground running, down the road towards the local dock where it was said (and I am still to verify this part) he jumped off the jetty into the sea to "cool off", all the time calling for "more water!"
Uncle John was a very educated man. I do know for a fact that he was also very fluent in French, Spanish and Dutch. He was also an extremely well-spoken gentleman, likened unto a West Indian version of Morgan Freeman. His English was perfect and impeccable. I also never heard Uncle John curse, raise his voice or use profanities.
After returning his instrument of chastisement to its storage place under the bar counter, Uncle John poured both himself and me, a drink of rum. The crossing of his hands on the counter was a signal that Uncle John was about to make some great proclamation. In his best display of the King’s English, he began to expound on the virtues of what I had just witnessed. It went something like this:
“My son, what you have just witnessed is the application of one of the most effective tools of correction, The Bull Pistle.”
“Its application must be used sparingly mind you, but most definitely when deemed necessary and appropriate, as was just the case. You see my son, every man has his rightful place in society and it is his duty to occupy this space and maintain his status thus. Unfortunately, every now and again, certain individuals, like the one that has just exited my establishment via my window, who not only forgot his station, but tried to ascend to one which he either cannot maintain occupancy or is way beyond his reach. When such occurs, checks and balances need to be implemented to restore the rightful balance; and in this case, the application of the Bull Pistle."
My uncle takes a swig from his glass of rum. I looked at his hands and was reminded of their vice like grip. I shuddered at memory of the one, or two, or three times in my life that he had reason to grab hold of me for my transgressions. One grab was all it took for me to correct me, or any my cousins misgivings. My cousins and I had this saying among us - "Don't give Uncle John any reason to grab you!
"Please appreciate that the prerequisite number of lashes is 2; no more, no less, as either could kill the individual. We do not propose to remove such persons permanently from society or existence, but merely to redress the balance, correct them and educate them"
Another swig of rum.
"The first lash with the Bull Pistle is a check lash; it forces the individual to pause, to stop dead in his tracks. Time virtual stops for him. It is actually, if I must say so, a near death experience, that affords him the time and opportunity to ponder on his indiscretions. You see my son, even though the first lash incapacitates the body, the mind is still very much intact and alert. The mind races, allowing the patient's very life to flash before his eyes in a twinkle. It appears to be an eternity for him although it is only but a brief moment before the second lash is, and must be administered. If one delays to deliver the second lash, the individual could succumb to the experience, and we certainly would not want that. During this eternity of mind, this individual is forced to confront his actions of distant past and near present including the events that have led up to him receiving the first lash. He is forced to face the errors of his actions and his ways."
Another swig of rum.
"When the second lash is delivered, the mind returns to reality and the body is awash with the pain of both lashes. Until the second lash is delivered the individual is in no pain. The individual now experiences an epiphany, and a realisation that the place where he is presently standing is not the place that he wishes to remain. The pain triggers his adrenal system and gives him super human strength and speed, necessary for him to retreat from his unrighteousness, post haste, to the nearest large body of water that he could find. He feels the need to both quench his thirst and cool countenance. He will not likely grace your presence for any time in the near foreseeable future."
Another swig of rum.
At this point I wanted to bust out laughing from the mere ridiculousness of what I had just listened to. However, conventional wisdom based on what I had just witnessed, and knowing Uncle John's intolerance of disrespect strongly discouraged me, and dictated that I maintain my composed and respectful silence. I was certainly not willing to have the theory of the dynamics of a Bull Pistle lash that was just explained to me, tested on me. That, coupled with the fact that my uncle appeared quite focused on the pains he was taking to educate me thus, I was certain that he would not be hesitant to just as swiftly apply said Bull Pistle to my backside.