As a lad, I would sometimes lie to my Mama. Usually, it was a "save my ass" lie: I had done something bad, something to guarantee a whipping, but I would get a fools's notion that I could fool Mama and avoid the punishment if I lied.
Of course, the Number One rule was that Mama was never fooled. She DID, however, feel that lying was a worse sin than whatever I had just done that I was trying to cover up, so lying ALWAYS got punished.
Mama punished we kids' lying by washing our mouths out with soap, usually Lava soap. It was a VERY strong soap, a soap to get the worst grime off of hard-working hands and the worst lies or cursing out of juvenile mouths. I was usually caught in my lie while she was standing in the kitchen. She would give me a chance to recant the lie while she glared down at me, hands upon her hips, and sometimes I would, but then there were times that I persisted in the lie. "Doubled down", as it were. Events proceded by rote after that.
First, she would slowly drag the kitchen step-stool over in front of the sink, then point at it. That was my cue to hop up on the stool. Then she would say her piece, usually like this, "Boy, you could not convince me that is the truth if you swore it upon a Stack of Bibles." Next, she would run the sink water and work up a big lather with the Lava Soap, then turn to me, command, "open up", and put her soapy hand inside my mouth, transferring most of the soapsuds into my young, lying yap. I was not allowed to spit out the soap for a while, the length of that seemingly-long while dependent on the intensity of the lie. Finally, I could spit, and if it hadn't been too bad a lie, I could rinse out my mouth with water. If it HAD been a bad lie, I could spit but then had to sit, with plenty of time for that awful soapy taste to linger in my mouth.
What, you ask, made me remember this youthful corrective routine of my late Mama's?
Go below the fold. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Photo courtesy of the Oregonian Newspaper of today, to which I have a paid subscription.