Scold ‘Em And Mould ‘Em

Are people not doing the right thing? Not thinking the right thoughts? Not obeying your unspoken commands? Well, you may have to go to the next level – you may have to scold them something chronic.

Now scolding has had a bad press – you see medieval torture devices called ” Scold’s Bridles ” in dodgy museums. I suspect they are not medieval at all – they are the frustrated desires of the museum curators cobbled up by local blacksmiths. In any case they are not legal today outside of certain clubs in Belgium – you have no need to fear being bridled.

Brided is another matter. You may be a bride or you may be married to a bride, or just coming to it all by way of an engagement. The stresses of the position are many. These are never relieved by the assistance of the wedding trade nor by the friends and family. If anything, they are made worse as the time for a wedding draws near. Any attempts on your part to ” relax ” or ” have a quiet little affair ” are bound to be swept away in the theatrical rush of it all. Elopement is no cure – it just postpones the pressure until you get back from the honeymoon.

But being a bride is not all scolding. Scolding – or ” pointed criticism ” – is the province of nearly anyone in society who feels that they need to exercise power. Not the power of doing anything themselves, you understand – the power of nagging someone else into doing the tasks. Be you boss, wife, husband, commander, or religious ringmaster, you can exercise the power of the scold far more economically than anything else. You do not need to provide the right answer to a problem – just complain to someone else that they don’t have it.

And you need not do all your scolding before the fact. ” I told you so ” is a wonderful relief if you don’t get what you want….and even more satisfactory if you do. In both cases you can pretend to be right with no-one able to check whether it was going to really be so.

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