The Ultimate Equalizer — the Power of ‘La Chancla”

Love it when one of my blog posts inspires ya’ll to send me a suggestion…this blog post is presented in conjunction with my great friend and colleague, Christian de La Cruz … I’ll start off this post with Christian’s comentarios:

“Can you do one on the “Power of the Chancla” , and no I am not joking.. My mom used to throw her chancla at me when she would see me bite my nails ( I know..nasty habit”) or she would threaten me with the chancla when she knew I was up to something… “andale cabron, siguele y te tiro la chancla”   LOL

We have all grown up and threatened with all kinds of madness starting with El Cucuy and La Llorona … sure those two might have been out there in the dead of night but did you ever see them face-to face?  The one thing we have ALL seen at one time or another is “La Chancla”.   Soft chanclas fit so comfortably in one’s hand so that the impact is immediate with little effort across the side of one’s head, bottom, or legs.  The harder chanclas are the best for throwing across a room — duck fast or you can be hit by a flying chancla — then again, that was likely the intention, que no?

My Aunty Vina (RIP) used to tell my Grijalva cousins, “you want the shoe?”  LOL  and let’s not forget the mighty “manguera” water hose that was broken out from time to time!

What about Hot Wheel Tracks?  My Aunty Jenny (RIP) was a master at holding them in such a way that, once you saw the track, you settled down QUICK.  And we will NEVER forget the time that she actually USED the Hot Wheel Track!

Anyone get the ‘vara’/tree branch?  My friend Mario used to tell the story about his Mom asking him to go a pull off a branch from the tree for her, so there he goes, todo happy…only to return the ‘vara’ to his Mom which was then subsequently used to whip him por ‘travieso’ LOL

If you didn’t put your head up right in the morning while your hair was being combed — and MANY of us had LONG hair which had to be braided or put into ponytails daily — you ran the risk of getting thumped on the head with the hairbrush!

The belt?  How many times did we hear “lemme get that belt” … and that was ALL we needed to hear to stop driving our parents crazy!

I’ve heard of folks experiencing getting hit with spoons, celery stalks, “matamoscas” flyswatters, ironing board cords, you name it … and, as long as it was done in “fun” and not at an abuse level,  war stories of what parents were willing to do to keep us in line can make for a fun time with more than smiles, but straight-up ‘carcajadas’/laughs!

But the ultimate equalizer, to this day, for many of us, remains “La Chancla” … I mean how ‘rancho’ can you get?!   And when you’re older and you remind your parents about the “chancla” – it’s usually veeery funny!

I have no children so my question for all of you parents who grew up “espantados”/afraid of certain types of footwear … do you now threaten your kids with “la chancla”?


5 thoughts on “The Ultimate Equalizer — the Power of ‘La Chancla”

  1. You made me laugh so hard right now…. For me, it was ANYTHING my Mom found near her to throw it at me, or hit me with. No joke!!!
    Now that I am a parent, chanclas aren’t mentioned, but “CHILE and La Paleta” are the two main ones we use to threaten these unruly boys! However, we never get to use them. Its funny to see them either squint thier eyes, or flinch, or duck down if they see the “paleta” in sight!!! My youngest knows was “chile” is and all I have to do is show him the Tapatio bottle and he RUNS!!!! Waving his hands in the air saying no no no chile!!!

    (Paleta is the term central americans use for the wooden spoon)

  2. Lifted from my email address: Here are Rebecca’s comments:

    Guess I was a big coward, all I remember was “the look”, as you know, my mother has always been quite poweful…one look and if the situation was severe (like in church) a pinch on my arm so fierce it would stop the bloodflow to my brain!!!

  3. Lifted from my email address: Here are his comentarios:

    You left out being pinched under your arm next to your pits. You know that soft area lol. Usually done by your grand ma ma lol.

  4. I member being pinched under my arm you know the sweet spot. That area that only your mom could find. She called it armpit therapy. I was also hit over the head with a 40 once bottle of old english but that’s neither here nor there lol.

  5. Your recollection of the many objects mentioned brings back too many memories, some funny and others I wish not to recall. But they all served a purpose, to keep us kids in line and well behaved “ninos y ninas”. Today I have four children of my own and they know that if I count to five and they don’t take care of business, the chancla, the cinto, or what ever is near by is going to fly their way. My oldest boys laugh when I miss with the chancla, but when it hits the intended target, they know I’m serious. LOL!

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