When I was growing up I was a pretty good kid and did not get punished that much. But when my brother or I really messed up, our dad was fairly strict and would use corporal punishment. This happened maybe five or six times. Even though I am 23 now I still think about those times.
This is about when I was 14 and my brother Jeremy was 11. It was summer and we were with our dad on vacation at a resort on Jackson Brook Lake, in eastern Maine. Every year we would rent a cabin (they called them "cottages") there for four weeks. It was lots of fun, with plenty to do: fishing, swimming and horseback riding, plus baseball with the other kids.
The owner's son was named Randall. He was maybe 16. He showed us how to ride a horse and row a canoe and other neat things. If we didn't have anything to do we would hang out with him. One day the three of us guys were in the boat house on the lake listening to the baseball playoffs on the radio and Randall all of a sudden lights up a cigarette and asks if we want one too. When I was 12 I had gotten in big trouble for smoking -- our mom had died of lung cancer when we were little -- but being normal stupid kids and not wanting to appear uncool, Jeremy and I said sure. So after about five minutes of coughing and feeling like throwing up we got the hang of it. Dad was out on the lake so we would have plenty of warning when he started back for the boat house. What we didn't know was that he had beached his outboard near the cabin. He came into the boat house from the landward side while we are all smoking and listening to the radio facing the lake. He said our names and we about jumped out of our shoes right into the water. He told the two of us, Get back to the cabin right now. We knew we were in big trouble.
There was not much lecturing or talk of any kind on the walk back, which is how I knew he was really mad. Of course all that's on my mind is, am I going to get a spanking. At home he would punish us with a paddle, but as far as I knew, the only paddles here were in the canoes. I was hoping he would not give it to me with his hand as that would be really embarrassing for a guy my age.
When we got inside he told us to go to our room. This was a small bedroom with twin beds. He said sit down. Then he gave us a lecture on smoking, how bad it was for us, how disappointed he was in us, and in me especially for not watching out for my brother, etc. This lasted maybe five minutes. The he said the seven words I was dreading: You're both going to get a spanking.
Jeremy immediately starts blubbering: No Daddy, please, no, I'm sorry. He would always get real upset in situations like this and could sometimes cry for hours. Dad says crying isn't going to get you out of it and you might as well get it over with. No, no, Daddy, Jeremy is wailing. No, please don't spank me. His face is all red.
Dad yanks Jeremy up into a standing position and tells me to get his shoes off, as he tends to kick when he is getting punished. This was first time I had ever gotten it along with my brother, so in addition to being really embarrassed, I was unsure of what to do. I untied the laces on his sneakers and pulled them off. Then Dad undid the drawstring on Jeremy's shorts and pulled them down. Then Dad took off his belt. This made Jeremy even more upset as we had never gotten it with a belt. He starts bawling even louder. Hold him so he can't move, Dad says to me. So I sit down kind of sideways on the bed facing left, and Dad puts Jeremy across my lap. He is bawling and squirming all over the place. I grab his wrists with my left hand and put my right hand on his shoulder and tell him it'll be okay, just hold still. Dad flips up the tail of Jeremy's baseball shirt and then pulls down his underpants. Then picks up the belt. He is standing off to my right, so I really can't see him. But I can sure hear it as he begins spanking. A whoosh and then a crack. Whoosh, crack. Whoosh, CRACK. Out of the corner of my eye I can see the red stripes forming across Jeremy's bare bottom. He is trying to turn his body to the left and then to the right to avoid the blows so I am pushing down on the small of his back to keep him still. I can hardly believe what is happening. I just want it all to be over with real soon.
After Jeremy gets eight or nine licks I feel something warm in my lap. "Dad, he's peeing," I say. Without a word he hauls Jeremy into he bathroom, puts his left leg up on the edge of the bathtub and drapes a towel over his knee. He makes Jeremy bend over it standing up, hands against the tile bathtub wall. He reaches around Jeremy's middle with his left arm and continues the spanking with his right hand. Pow, pow, pow. He is doing this very calmly and methodically, ignoring the fact that Jeremy is yelling his head off. While he is doing this he tells me in a low voice to take my wet shorts off and put them in the bathtub, which I do. Jeremy is still bawling. His bottom is by now a lot redder than his face.
After a few minutes Dad stops spanking Jeremy and tells him to put on his pants and go into the other room. I am sitting on the bed in my football jersey and underwear and sneakers. Dad closes the bedroom door, then he closes the window. Then he picks up the belt. He does not say anything, he just looks at me. So I stand up and kneel down on the little rug next to the bed. Dad says no, just lie down on the bed. So I stretch out on the bed.
I was a tall kid so this is kind of awkward, especially since it is a short bed. My red canvas high-tops are hanging off over the edge. I reach back and pull down my underpants as far as I can and then grab the pillow. I am lying on a mohair blanket and it feels kind of scratchy on my privates. Dad lifts up the tail of my shirt. I can hear the playoffs on the radio in the next cabin.
"Dad," I say, looking back over my left shoulder. "I'm really sorry. I promise I won't smoke again."
"I hope the lesson you're about to learn lasts a long time," he says. "I want you to remember what we talked about."
Then he folds the belt in a loop and for the next eight minutes (by the wind-up alarm clock on the bedside table) proceeds to strap the daylights out of me. There is a mirror over the old-fashioned dresser at the foot of the bed, and it is tilted down so that if I look back I can see myself getting spanked. Soles of sneakers, laces dangling, underpants around knees, white backside with red stripes, red jersey with the number 8, kid crying while he gets it with a doubled-over belt. Slowly crossing and uncrossing my ankles seems to help. In between the cracks (I can count to six between licks) I can still hear the radio next door. After we are done I put on some pants and go outside. Two weeks later, most of the blisters are gone.
I didn't get another spanking until I was 16 and never smoked again until I moved away from home.
Back to Issue01
Back to All the Stories