Getting the Cane (Real Life)

From: JSlipper ([email protected])

Anyhow here's the letter I sent to my good friend Z after we had discussed our love of spanking against our hatred of real spankings for kids. Z wanted to hear a story from way back when I was a boy, not so she could get off on it, but so she could get to know a friend a little more. I sent it to her as a birthday pressie. I'd never discussed the incident in detail with anyone before but I was well willing to tell her about it. She suggested I post it here, so sod it I will. This all took place in about 1977 just as the Clash were making it big.

You'll hear this again in the letter, everything that I say that happened here happened, no exaggeration, possibly understated.

Dear Z,

So my little green friend, here's something for your birthday. Something that may answer questions for us both. This is all true, as I remember it happening. I've had to fill in some gaps, and obviously this is a dramatic account but if anything I think I'll find it hard to convey just how dramatic the whole experience was for me.

It was around February, I know this because I'd celebrated my 12th birthday only a couple of weeks earlier. I attended a middle school, a mixed comprehensive as we call them here , in the North East of England.

The school itself was a pretty good place to be, I did quite well and was pretty popular with all of my schoolmates. Part of the reason I was popular was because I was something of a tearaway. I'm not talking hoodlum here, just the normal kind of things twelve year old kids did around my way, stealing the occasional packet of sweets (candy) and fighting - oh, lots of fighting. As a result of all of this I kind of considered it an occupational hazard that my backside would sometimes get a whacking; when I was a little boy this would involve my mother's hand across my shorts or occasionally I would get into big trouble at primary school and get a dose of the slipper (more of a gym shoe really). All of this was no big deal to me, sure it stung a bit and if carried out in front of the class by a teacher it was slightly humiliating, but hey like I said, it was no big deal. I never remember feeling particularly aggrieved by any of this, it was just the way it was round our way, mothers would not think twice about spanking a naughty boy or girl and kids would be back out and playing minutes after a session over their mum's knee.

I was a bright kid, my Mother used to tell me so anyway; "too bloody clever by half" was the way she would put it. so my mouth would get me into trouble sometimes. My parents always taught me to question things, if I didn't understand something I was to ask for an explanation, politely mind, always politely. And it was just that; asking for an explanation that led to the event that we started to discuss when I suddenly clammed, and it was an event that will stay with me forever.

It was a Thursday afternoon, we'd just had a double games period and and it was time for our History class, aside from playing football and rugby, history was one of my favourite lessons. We were studying 20th Century history and particularly the Irish question. "The troubles" as they are known here were very much a part of daily life in Britain at the time, there was always an item on the news every night about a car bomb in Belfast, a British soldier shot dead by a sniper or another hunger strike at the Maize prison. I don't really know how many other twelve year old boys were as deeply interested in politics as I was, I was encouraged to be, my parents were both dyed in the wool socialists, and politics was as interesting to me as was my passion for Newcastle United football team.

Anyway the teacher Mr Brammer, a man with as much charisma as a particularly uncharismatic thing with all of the charisma sucked out of it, was reading aloud from the text book. The passage he was reading concerned the formation of the Irish Republican Army. Everyone was busy making notes and scribbling down the wisdom imparted from the book. We'd been studying the second world war in the previous term and we'd learnt about the heroic partisans of Yugoslavia and Greece, I had been fascinated by their bravery, men and women who had risked everything to fight against an occupying force. I'd imagined myself as a brave partisan fighter, pitting my wits against the Germans, the good guys against the bad guys, pure and simple. We'd had the term "freedom fighters" explained to us; men who fought against an occupying force. Our history teacher continued to read about the reasons behind the British presence (not occupation mind you, presence) in Ireland and the fight against terrorism that ensued.

And that's when I piped up, not because of some dark political motive, (I was twelve for christ' sake), but because I needed to understand what I was being taught. I asked, and this is how I remember asking, "Excuse me Sir, what's the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist?"

He put down the book, looked me straight in the eye and said "Are you trying to be clever boy"

I was genuinely confused, why did he seem so annoyed, it was a simple question. So I answered him.

"No Sir, just you told us that the people fighting the Germans were freedom fighters against an occupation and I just wondered if it wasn't because they were on our side and the IRA isn't"

He now looked extremely pissed off and I should have just shut my mouth, but his reaction to being asked a question must have annoyed me, and okay I'll tell the truth, the reaction of my smiling schoolmates was egging me on.

As I write this I'm beginning to realise why what happened, happened. (g)

Mr Brammer walked slowly over to my desk and said something like. "If you wish to discuss this with me after school, that can be arranged"

I knew he didn't mean that we would discuss anything, I knew that what he really meant was I was heading for a detention. And then I said it, ask me why now and I could probably tell you, I was a smartass, I knew he was getting embarrassed and didn't like to be questioned and again, in truth I thought he was a bit of a prick. I should have shut up, the whole class had gone silent and was staring straight at us. The atmosphere was, well to me, it was just... very exciting. Yep then I said it, "Sir, if you don't know the difference just say so I'll ask..."

Oh my god, I'm actually laughing as I write this, what was I thinking?

I'd barely got the words out of my mouth when WHAP! his hand cracked into the side of my head. I was lifted out of my seat and dragged out of the door. I knew that I'd gone too far and that this was a bit serious.

His slap had brought tears to my eyes but no way was I going to let the bastard see that. We'd both gone very quiet, I just remember his hand on my shoulder pushing me toward the head's office and plonking me into the chair outside. With a barked "Stay there boy!" he disappeared into the study.

I remember thinking I'd probably pushed a little too far, I'd never gone so far as to have to visit the head but I knew that mates who had, had always got the cane and they had told me that it was very different to getting the slipper. The thought of just getting up and going home crossed my mind, if I just explained to my mother that I'd only been asking for clarification on a point she would understand. I'd leave out the cheeky bit, she'd let me stay home and she'd look after me. I remember that the longer Mr Brammer was in with the head the more scared I got. After what seemed like an age the door opened and Mr Brammer came out, he didn't say a word to me, just walked off down the corridor. I heard a 'come in' from behind the door and stepped inside.

Mr Gallen the headmaster had always seemed very scary to me, even though we only got to see him at morning assembly where he would deliver some kind of homily that was designed to make us better members of society, he always seemed annoyed. When I think back now, he was a rather scrawny little bloke, bald with thick black framed glasses and a fixed frown. When you are twelve however, even scrawny little blokes appear intimidating when they are in positions of authority. He was seated behind a large oak desk, staring at me over his glasses. He stared at me for what seemed like an age, he said nothing he just stared at me. I was beginning to really worry, I think I was actually shaking and I think, no I know that I was trying very, very hard not to cry. I know that there was no way I was going to cry though, I never, ever let anyone see me cry, boys just didn't do that where I was from.

And then he spoke; he asked me why I thought that I was better equipped to teach history than Mr Brammer, he asked me why I thought that I had the right to question the authority of a trusted member of staff, he asked me what made me think that I could humiliate a senior teacher and get away with it. All of the time he was asking me theses questions he never wanted to hear an answer. He never let me open my mouth once, he just fired off question after question and all the time he was pacing around me, sometimes leaning in to my face to make a point. When I was sure that he had stopped talking I opened my mouth again and said in what was probably a very trembly voice "But I only wanted to know what the difference was between a...."

And that was it, that was when he exploded.

"You just don't know when to shut up do you boy" He was almost spitting.

He walked over to a cupboard in the corner of the office and pulled out a long thin cane. He crossed back over the room to me and pointed it in my face, very quietly he said "I imagine a session with this will teach you some manners boy!"

Now I've told this story before, in a bar with some mates, not in such detail as I am going into here, just as a brief contribution to a light hearted chat me and the lads were having about getting whacked at school. A bit of a giggle and a lot of bravado. What I neglected to tell them as we shared a laugh was this: As soon as he waved that cane in front of my eyes, I started to cry, my legs went to jelly and I thought I was going to faint. He could see I was terrified, he could see he'd won, he could see I was in a blind panic but did he relent? No fucking chance. He looked almost happy.

"Not so big now lad are you? Not so ready with the smart answer now are you? You disgust me! Get those pants down, Bend over and touch your toes"

I was twelve dammit, I was still just a little boy. I just stood there and very quietly said "Please Sir I'm sorry"

"Pants down now boy"

I couldn't move, my fingers went to my belt buckle but they wouldn't work. This seemed to make him furious. He grabbed my belt, wrenched it open and dragged my trousers down to my ankles.

Angrily he took a hold of my hand and pulled me downward till I was bent double.

"Fingers on your toes boy"

As I've said. I'd been bent over for the slipper on numerous occasions, I knew the drill; bend over, touch toes get whacked.

He took two steps back, he needed a run up! All I heard was a switt through the air and then... unless you've ever felt a cane wielded in anger across your bottom you'll never know the pain, it is totally different to play. I didn't just yell out, I actually screamed. At first it seemed like a sharp stinging line of fire, but as he stepped back to let the first stroke sink in the searing pain became a dull throb, suddenly my whole backside felt sore, a pain similar to that of being kicked in the leg at football, but all across my bum.

I honestly believed that that was going to be all, I couldn't imagine anyone would ever purposefully want to hurt anyone else like that. He'd obviously made a mistake and hit me much too hard and now he would let me go.

I heard the whistle again and felt stroke two explode across my bottom, again the searing pain and now I was really scared, he was going to kill me. I was crying so hard my nose started to run. I know I was trying to say something , anything to make him stop but what I was trying to say was lost in my bawling cries.

He laid on another three strokes in quick succession, a line of five from the top of my bottom to the top of my legs, the lower strokes had caught bare skin on either side of my underpants. The last one he must have saved up for, and yes screw it I think the bastard probably enjoyed it. The last one I know he took an extra step back and brought that cane down right across the tops of my bare legs.

I swear this is true, I swear this is no exaggeration I thought I was going to pass out. I heard him return the cane to the cupboard. I heard him say, "Pull up your trousers lad and go". He said nothing else.

I suppose if I'd been a public school boy in a story I may have been expected to thank him for my thrashing and shake hands with him, but this was a comp in a very working class area and all I could think about as I cried my eyes out, pulling my trousers up over my welted bottom was. One day I'm going to fucking kill you. That's what I remember most. I was going to wait a couple of years, I was going to get very big and I was going to come back and kill the little bastard. Instead I left his office still crying. It was now 4.30 and I was late home from school, it was lucky I wouldn't have to see any of my mates, I couldn't have beared to have them see me reduced to this. I picked up my bag from the school cloakroom and walked the hundred or so yards from the school to my house every step agony to my backside and legs.

Post script

Like I told you, all of this happened, it happened to me in 1977. When my father saw the damage done to my backside he wanted to call the police, my mother wouldn't let him. Instead they took me to school the next day. My mam demanded to see the head, his secretary told her she needed to make an appointment. I'm laughing again now, my mother opened the office door and beckoned me and my dad into the office. I'm not saying I would ever have gone through that caning again for anything but what happened next kind of made up for it. My mother tore him apart, have you ever seen the lengths a wild animal will go to to protect its young, nothing I tell you! She told him that we were considering an assault case, she told him that if I misbehaved in school they had her full authority to give me a 'dose of the slipper' (I didn't much like that part) and she told him that if she ever heard of him doing what he had done to me to any other child she would make sure he never worked again. Whilst she did all of this she never once questioned his authority in front of me. She remained rational and quite calm but she made sure he knew he was getting off lightly. She took me by the hand, turned to the headmaster and said "We're leaving now, my son is due in a lesson. I would ask you to consider that whilst he is at school he will need to ask questions, that is how he will learn" My dad had not said a word all of this time, as we were leaving I saw him approach Mr Gallen and say something very quietly to him. He wouldn't tell me what he had said, I asked him repeatedly, but he all he would say was "I was just saying goodbye"

I knew from the look on the head's face that it was a little more than that.

I went out for a drink with my dad about ten years later, we were talking about what a little bastard I was when I was a kid. We talked about the Mr Gallen incident again, he smiled, took a sip from his Guinness and said very quietly "I told him to be very careful walking home from school on the dark winter's nights, anything can happen"

So did getting the cane cure me of my smart mouth? What do you reckon? (g)

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