Too Big For Your Britches VI

From: [email protected] (tbfyb)

The story I'm going to tell now occurred when I was eleven years old and living on an Air Force base in Maine. Before getting down to brass tacks, allow me to set the stage.

One of my great loves, as a child, was pinball machines. Those machines were, for the most part, strictly "off-limits" and when I played them I did so knowing that I would, if caught, get a spanking. Those of you who are old enough, will remember Red Skelton's parody about the naughty little boy who, when considering the consequences of doing something bad would say to himself, "If I dood it, I'll get a whoopping." Then, after a short reflective pause and a shrug of his shoulders would say, "I dood it anyway." Well, that was my attitude when it came to playing pinball. I loved those machines and nothing was going to keep me away from them; not for long anyway.

My mother and father had always assigned me various chores to do about the house, e.g., setting and clearing the dinner table, putting my clothes away after they'd been washed, making my bed, etc.. I was given a nominal allowance for these duties, but given no discretionary spending authority. That is to say, my allowance was "banked" and then doled out when/if my parents felt that I needed money. For example, if I wanted to go to the movies, the movie money came out of my savings. When I went to church on Sunday, the money for the "collection plate" also came out of my savings.

My parents were not particularly religious, they didn't attend church themselves, but they made me go every Sunday. I was a Protestant, and Protestant services were conducted twice each Sunday, once at 9 AM and again at 10 AM; Catholic services started at 11 AM. Protestant services were conducted by an Air Force Chaplain and were supposed to be generic, i.e., 'non-denominational'. In practice, the service reflected the training of the base chaplain (there was more than one); the Protestant minister was, more often than not, a Southern Baptist.

From my parents prospective, the aforementioned financial arrangements seemed ideal. The system was supposed to encourage thrift and, at the same time, teach me the value of a dollar. In practice, it left me "cash poor" and, more than anything else, encouraged theft.

I needed money to support my "pinball" addiction. To obtain this money, I'd sneak behind the BX (the military's equivalent of a 7-11 store), raid the area where the BX stored its empty (deposit) bottles, and then turn these recycled bottles in for a further refund. I wasn't greedy. I'd usually limit my take to five empty quart bottles (@ 5 cents each), collect a quarter for my trouble, and run off to the snack bar or bowling alley. These were the two locations where I satisfied my pinball cravings. At first, games were a nickel each. Later, the price of a single game was raised to ten cents, or three games for a quarter.

On Sunday, my father would, as I have indicated above, take a quarter from my savings and give it to me for that week's collection. I was supposed to attend the 10 AM church service, but I always left the house early and went to the 9 AM service instead. Since I was not expected home until sometime after eleven, I had a free hour to satisfy my pinball habit.

I was innovative. It didn't take me long to realize that if I kept the quarter given to me for church, instead of putting it in the collection plate, I'd have an extra quarter for the pinball machine. This quarter, plus the quarter I obtained from the BX, would allow me to play six games; more if I won, or 'matched numbers'.

Alas, one Sunday morning my father walked into the bowling alley and caught me playing the pinball machine. When he came over, he noticed a quarter resting on the glass surface of the machine. As it turned out, this was an old 1930's quarter and, by chance, was the same quarter he'd given me that morning for Church. At first my father assumed I'd ditched Church; how else to account for the fact that I was hanging out at the bowling alley at 10:30 or so, when I was supposed to be at Church?

This situation called for some fast talking. I told my father that I had gone to the early church service. I'd mistakenly left the house earlier than I thought and, when I found myself at the Church so early, had decided to go to the 9 AM service.

"You can ask the minister if you want, he knows I was there."

This of course led to further questions. Why did I still have the same quarter he'd given me that morning? If I'd gone to the morning service, why wasn't that quarter put in the collection plate? And, just where did I get the money to pay for the game I was playing now? More to the point, my father reminded me that he had specifically told me not to play these games in the first place?

I lied. In fact I told a whole series of whoppers. I claimed that, for some unknown reason, the collection plate had mysteriously skipped over me that day. I didn't know how, or had somehow forgotten, to correct this mistake before leaving the Church that morning.

I hadn't spent the quarter, "See, I still have it! You keep it, and I'll put in two quarters next week."

Without skipping a beat, I continued spilling this yarn. I told him that after leaving the church that morning, I'd stopped by the bowling alley to use their toilet facilities. After answering this call of nature, I'd noticed that this unattended pinball machine had an unclaimed "credit" just waiting (crying out if you will) to be claimed.

Yes, I remembered him telling me never to 'waste' my money on those machines, but this wasn't wasting money. This was a case of "finders keepers"; Good Luck; Fortune smiling. I certainly didn't want to see the unclaimed credit go to waste.

All this sounded pretty reasonable to me, but my father was not taken in so easily. He listened to my story, but then took me over to the manager to ask him if he'd ever seen me playing these machines before. The manager told him "Oh yes, lots of times; almost every Sunday." The manager said he'd also seen me drop a fair number of quarters into those machines.

Undaunted, I confessed to having played the machines a time or two, but denied spending my own money on those games. I told my father that I habitually dropped by the bowling alley on my way home, to use their toilet. Then, continuing my string of stretchers, I explained how I'd often find money lying on the floor, or in the pay phone coin return box. Sometimes I'd even find money outside in the parking lot. It was this 'found' money that I'd use to play these games, and it was this money that the manager must have seen me put in the pinball machine.

My father didn't press the point. He simply said "I don't believe you. I've told you time and again that I don't want you playing these machines; haven't I? Now I'm not going to argue with you, but you can rest assured, young man, that I'll have a lot more to say about this when I get you home."

I knew what that meant. It meant I was going to get a 'good' spanking when I got home. In truth, I was somewhat relieved. No, I wasn't looking for a spanking. Real spankings, as opposed to sex/play games with neighboring kids, were something I dreaded. I was relieved only because it meant that I would be spanked at home. I was afraid that my father might spank me right then and there. He'd spanked me in public before and he never spanked any other way than with my pants and underpants pulled down; bare bottom. So I was sort of relieved, but still very unhappy and apprehensive (sick is a better word).

I didn't have long to wait. The minute we walked into the house my father hung up his jacket and said, "Go, get the paddle."

This was another ritual that made my childhood spankings so memorable. Knowing that you were going to be spanked was bad; having to retrieve the spanking implement added to the punishment. A bare bottom spanking was bad; having to pull my own pants and underwear down added to my shame and increased the embarrassment.

I retrieved the paddle (the, Board of Education) from its "place of honor"; it hung on a nail in the entrance foyer. My father had already started up the stairs, so I had to carry the paddle to my room.

I was, of course, wearing my 'Sunday' clothes. So, when we entered my room my father quickly told me to "Get undressed, and hang up you're good clothes before you get them any dirtier than you've got them already."

As I proceeded to undress, and hang up my clothes, he sat down at the foot of my bed. The 'chair' (those of you who have read my earlier postings know what I'm talking about) was left downstairs and was not used on this occasion.

When I was finished undressing, I stood in front of him, still wearing my underclothes. I don't know why, but I always clung to the foolish notion that perhaps this spanking would be different. That during this spanking he wouldn't bare my bottom and would, instead, allow me to retain some sense of dignity. Kind of like Charlie Brown thinking that this time Lucy would actually hold on to the football while he ran to kick it. It never happened. It certainly didn't happen on this occasion.

My father let me keep my underclothes on while we 'talked'. He asked me if I wanted to change my story any, and tell him the truth. I didn't say much of anything. I didn't want to say anything that might lead to the discovery of my 'deposit scam'. This spanking was going to be bad enough. I didn't even want to think about what would happen to me if he ever found out about that caper. He never did.

"Before you decide to stick with that story of yours, I want you to take a minute and give it some thought."

For the next minute or so, I just stood there, in my underwear, trying to avoid eye contact.

"Okay now, I'm going to give you one last chance to fess up and tell me the truth."

I stood silent.

"Okay then, if that's the way you want it. Since you're not going to tell me the truth, I'm going to give you a double spanking. First, I'll spank you for playing those machines after I told you not to. Then, I'm going to spank you for lying. Is that understood?"

"That's not fair! I've told you the truth." Another lie, but I was almost beginning to believe this lie myself.

"I don't believe you. Don't make this worse by telling me more lies."

To start with, you're not supposed to play those games unless you're 18 years old or older. . . "

True enough, there was a sign posted to that effect, but no one ever enforced the rule; more kids played those machines than airman.

". . . More importantly, I've told you not to play those machines. They're a waste of time and good money. Your mother and I don't want you hanging around those machines, but you've continued to flaunt our authority, haven't you?"

"Yes. . . .I mean no (obviously this was a trick question). I didn't spend my money. I told you, it was a free game. I was just lucky."

"And those other times? I suppose you want me to believe that if I hadn't dropped by the bowling alley, and found you there this morning, you wouldn't have put that other quarter into the machine. Why else would you have had it out like that?"

With only a brief pause, he continued. "Luck huh? Well son, your luck is about to change. We'll just see how lucky you feel in a few minutes."

I hung my head down and didn't say a thing. I knew this conversation wasn't going anywhere. I just wanted to get the whole thing over with.

"Put your hands above your head."

When I complied, he pulled my undershirt up over my head and tossed it on the bed.

"Now get those underpants off and hand me the paddle."

My fleeting hopes were again dashed. I took off my underpants and tossed them on the bed in the same general area he'd tossed my undershirt. I'd put the paddle on top of my dresser, while I changed out of my Sunday clothes, so I had to go get it. When I handed the paddle to my father, he took it with one hand and grabbed my upper arm with the other. In no time at all, I was over his knee with my head just above the carpet.

"You've earned yourself a good spanking Bobby, and I going to make sure that you're not cheated. You're, going to get everything you deserve. Just remember to keep your hands on the floor and out of my way.

I got at least twenty of his best, probably a bit more than that. I didn't have to count them out but, by the time he was finished, my ass and upper legs were bright red and sore as hell. I know, I checked this out later in the full length mirror that hung either on the wall, or on one side or another of my closet door; I don't remember which. After he'd placed me back on my feet he started in on the inevitable lecture. He lectured as I stood there sobbing, at attention; hands at my side.

"Don't let me catch you playing the pinball machine at that bowling alley ever again, do you under me?"

"Yes Sir." (I'll try not to let you catch me)

I stayed in my room the rest of the day. For the first hour or so, I sat around naked, getting up now and then to examine my backside in the mirror, carefully touching the welts that criss-crossed my upper legs and bottom; feeling pretty sorry for myself. I skipped lunch, I wasn't exactly hungry anyway. I did get dressed later in the day. I had no choice (not that I would have laid around naked all afternoon); setting the table was one of my chores. Besides, whenever I got spanked, the incident that prompted the spanking was immediately forgiven and, unless the transgression was repeated, my parents were not in the habit of harping about something that they considered over and done; like water under the bridge. That was probably the only thing I liked about their choice of punishment.

I had promised to give up playing the pinball at the bowling alley, but that didn't stop me from playing the machine at the snack bar.

I continued subsidizing my allowance with the 'deposit scam' for another six months or so. I also shoplifted a time or two, but was never caught. I was finally caught shoplifting, two years later in Monterey, but that's another story, and one already told.

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