The most embarrassing punishment I ever received happened when I was 11 years old. At the time. my mother, nine-year-old brother and I were taking swimming lessons at our local community pool.
We usually stayed behind for a while after our lessons, and while my brother and I splashed around in the ‘non-swimmers’ pool, my mother could enjoy a little free time by reading or cooling off in the water herself.
After one session, my brother and I came up with the glorious idea of catching a glimpse of women in the showers – at that time, the mischief was dreamed up more for fun than through sexual interest, I should add.
We came up with the idea of pranking the ladies by hiding their towels or bathrobes. We enjoyed the prospect of the women having to walk naked through the corridors to get to their lockers.
Unfortunately, we did not expect the attention of a cleaner, who caught us on our first try. Our mother was called over the loudspeaker and asked to come to the showers area. When she arrived, she was informed of the facts by the cleaner, the lifeguard and the lady whose towel we had wanted to hide.
My brother and I had to listen to my mother’s sermon in tears, which was only interrupted by alternate slaps on our butts. We both had to apologise to the lady and promise that we would never do it again.
Then, in order to underline our promise and to see how embarrassing it would be to have to walk around naked, my mother suggested that my brother and I should go to see the manager as part of our punishment – naked, of course.
After even more smacks, we were soon both given mops and – still naked – had to ensure the floors were dry, all the while under the supervision of the cleaning staff.
The most embarrassing aspect of all this, besides our nudity, were the amused looks of the female bathers who saw our red bottoms – I’m sure the lifeguard or cleaning staff told them exactly what we had done to earn such a tanning.
After what seemed like eternity, our mother collected us but we still had to walk naked along the long corridor to the changing room. Mother told us: “Putting your swimming trunks back on for that long isn’t worth it, and anyway, you’re being punished.”
The worst moment for me came when the lifeguard saw us leaving, and he told us: “See you next week, and don’t get up to mischief again!”
Just as embarrassingly, this is a story my mother will frequently retell at family get-togethers!