One morning, when I was 10 years old, I had a school test I hadn’t revised for. My lack of application to my school work had already been the source of a ‘conversation’ between me and my dad several weeks before and I knew that my performance in this test would probably earn me another bare-bottomed appointment with him.
I decided the best thing to do was pretend to be sick. So when Mom came in to see why I hadn’t showered or appeared at the breakfast table, I told her I had a bad stomach ache. I was pretty good at hamming it up, and my mother looked at me in a concerned way, though somewhat sceptically. I guess she knew children would be children!
“I’d better get the thermometer and take your temperature,” she said. I had been cute enough to foresee this move on Mom’s part and had a plan, thanks to a comic book I had read some time back. Mom came back with the thermometer, stuck it in my mouth, and told me to keep it there while she finished up with something in the kitchen.
Now, in this comic I read, a boy simply held the thermometer close to a light bulb in order to artificially raise his temperature, and he got the day off school. Fortunately, this was a dark winter morning so my bedside light was on. I took the thermometer out of my mouth, held it close to the bulb and when I head my Mom’s footsteps coming back, I popped it quickly back into my mouth.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have much idea about normal human body temperatures, and certainly didn’t know when not to overdo things. My mother read the temperature, looked at me more suspiciously still and put her hand to my forehead, then down the shirt of my pyjamas.
“Well, young man,” she said ominously, “we have a problem here. You have a temperature of 103 and yet you’re not in the least bit hot or clammy. Have you been messing about with that thermometer?” Compounding my sin, I now denied that too.
“I’d better go get the baby thermometer,” she said. I whined that I was too big a boy to have a thermometer put up my bottom but Mom didn’t listen and went to fetch it, along with a jar of Vaseline and a box of tissues.
Mom pulled down my sheets and ordered me to flip over on to my stomach. I watched, horrified, as she applied a blob of Vaseline to one end of the thermometer, then pulled down my pyjama pants. It had been some time since Mom had seen my bare bottom, especially so intimately – all of my spankings were now administered by Dad, and had been since I was around eight years old – so it was mortifying to be treated like a baby again.
In vain, I hoped Mom would leave me to stew and I could whip the thermometer out, heat it and stick it back in my butt before she returned. No such luck. She just sat patiently, gazing thoughtfully at her son’s bare backside. I think she was making plans for it even then!
At last she pulled the thermometer out, wiped my bottom with a tissue, and read the result. Normal. I was now in big trouble, as Mom quickly spelled out. I had told a lie about feeling sick, and I had most certainly told a lie about interfering with the thermometer.
Dad was away on business for a couple of days, so I fully expected this to be stored up for when he returned, but it was a sure-fire spanking offence. However, the next shock was Mom telling me to keep my pants down right where they were, and that she was going to fetch the paddle.
She came back with the wooden paddle my parents had used on me since I was a little boy. Mom ordered me out of bed (more embarrassment because she now got to see my penis), then sat down on it herself and in short order pulled me over her lap.
The spanking I got from her was just as bad as any I had had from Dad and the result was one very sore and sorry boy. Of course, I was by now more than late for school and, through my tears, there was at least the hope that Mom would deem it not worth me going in now.
I was dead wrong. Not only did Mom take me into school, but she took me to my classroom, where she apologised to the teacher and explained in front of everyone that I was late because I had to have a bare bottom spanking for lying about being sick. My shame was complete, and the teasing I received from my classmates went on for weeks.
Predictably, that afternoon I also screwed up in the test, so when Dad came home a few days later I was taken straight upstairs to be paddled again, and of course he made it an extra hard one to take into account my previous shenanigans.
I do sort of feel sorry for today’s kids, as modern digital thermometers have taken away the possibility of pulling this stunt, even if it did mean risking your butt!