When I was growing up, back in the mid 1980s, I was part of a gang of five kids who would dare each other to do silly things.
One winter, it snowed and I was dared to throw a snowball at the door of this old lady’s house, and get her to chase me. It was something we had all done a few times before.
Unfortunately, that night my luck ran out. Not only did the old lady chase me – she actually caught me.
Also unfortunately for me, the lady knew my nanna, whose house I was living at at the time, and she dragged me back there. The lady told my nanna what had happened, and I was duly sent to my room, with the order from nanna to wait there until she came up to deal with me.
I already knew what was going to happen and I removed my trousers and underwear ready for a smacking – my stomach was turning over with anxiety.
When my bedroom door finally opened, I jumped out of my skin – and nanna stood there with the slipper in her hand. She gave me two hard whacks on my bare bottom, then told me that in the morning I would have to go and apologise to the old lady, and take whatever punishment she gave me.
The next morning, I did as I was told. I knocked on the door and the old lady answered it. I told her I was very sorry and what my nanna had said about taking my punishment.
The old lady told me to come in and ushered me into her sitting room. Once there, I was ordered to remove all my clothes and stand with my nose to the wall. Despite my huge embarrassment at being naked in front of a strange woman, I stripped without protesting as I didn’t want to make things any worse.
The lady disappeared for about five minutes, and when she came back she was holding both a belt and a cane. I received 10 strokes of each implement on my little bare bottom.
I could barely sit down for about four days and the bruises from the beating lasted a couple of weeks. To reinforce the lesson, once my bottom had cleared, my nanna bruised it once again with her slipper.