I was nine years old, and for the second time in about a month, I hadn’t done my homework. Even now as we sat down in class, I was somehow under the fond delusion that our teacher, Mrs Morgan, would have forgotten all about it and not ask for it.
Not a chance, of course. “Right, class, please place your homework books on your desks for me to collect.” I felt my spirits drop as Mrs Morgan went up and down the rows – I was one of the last of her calls. No book out on the desk.
“Well, Darren, where is it?” I knew I couldn’t say I’d forgotten – that was my excuse last time, and a fat lot of good it did me, as I was given 200 lines for my trouble.
I wracked my brains, then said: “Please, miss, my auntie got very ill and we had to go over to help her, so I couldn’t do it.” Mrs Morgan shot me a look, and I waited for hell’s wrath to descend upon me. But instead she just said: “I see”, and moved on to the next pupil. I was the only defaulter.
I couldn’t believe my luck – I had got away with it, and without any punishment at all.
Once Mrs Morgan got the class settled again, she set us a quick writing exercise then rose from her desk. “Get on with your work – I’ll be back in a moment.”
When she returned, she had a face like thunder but said nothing. As the bell for break time rang, she held her hand up to stop us leaving immediately. “Before you go for break, I have a very painful duty to perform. Darren Ellery, come out here to the front!”
I had the feeling of everything going south and my legs were like jelly as I reluctantly came to the side of Mrs Morgan’s desk. She looked at me with a face red with fury. “What kind of idiot do you think I am? Did you think I wouldn’t check your ridiculous story?” I tried to speak but found my throat bone dry. “I have telephoned your mother, Darren, and not only did she not know anything about any sick aunt, she in fact told me that she had asked you last night whether you had homework to do, and you told her ‘no’.”
My teacher turned to the class in general now. “So Darren not only told me a lie, but he lied to his mum too. Do you think that’s acceptable behaviour?” Vigorous shaking of heads. “I’m glad to hear it – and to make sure no-one else has the same idea, you’re all going to see what happens to liars in my class.”
She went to her desk, opened the deep bottom drawer and took out the slipper – a rather grubby black plimsoll with no laces and a light brown rubber sole. We had all heard tales of the slipper but this was the first time it had been produced, and I was in no doubt no that I was about to become its first customer. I had to hold in my bladder to stop myself wetting my pants.
Mrs Morgan tapped the side of her desk with the slipper. “Bend over there, boy.” I at last found my voice: “Please, miss…” “I said bend over – or would you rather I sent you to Mr Halliday for the cane instead?” The invocation of the headmaster’s name did the trick – I bent over obediently to take my punishment. It felt shameful to be getting my bottom smacked in front of the entire class. I was only grateful I had not been told to drop my trousers, as I knew my mum would have done.
I felt the slipper being placed against the tightened seat of my grey school trousers, there was a dull thudding sound and then a wave of smarting pain spread across my buttocks, as the first stroke caught me right across my arse crack. I made as if to get up but Mrs Morgan put a firm hand in the small of my back and quickly applied five more hard strokes.
“Right – stand up!” I did so, and found to my utter surprise and shame that I was crying. I watched through swimming eyes as Mrs Morgan took out the punishment book and recorded the date, my name, the reason for my slippering and the sentence: “Six on seat”.
Mrs Morgan handed me a tissue from a box on her desk. “Well, Darren, I hope you have learned your lesson?” “Yes, miss,” I replied quietly. Once again, our teacher turned to the class. “I hope you all learned a lesson from watching that. And I’m afraid Darren’s troubles aren’t over, because his mum told me she intends to slipper him as well, and she will be giving it him on his bare bottom to make sure he really learns his lesson.”
My shame was now complete. I had been exposed as a liar, slippered in front of my peers, cried like a baby and now all the class knew I was going to have my pants put down when I got home. The fact that I received as much sympathy as I did teasing at the break and at lunch time didn’t really make me feel much better, and my bum cheeks throbbed inside my underpants for the rest of the morning and much of the afternoon. I thought about going to the toilets to inspect my behind but chickened out of even doing that.
Sure enough, when I got home Mum was waiting for me with her own version of the slipper – an old check-pattern Pirelli of Dad’s that was kept specifically for the purpose of family discipline. She read me the riot act about telling lies, disgracing the family, not doing my school work. She already knew I had been spanked in school – apparently Mrs Morgan had told her what I was about to receive, and she herself had suggested six of the best.
Then, without even taking me upstairs somewhere private as she normally did, she pulled my trousers and pants down to my ankles, put me over her knee and thrashed my bare bottom mercilessly – no stopping at six this time. Mum’s spankings were never easy affairs but on top of the punishment I’d already received from Mrs Morgan, this one was pure hell.
To make it worse, we lived in a cottage which gave straight on to the sheet, and I’m sure I saw several people walk by the window while Mum was slippering me. The thought that several strangers had also seen my bare bum, as I lay across my mummy’s knee being smacked like a little boy, absolutely put the lid on a miserable day.
However, I did learn my lesson, and I never skipped homework again.