Mum and Aunt Jean were hanging new curtains. My job was to find the boxes marked ‘kitchen’ and unpack them. Innocently I unpacked a box and placed it to one side. Mum was on a set of steps, sliding the curtains on to the pole, and asked Aunt Jean to pass something.
As she turned, she didn’t expect to see the box I had put to one side. She missed her step, lost her balance and fell against the large cardboard box, crushing it as she went – well, I nearly died laughing. The giggles made my stomach ache. Even my mum laughed as she called out: “Oh Jean! Are you OK?”
Mum came down from the steps and tried to extricate Aunt Jean from the crushed box, and the pair of them cried with laughter. I was totally helpless – I slid down the wall and sat holding my stomach and wiping tears from my eyes.
Once they had sorted themselves out and had their laughter under control, Aunt Jean pointed at me and accused me of causing her to trip.
I couldn’t answer, I was in such a state. As usual, the answer was to put the kettle on! Mum started that process while Aunt Jean removed the crushed cardboard box from the kitchen.
I recovered enough to ask:, “Did you enjoy your trip, Aunt Jean?” My comment brought on another wave of giggles! My mum laughed out loud and shook her head at me. “Oh, Jean!” she laughed, “you did look funny.”
“I’m sure I did!” my aunt replied, then added, looking at me: “I did not enjoy my trip, young man! It was about as much fun as the trip you are about to take, across my knee, you cheeky little beggar!”
Mum looked over her shoulder and surprised me by saying: “Be gentle with my little boy, Jean! We need those other boxes brought through.” In other words, mum approved! Aunt Jean replied, laughing: “I’ll give him boxes!”
Aunt Jean pulled me to my feet and ordered me to fetch another box from the lounge. Both women were struggling to contain their laughter.
I suppose had I kept my mouth shut I might never have received my smacked bum. However, when I returned with another box, I placed it on the floor and joked: “Do try not to trip over this!”
“That’s it!” my aunt exclaimed, as Mum broke out into gales of laughter. Turning a chair around, she sat down. “Come here, you cheeky devil,” she demanded, as she slapped her knees with both hands. Mum, who was still laughing, managed to say: “You’ve only got yourself to blame, Lee. You should have learned by now.”
Meanwhile, I – of course – was thrilled. At last, a smacked bum from Aunt Jean which was obviously going to be light-hearted. Mum also being present to see me smacked was a bonus.
I duly presented myself, grinning from ear to ear, and didn’t even wait for instruction – I just threw myself across Aunt Jean’s lap. I lay still, waiting. Mum came past and gave Aunt Jean her cup of tea. “Come along, Jean, drink your tea. We have to get these curtains up!” Mum said. She then settled down with her tea, all the while I’m hung across Aunt Jean’s knees. At this stage, I had not received a single smack but would happily have stayed there all day.
There was movement, the sound of a teacup landing on a saucer, then I felt a pat on my bum. “What are we to do with the cheeky boy here?” Aunt Jean asked Mum. Her sister replied: “Well, he has been rather cheeky this afternoon. I’m sure it won’t do him any harm to feel your hand before we get these curtains finished.”
“I couldn’t agree more!” Aunt Jean said, patting my bum. Then, to me: “Let’s see if you enjoy this little trip!” The smacking began. It was over the seat of my shorts and although it stung very slightly, it really didn’t hurt one bit. I think the whole spanking consisted of no more than a dozen gentle pats.
Nevertheless, I played up to my ‘punishment’. I begged Aunt Jean to stop, and said that I was very, very sorry! The last two smacks did sting a bit, but I was soon back on my feet. I hopped around the room and played the well-spanked boy. Then my mum stood up and said: “Enough of this nonsense now, you two. Come on – there’s work to do!”
With a final warning of ‘you just wait’ from my aunt, we all got back to work. It was to be my only spanking of note that entire year.