The most memorable thrashing I received was in 1968, when I was 13 years old. I grew up on a diet of regular smack bottoms, and had my legs slapped at school on numerous occasions.
At home, typically, my father applied his belt to my bare backside, generally as many lashes as I was years old. By 13 it was becoming terribly embarrassing, as I was becoming aware of sexual feelings (I was considered very ’fast’ in my era!) and found presenting myself to him dreadful.
It was summer, and a friend informed me that The Kinks were due to perform on the British TV programme Colour Me Pop. We weren’t entirely sure where it was filmed, but said friend assured me that if we went to the BBC Television Centre in London, no doubt a member of staff would put us into contact with the band.
In hindsight, this was clearly tosh but at the time we were very young, very naive and very confident! Needless to say, my parents would never have allowed me to travel to London with just another friend, so I decided not to tell them.
After all these years, I don’t quite remember how they found out where we had gone. Frankly, I got away with very similar misbehaviour on several occasions, as there were no mobile phones nor tracking apps back then, but on this occasion they discovered the truth.
We didn’t get to meet The Kinks, by the way – instead, we spent the day in a greasy cafe near Television Centre before getting the train home. A waste of money and time!
Anyway, having been found out, Dad sent me to my room, telling me to put my nightdress on. What followed was a comprehensive and well-deserved bottom warming. My father bared my bottom and gave me 52 strokes of the belt – four times the usual. I howled and squirmed, and in the end he had to call Mum in to hold me down.
Once the punishment was over, my bottom was a dark, angry pink, and I had some faint bruising on my right buttock from the tip of the belt for a few days following.
But it was my pride that hurt most of all. I had thought myself so mature and grown-up, travelling to London to see a band I loved – and instead my Dad had given me a smack bottom.