I’ve already told you about the first time my father put me over his knee for the slipper, when I was six years old. That whacking taught me a very good lesson and as far as I can recall, corporal punishment wasn’t needed again for a good long time.
However, two years later, I blotted my copybook. Yes, I had been a very naughty boy all over again – and being two years older, Daddy made sure that the punishment was much more severe.
Dad was a keen gardener and could often be seen with a spade in his hand. One day, he dug up some old pre-war penny coins. He put them in the sink to clean them up, and – unbeknown to me at the time – had intended to give them to me to treat myself at the local sweet shop.
Well, I came inside to use the toilet and noticed the coins in the bathroom. They were very dirty but represented a big potential treat. I didn’t think anyone else would want a lot of dirty coins, so I cleaned them up as best I could, dried them off and stuffed them in my pocket.
I calmly walked down the road to the corner shop, already planning in my head what I was going to get. In those days (early 1950s) you could buy quite a few sweets for a penny, and I had a dozen of them!
I returned from the shop triumphant, but when I got home there was a reception committee waiting for me, in the form of both Mum and Dad. From the look on their faces, I sensed I was in trouble.
Dad got right to the point. “Colin, have you seen any old coins soaking in the bathroom sink?” The only sensible decision I made on that day was not to compound theft with a lie. In a very small voice, I replied: “Yes, Daddy.”
“Did you take them without asking?” I nodded, head hanging in shame. “Well, it may interest you to know that your mother and I were going to give them to you for sweet treats. Where are they now?” My voice now barely audible, I replied: “Spent them, Daddy.”
Both my parents now looked very stern indeed and it was crystal clear that I was in big trouble. Mum and Dad drew aside for a moment and spoke in low voices. Although I prayed inwardly for a different outcome, the next announcement from Mum was no big surprise.
“Well, Colin, you probably don’t need me to tell you that you’ve been a very naughty boy. Go to your bedroom – Daddy will be up in a minute with the slipper.”
My feet felt like lead as I climbed the stairs. I went into my room, sat on my bed, and awaited my fate. After what seemed like a lifetime, I finally heard Daddy coming up the stairs. When the door of my bedroom opened, he was holding the spanking slipper in his left hand.
“Stand up!” I obeyed and Daddy took my place on the bed. He beckoned me over to him. “Colin,” he said, “I’m glad you told the truth about taking that money. But the fact remains that you took something that didn’t belong to you. That is why I’m going to have to slipper you. Do you understand?” I was now really ashamed – my mouth was so dry, I could only manage a nod of acknowledgement.
“Right then. Let’s get this over with, shall we?” Daddy’s hands went to the waistband of my trousers and he carefully unbuttoned and unzipped them before lowering them to my ankles. “Lie across my knee.” I obeyed, Daddy helping me into position as I did so. I momentarily felt his warm hand on the inside of my underpants as he pulled them down to my thighs.
A strong left arm curled around my tummy to hold me in place, then I felt the slipper being tapped experimentally against my bare buttocks. I knew those taps were shortly to become very hard whacks!
Sure enough, the slipper was brought down with force across both my cheeks, and I yelled like a banshee with the pain. Daddy proceeded to give me a good, hard spanking; certainly the soundest I had had up till then in my young life.
By the end my bottom was the colour of a beetroot and my face was covered with tears and snot. Daddy put me down on the bed and walked out of the room, ignoring my attempts at an apology and closing the door firmly behind him.
I lay there crying for a long time, then must have fallen asleep from the sheer exhaustion of having being well beaten, because the next thing I knew my mother was sitting on the bed and placing a sandwich and a glass of milk on my bedside table. “Eat up!” she said. “That’s the only food you’ll be getting today. You’re to stay in your bedroom, unless you need the toilet. Understood?” I nodded. She shook her head in a disappointed way, and left me.
A few hours later she returned to check on me, and this time she made me take my trousers and pants down so she could inspect my bottom. I was a shy boy at the best of times, and having my mum see my bare bottom at eight years old felt almost as bad as being slippered. “Well, I expect that’s done the trick” was her only comment.
And it had. My bum tingled and itched for the rest of the day as a reminder of my sin, and I never stole again. That slippering taught me the lesson it was intended to!