OK...this one's from my fantasy life...
Like a lot of boys, I guess I had what I would call an “adventurous” streak in me. I was always a curious type. I always loved pushing the proverbial envelope, sometimes going a little too far and on a rare occasion, way too far. While I never got hurt and managed never to hurt anyone else with my curiosity and experimentations, for a youngster of 7, 8, 9, 10 years of age, I lived life more on the edge than many of my friends. This was in the late ‘50s, early ‘60s and while my parents tried to be politically correct, modern parents, in rural New England they could still get away with providing me and my brothers the occasional “good old fashioned” spanking. While dad made that a very rare “intervention”, he also made it a fairly thorough one which is why I suppose it only needed to be a rare one. Even to the age of 10 years or so, he still spanked me on the seat of my pants and a couple of times on the seat of my “tighty whiteys”. All my buddies at school and in the neighborhood were spanked bare butt, or so they said. They also had brothers in their teens who were occasionally punished more severely, which almost always meant with the razor strap. I’d heard a few of strappings being meted out to them over the years. It was pretty impressive to hear, obviously intended to be a deterrent to younger brothers and anyone else overhearing. From the sound of it, and my buddies were quick to confirm, it was clearly being administered bare butt. It was pretty effective I guess because most of my 9 and 10 year old buddies vowed never to do anything which would earn them “a licking”, as we all called it. They all would of course at a later time. A “spanking” for all of us was done with dad’s hand. In one household it meant a wooden paddle. A “licking” only meant one thing for all of us, dad’s leather belt or more likely, the razor strap.
There came a point, I guess I was perhaps 10 or 11 at the time, when my so called “adventures” became too many and too daring for my parents to continue to put up with and even my occasional trip across dad’s lap for a spanking became a thing of the past. It was almost like they’d given up. A sign of the times? Not so fast.
My parents, still trying to be modern decided it was time for me to have a visit with the family doctor for counselling, and maybe a medicinal approach to getting me under control. I guess I was not much impressed even by dad’s spankings anymore. Most of my buddies had graduated to the razor strap by this time. I was clearly feeling immune to that. Besides, my dad didn’t even own a razor strap.
So off mom and I went to an appointment with Dr. Duprey, our family doctor, one afternoon after school. If I remember correctly I was in the 5th grade. Dr. Duprey was a few years older than mom and dad. I remember him as a kind, gentle man, professional and a bit aloof. I don’t recall much of an exam as such as mom told him at the outset she needed some advice from him about my behavior. Was it normal for my age? Was it something I would grow out of? Was it growing pains? Was there a medicine that would help? This discussion was happening during which time I was wandering about the exam room and his office, checking out every thing, despite mom’s admonishments to “stop and come sit by me”. Dr. Duprey smiled from behind his very impressive looking desk. First, yes it was normal for my age, if a bit overboard and not OK that I was ignoring her request to “stop”. Second, yes I would outgrow it, IF the right encouragement was provided. Third, yes I was having growing pains, but that perhaps I needed some guidance through the pain and that perhaps more “pain” might help, i.e. stronger medicine. And fourth, he had just the “medicine” to suggest.
With that he opened one of the drawers on his desk and withdrew a prescription pad and began to write on it fairly intensely. He finished and handed it to mom who looked at it and creased her eyebrow as if looking at something strange or unexpected. She then broke into an obvious but subtle smile and nodded yes to Dr. Duprey. “Thank you” she said. “I think this will work just fine.” He winked at her, stood, shook her hand and said “Guaranteed to work, trust me. It did for all my sons and today one’s an architect, one’s a dentist and the oldest is an investment counselor, all very well adjusted, and they have terrific families. They’ve given me a host of adorable grandchildren who I suspect will all receive the same medicine as they grow up if need be.”
He then turned to me and added, “This is just a turning point in the road for you son, not the end of the road. Sometimes you need to take turns in the road you hadn’t planned on, or which put you on a road which is a bit more difficult to negotiate because it’s not of your choosing, but in the end you’ll be glad your parents were there to help point the way.” He hugged me and gave me a pat on the fanny. Mom and I left for home.
When we got home mom told me to go up to my room and start my homework until supper was ready. She said she wanted to call dad at work to talk about my doctor’s visit and she would be starting to get supper ready after that. So off I went. I was still picking at my homework at 5:30, when I heard dad pull into the driveway in his truck, a little later than usual, but I didn’t think anything of it. I looked out the window and waved to him. He smiled and waved back. He had his usual briefcase in hand and a brown paper bag. I guessed he’d run an errand on the way home, probably having stopped by the pharmacy to pick up the medicine Dr. Duprey had prescribed.
Shortly afterward, mom called to us, “Michael, Ryan, Tom, supper’s ready.”
My younger brothers, Ryan and Tom, raced each other out of the room next to mine to get to the supper table. In a couple of minutes I followed. We went over and greeted dad with a hug as we always did and then we all took our places at the table.
At one point during supper dad asked, “So Michael, how was your visit with Dr. Duprey today?”
“OK, I guess. No needles, so that’s OK with me for sure. But I guess I have to have some medicine, right mom?”
“Yes Mike, he gave me a prescription for some medicine he said you should have once in a while, when necessary, to help you get your behavior under control. Your dad stopped and picked up the medicine on the way home tonight.”
Dad added, “We’ll start the medicine tonight before you go to bed. When you’ve finished your supper help your mom with the dishes and then go on back to your room and finish up your homework. You, Ryan and Tom can watch some TV in the den after your homework is done so you can be ready for bed by 7:00, OK Mike?”
“But I always get to stay up until 7:30,” I added.
“Well, not tonight. You’ll be getting your medicine at 7:00 and I think you’ll need to go to bed right after. Got it?”
“Oh, OK I guess.”
After supper I helped mom load the dishwasher and headed upstairs to finish my homework. After that I headed downstairs to watch a “Brady Bunch” episode at 6:30.
“OK guys, upstairs, into your pajamas and in the sack. I’ll be up shortly,” dad announced at 7:00. Michael, you wait up a few minutes so I can tuck Ryan and Tom in. Then I’ll come by your room so you can have your medicine, then it’s in the sack for you too.”
We all simultaneously chimed in “OK dad,” and upstairs we went.
I headed for my room, entered and closed the door behind me. I flipped my desk lamp on and changed into my pajamas. I sat at my homework desk and began flipping through an old comic book. Soon enough dad gave a quick knock on the door and came in. He’d brought the bag with the medicine. Dad sat on the edge of my bed, paper bag in hand. I quickly noted that the logo on the bag was not that of Marshall’s Drug Store. It was that of Dodge’s Hardware.
“OK Mike, put down your comic book and come over here”, dad said. I dropped the comic book on the desk and got up from my chair and walked over to dad, still not fully suspecting what was up. As I walked over to dad, he opened the bag and reached inside to retrieve my “medicine”, a brand new razor strop. I immediately felt queasy and the look on my face must have told dad everything.
“I take it you know what this is?” dad asked.
“Yes sir. Most of my buddies’ dads have one like it. They call it a razor strap. It’s what they get spankings with.”
“Yes Mike, it’s a razor strap. I bought it for the same reason. From now on I’m going to use this strap to punish you with, just like your buddies. Your mom and I have tried every other way we knew to get you to pay attention and stop all your mischief here at home, at school and in the neighborhood. We hope that after you’ve had a good licking with the strap, you’ll think twice about getting into any more trouble or getting your friends into trouble so that they get lickings from their dads when you don’t. So now it’s your turn to have a good licking, and if this one licking doesn’t straighten you out, then there will be more, as many as needed. Do you understand?”
My heart sank. Dad looked me straight in the eye, totally serious, as he gently kept slapping the strap against his free left hand as he spoke to me. I started to tear up and sob as I stood there.
“Dad, please don’t. I’ll be good. I know I will. Please, not the strap.”
“Mike, I know you’re basically a good boy. But you go too far and when we just talk to you, it doesn’t work. This new razor strap will help insure that you work harder on cleaning up your act.”
“Come on Mike, lets get this over with.”
With that dad put the strap down on the bed next to where he sat and took me by the arm and gently pulled me over to him like he always did to help get me positioned across his lap for a spanking. I was sobbing even harder at this point.
“I’ll let you keep your PJs on this time, but you may not be so lucky if we have to do this again”.
Having securely pinned me down by wrapping his left arm around the small of my back, he reached over with his right hand and retrieved the razor strap, as I could tell by the telltale clinking sound of the brass buckle which held the 2 leather straps together at the top, a sound I would learn to dread. He placed the square cut business end of the strap across the seat of my PJs, leaving it there for a moment. I heard him take a deep breath.
He then added, “I’m really sorry I have to do this Mike.”
In the next seconds I felt the strap lift off my butt, followed almost instantaneously with the first lick whipping across my cheeks. I screamed as loud as I could, crying and gasping at the same time, only to have the second lick come down, and so on. The next several moments became a blur, as dad provided the licks as hard and as fast as he could. That would remain his “style” for lickings, no workups, no pauses, always fast and hard from the start of any whipping I got. I’m not certain, but I think I got 12-15 licks of the strap, the whole licking probably didn’t take more than a minute, but it sure seemed a lot longer than that.
After it was over, I heard dad put the strap down on the bed, “clink, clink”, and he helped get me to my feet. I was a sobbing, sniffling mess for sure. He pulled me close to him and hugged me tightly, without patting my fanny like he’d usually do when he hugged me in happier situations. I sobbed into his big broad shoulders and genuinely felt comforted. After a few moments he walked me into the bath across the hall and by the light of a small night light he moistened a facecloth in warm water and wiped my face with it and had me blow my nose in some toilet tissue. In the mirror above the sink I could see him standing behind me in the dim light of the bathroom. With a gentle smile on his face he gave my hair a bit of a toss with his hand.
“Come on, Mike, lets get you into bed.”
We went back into my bedroom. He took the strop off the end of the bed, rolled it up and placed it on my dresser. He took the bed covers down and lifted me carefully into bed onto my side.
“Your fanny’s going to hurt a little while, so try to sleep on your side or your tummy until it doesn’t hurt so much anymore, OK?”
Still sniveling I nodded and said, “OK”.
With that dad pulled the covers over me and gave me a kiss on the forehead.
“You’ll be OK buddy, you’ll see. I’m really proud of you.”
With that he walked quietly out of the room, taking the strop off my dresser as he went. The next day when we came down to breakfast the strop was hung prominently on the kitchen wall near the refrigerator, plenty visible to me and my brothers as a reminder of what to expect if we strayed too far.