Look Ma, no can see my feet!

spanking 1I just weighed myself on my wife’s new handy-dandy Weight Watchers LED-lit digital bathroom scale. Damn – not only does the thing work well, it might work too well. I stood on it and watched my weight go up, and up, and up and then I stepped off. I’d seen enough.

I got the phone and called my mother.

“Hello, dear.”

“Hi Ma, I’ll only keep you a minute. I just want to say I’m teetering on the cusp of obesity and it’s your fault. I hope you’re happy now.”

There was a sigh on the other end of the line.

“As usual, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Which means, as usual, I have to ask you what you’re talking about.”

“I’m fat and just the other day I read about a study that reveals why I’m fat.”

“You’re eating too much?”

“Ha – nice try, but that old line’s not going to work anymore. I know better now. Researchers at Canada’s University of Manitoba did a study of more than 34,000 adults and the findings suggest that the harsh physical punishment they suffered as children has put them now at a higher risk of heart disease, arthritis and … obesity. Ergo, I’m fat because you spanked me.”

“What? I never spanked you.”

spanking cartoon“You must have spanked me. Why else would I be fat?”

“Allow me to repeat myself. You’re eating too much?”

“Ma, 34,000 Manitobians can’t be wrong.”

“Manitobians? What’s a Manitobian? And anyway, if I did spank you, why is it that you don’t remember it?”

hypnosis“Well, I could have suppressed it. Forced it deep, deep down into my dark subconscious, where only little albino shrimps with no eyes and all of my darkest memories can live. Yeah, that’s it. I’ll bet if I went to one of those hypnosis therapists they could put me in a trance and I’d recall all of the horrid details, as well as find out I was the King of Siam in a previous life.”

“More than likely, you’d cluck like a chicken. I never had to spank you, back then. As for the present moment, I plead the Fifth. Now, talk to your father. Dear, pick up the extension in there. Your son’s on the phone … says he’s gaining weight now because we spanked him way back when he was a child.”

“Spanked him? Not a chance – you wouldn’t let me. Tell him it’s probably because he’s eating too much.”


The three Rs: readin’, ‘riting and restraints

Jackson, Mississippi –  A public school district has agreed to end a disciplinary policy of handcuffing students to fixed objects as punishment, in a deal worked out between the district and the Southern Poverty Law Center, representing five of the district’s students.

The policy came to light last year, when a 19-year-old student at Jackson’s Capital City Alternative School spoke out after being handcuffed to a railing for having his shirt untucked.

“When you get uncuffed it’s 5 or 6 in the afternoon. After school. Sometimes you don’t even get to eat lunch,” the student told a reporter for todaynewsgazette.com

The school’s principal, in her deposition, admitted she personally developed the policy nearly 10 years ago, adding that the practice was done in good faith, and for student safety.

Changing classes in the hall at Any High School, Anywhere, U.S.A. …

“That wouldn’t be a loose shoestring I’d be looking at down there, now would it, Master Waterman? Tell me I’m just seeing things, lad.”

The voice was delivered with the lyrical, lilting accent of the Irish and while easy on the ears, it still sliced through the bustling din of the passing students. The young offender heard it, and his name, and knew for whom the question tolled. Looking down, one of the laces of his Converse high-tops had worked loose from the other, dangling and dancing unfettered on the hallway floor.

“You’re seeing things, Mr. O’Grady.”

“Clever, very clever,” O’Grady said, leaving his leaning place across the hall and approaching the boy. “But what have I told you so many times before about being so clever?”

“Uh, it could land me a guest spot on Conan O’Brien’s show?”

“No, no I don’t recall saying that,” the metalshop teacher said with a pained smile. “I believe it was the more clever you are, the more in trouble you’ll be finding yourself. Yes, I believe that was it.”

“So, what do you suppose I’m to do with a student careening down the halls, flaunting the dress code here at Anywhere High, and flapping a shoestring to and fro?”

“Awwwwww c’mon, Mr. O’Grady, not the handcuffs,” the boy pleaded. “Not again. Last time you cuffed me to a water fountain for having my zipper half down and you went on vacation for a week, with the key!”

“An innocent oversight on my part, I assure you, lad.”

“Yeah, well lucky for me you hooked me to a water fountain in the Home Economics wing. But not so lucky for me I had to promise to take Beulah Buckerstaff out on a date so she’d give me the banana bread she made in Baking Basics 101!”

“That was very industrious of you.”

“You’ve obviously never had any of Beulah’s banana bread, or looked very closely at her.”

“Well, that’s all in the past, lad,” O’Grady said. “And you must admit it was a valuable learning experience for you. I haven’t once seen your fly down since then.”

“I glued all of them shut.”

“OK, enough small talk, my boy,” O’Grady continued. “It’s time you learned another lesson in life, provided free of charge for committing such a ghastly act of recklessness.”

“The cuffs, again? Can I at least choose where I go? I’d like to serve my time linked to one of the lockers outside the girl’s locker room. Closer to the door, the better, I mean, the more heinous.”

“Ah, I’m afraid that an untied shoe is a far more dangerous transgression, son. What if you’d tripped, fallen on another student and crushed the person? No, I’m afraid a simple cuffing won’t do this time.”

“So what will do?”

“I’m afraid it’s The Hole for you, this time.”

“The Hole? The Hole? We have a The Hole?”

“One of the finest. Nothing but the best, and the deepest, for you, lad.”