A Jolly Hard Thrashing III

by A Bad Writer <Markh11@earthlink.net>

"We the United Nations, generally assembled, being in support of all nice things and implacably opposed to nasty ones, do hereby infallibly declare and decree as follows:

1. Whereas childhood is now known to be a soft, delicate and beautiful thing, like a freshly-cooked sponge cake or the flower of a morning glory, and 2. Whereas children are all naturally good, well-behaved, and wanting to please their parents, and 3. Whereas in accordance with the teachings of many sages such as Princess Diana of Anorexia (formerly Bulimia), Saint Alice Miller and Jan Hunt Msc it is now known that if only children were shown nothing but unconditional love they would grow up nurturing their siblings, not giggling at the hair on old ladies' upper lips, and farting only rosepetals, and 4. Whereas if you don't worry too much about the validity of statistics or the evidence of common sense it has been conclusively shown by Dr. Murray Strauss and others that children subject to spankings grow up to be violent child abusers themselves, and 5. Whereas most evil and wicked men must have been spanked as children (eg S. Hussein, O. bin Laden, A. Hitler, P. Pot) while most loving and kind men definitely were not (eg Jesus, John Lennon, William Jefferson Clinton), and 6. Whereas spanking is in any case just a male-dominated attempt to impose a masculist paternalist authoritarian stamp on society thinly disguised as the patently ridiculous claim that adult men might know more about raising boys than adult women do,

Be it therefore now decreed and enacted that all corporal punishment of children everywhere is infallibly deemed BAD, COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, PROTO-ABUSIVE and UNCIVILIZED and must therefore be stamped out by all means .... "

Lord Hardness put down the document and sighed a long thoughtful sigh. He liked his job as British Ambassador in New York; he liked the shopping and the parties and the hustle of the streets, but if there was one thing he couldn't stand it was having to wade through the mountains of hogwash which emanated from the UN a few streets away. Really, he thought, lighting up an illegal French cigarette and winking at the portrait of Mayor Bloomberg as he did so, it was tiresome how these busybodies were everywhere with their rotten statistics and poorly-disguised post-feminism. From time to time most boys needed a good whack on the backside just as most drivers needed a parking violation, and it really wasn't any more complicated than that. He wasnt sure about Jesus or John Lennon, but he was _d_a_m_n_ed certain that William Jefferson Clinton would have turned out more truthful if hed been given a few more hidings. What, he wondered, would these people have to say for themselves when spanking was abolished everywhere and people were still nasty to each other on a regular basis? Next to go would be the right of parents to force their children to clean their teeth, wash their hands before meals, or behave sensibly in restaurants. Honestly, if these people really wanted to do something to improve the lives of kids, why weren't they off in sub-Saharan Africa distributing anti-malarial drugs to stop three thousand child deaths a month, or whatever it was? Oh, well ....

It was time to take a break. Lord Hardness leaned back in his chair and took a deep drag on his cigarette. Then he pressed the button on his intercom.

"Miss Prysion," he said, "no calls for the next half hour, please."

"Yes, sir."

He closed the document and fired up his web browser. Time for a visit to MMSA Stories archive, to lose himself in a world where people actually understood the efficacy of the cane and paddle. Perhaps there would be an update today. Perhaps there would be a new story by a fine writer like Juan Santiago or Tristan, or the inimitable Mr. Hicks.

Sadly, there wasn't, but he spent a pleasant few minutes revisiting some of the old tales that he enjoyed so much, which put him back in touch with the world he had known as a boy. Sated and happier, he thought to himself 'why not try something new?' and clicked on the first story at the top of the list.

Then his mouth fell open.

He sat up straight in his chair.

He read with mounting disbelief. Good God Almighty, this was a story about his own son Richard, just started his first term at Caningham Hall, an exclusive public school set in the rolling green English countryside about half an hour from Londons busy streets. About a caning the boy had received at the hands of one of the Prefects there. And here was a second story in the same vein. This was too much! One sent one's children to that kind of school so that one could forget about them in the knowledge that they were being properly educated. One didn't expect to find intimate details of their disciplinary experiences plastered all over the internet. What if one of the UN busybodies got hold of it? Oh, hell!

He picked up the phone and dialed England.

"Headmaster's office."

"This is Lord Hardness. I need to speak to Dr. Squires at once."

Dr. Squires listened to Richard's father patiently. "I'm exceedingly sorry, your Lordship," he said finally. I can understand exactly why you're so upset. I shall investigate the matter immediately and you may rest assured that the culprits, whoever they are, will not go unpunished. Oh, no, indeed."

Having put the phone down, he sat a while with his fingertips pressed together in front of his long Victorian beard. Here, he thought, in the immortal words of W. S. Gilbert, is a pretty how-de-do. When one was trying to run a boarding school in defiance of namby-pamby interfering bureaucrats and so-called child advocates, one didnt want its intimate workings openly discussed on websites, whatever they were.

He cut a splendid archetypal figure as he marched down Bloomers Passage twenty minutes later. Younger boys quailed at the sight of his six-foot-two, two-hundred-and-forty pound frame, which he kept in perfect physical shape by swimming each morning in the ice-cold water of the schools private lake, set in the small birch forest that surrounded it. Older boys, who themselves had been forced to swim in the lake before receiving a sound healthy birching on their bare teenage buttocks from the Headmaster, stood aside to let him pass.

Dr. Squires stood in the doorway of young Richards formroom. Twenty fourteen-year-olds fell immediately silent. "Hardness!" boomed Dr. Squires. "I want a word with you. Cut along, you boys."

Alone with the Headmaster, Richard spluttered out his innocence. He had no idea that such a website even existed. Hed never been in the schools computer room. Dr. Squires was unimpressed. What this boy needed was a good thrashing. "Report yourself to Lear at lunchtime," he said, shortly, "and I will see you in my study this evening, at which time we will attempt to get to the bottom of this particular problem."

Poor Richard! While his friends got on with enjoying their free time that afternoon, giggling in excited anticipation of the evenings events, he was given a stout pair pf pruning shears and required to cut and fashion four sturdy birch-rods in the knowledge that these would soon be biting into his own tender flesh. A week had gone by since his second caning from Thrasher, but still the prospect of kneeling bare-buttocked before the Doctor and being soundly flogged was not one that he relished. And it was made no better by Lears grinning face and ribald comments.

"Bind that nice and tight, young master. The Doctor likes to get at least a dozen out of every rod."

"I daresay hell flog you right through choir practice, and wont you just sing nicely."

"I wouldnt eat any supper if I were you, and Id empty your bladder before you go down, because we dont want any accidents."

"I wonder if we shall need to strap you down to the block, my boy, and pull the leather nice and tight."

It was a cold day, and it seemed a bit much to Richard that Lear was allowed to have his hands in his pockets the whole time. His own hands were chapped and icy by the time he had finished fashioning the rods and Lear took them from him.

He saw them again at seven PM precisely, as he walked quaking into the Doctors study and closed the door quietly behind him. They were soaking together in a bucket of brine, sitting alongside the flogging block, a hideous black medieval contraption bedecked with straps like some ugly beached octopus.

"Yes, boy," said Dr. Squires quietly, "take a good look. I want you to understand that I propose to flog the truth out into the open this evening. Do you still maintain that you know nothing of this heinous crime?"

Richard thought of his father. He saw himself strapped to the block and howling as the birches did their work. 'Be brave, my boy,' Lord Hardness liked to say. And after all, the truth was the truth.

"Yes, sir," he said.

"Very well," said Dr. Squires, with a purposefulness in his tone. Then he walked to the door of the study and flung it open. "Come in here!" he said, and to Richard's amazement he saw his head of house, Peter Thrasher, also dressing in full uniform, enter the room.

"Thrasher," said Dr. Squires, pleasantly, "do join us. Young Hardness here says he knows nothing of these internet stories, and therefore I'm forced to conclude that the culprit must be you."

Richard looked at Peter. He was magnificent, standing there bravely in his uniform, his muscular seventeen-year-old thighs easing from his school shorts like smooth toothpaste from a tube. Surely he was not going to watch his hero being flogged? And if so, why was he feeling a strange stirring in his own short trousers?

"I daresay," said Dr. Squires, "that you imagined yourself too old for a good flogging now? But I'm afraid you're about to discover that is not the case. Have you anything to say?"

"No sir," said Peter Thrasher, and Richard's heart pounded harder.

"Very well," said Dr. Squires. Remove all the clothing below your waist. Hardness, you may stay, I daresay this will be instructive for you."

Richard felt inclined to agree with the Doctor's judgment. Peter Thrasher was as magnificent a specimen of late-teenage adult malehood as had ever appeared anywhere in the galaxy, and although his mind and stomach must have been in turmoil at the prospect of such a severe birching from the Doctor, he betrayed none of this as he slowly stripped himself and prepared to submit to the ordeal. His muscular thighs were covered with a light downy hair and his calves curved, to Richard's eyes, like the most beautiful parabolas he'd ever drawn in Maths class.

"Go down," said the Doctor shortly, and Peter knelt on the block, offering his own firm smooth white buttocks to the wicked-looking birches.

"You may select the first rod, Hardness," said the Doctor, and Richard was surprised to see there was a twinkle in his eye. Surely he wasn't going to ruin the solemnity of such an occasion by making light? It was hard to decide which to pick, because he knew them all to be _d_a_m_n_ licky, but eventually he selected the most vicious-looking one. After all, he thought, it was kindest to Thrasher to get the worst over at the beginning.

The Doctor took the rod from him and swished it experimentally. It made a low, menacing, wooshy sound, quite unlike a cane, and Richard noticed that Peter's bottom contracted involuntarily. "Hardness has been kind enough to provide me with four fine rods," the Doctor said pleasantly, as though he were discussing a consignment of cigars, "and I shall allow you the honour of tasting six cuts from each of them, before you pronounce your verdict. You will, in exchange, do me the kindness of keeping your opinions about their efficacy to yourself, as much as possible, until we are quite finished with the process."

[NB: For American readers who I know have trouble with old-fashioned English, that means Peter is expected to keep quiet while he's being birched. ABW]

Magnificent in his cap and academic gown, the Doctor took up position beside the boy he was to flog. "Be good enough, young Hardness, to keep the count for me," said the Doctor, "for I can sometimes become a little to absorbed in my work. Nice and loud, now." And he began the punishment.

At first, it seemed to Richard that the whole thing was to be an anticlimax. Four or five cuts went by without a movement from Peter, and his nether skin merely turned a healthy pink as though he had just emerged from a nice hot bath. But the Doctor kept up a steady rhythm, and the first spots of blood began to appear as if the punished teenage bottom had been stung by a swarm of angry bees, and then Peter began to squirm and moan, so that by the time the punishment was halfway through the effect was very promising indeed. Peter's muscles were strained tight, there was sweat on his legs, and it was very obvious the second twelve would be difficult for him to take.

"Thank you, young Hardness," said the Doctor, as Richard handed him the third rod. "Now this is the point, you see, where we have to redouble our efforts and make sure the culprit feels it. None of this modern nonsense about tempering justice with mercy. Done, seen to be done, and savoured by all." And so he set to work with renewed vigour.

Richard supposed, thinking about it afterwards the fourth or fifth time (for he was a thorough boy, and liked to apply himself methodically to his studies) that it must always be pleasurable to watch a talented master at work. Dr. Squires seemed to know exactly where and how to cut, how long to leave the pauses, which bits of the submissively-presented bottom needed work next, and by the time he was done, in spite of his best efforts, Peter Thrasher was howling.

"There," said the Doctor. "I rather think he appreciated those." Then he stepped back and looked at Richard. "I rather think you did too," he said. "I'm pleased to see you've inherited more than just your father's nose, young man. Thrasher, you may rise and dress, and then you two young scamps may cut along. I have some private business to attend to."

Peter's face was as flushed as his bottom, and he resumed his clothing carefully, wincing as his tight white underpants slid over the welts and weals of his birching. After he'd limped a safe distance down Bloomers Passage from the Doctor's study, Peter stopped and looked at Richard. "Well, young Hardness," he said, forcing a smile onto his face, "now you know."

"Gosh," said Richard, with so many emotions surging inside him he had no idea which one was dominant, "you took that awfully well."

Peter Thrasher rolled his eyes and rubbed his backside ruefully. "Not really," he said, "but it's good of you to say so."

"Can I...." said Richard, his voice faltering a little, "can I do anything .... to make u feel better?"

Peter looked at him. "Possibly," he said, with a slight air of mystery. "Run to the tuck shop, buy a quarter pound of butter, and bring it to my study in half an hour."

"Should I get some bread as well?" said Richard.


"Aren't we going to make toast?"

"Oh," said Peter. Then he laughed. "Yes," he said, "you'd better get some bread."

"There's just one thing I don't understand," said Richard, because it was almost the end of the story.

"What's that?"

"Why did you post those stories on MMSA Stories archive?"

"ME? I didn't do it. I assumed you did."

"ME?" said Richard in unconscious imitation of his hero. "Gosh no. Don't you think I would have owned up?"

Peter's smile deepened. "I thought you were scared," he said.

"You mean...." said Richard, his heart and head and something else throbbing in disbelief, "....you took that for me?"

"Yes," said Peter, "but don't make a thing of it. I'm sure we'll find a way to let you pay me back. Now off you go."

He was sitting painfully in his study twenty minutes later when there came a knock at the door. "Come in," he said, but the smile of welcome on his face froze when he saw Guy Belter. "What do you want?"

"Look, old man," said Guy awkwardly, "this is frightfully difficult. I ran into you Hardness on his way to Tuckers, and he tells me you took a Doctor's swishing for that internet thing."

"What of it?"

"Well the thing is, it was me."


"Yes. I've often wanted to write stories, you know, just to try my hand, and then when I ....you know .... noticed Hardness, and felt so jealous of you having the right to beat him .... well it seemed a way to make myself feel better. I never intended this to happen. I'm awfully sorry, Thrasher."

Peter Thrasher felt a curious urge to laugh. "Oh well," he said, "what's done is done. Now you'd better scarper because Hardness is on his way back here with half a pound of butter and a look of worship in those sweet angelic eyes. But do me a favour, Belter?"

"Anything," said Guy. After a moment he added, "Well, anything that doesn't involve a pat of butter, anyway."

"You're not my type," said Peter Thrasher. "Just promise me, NO MORE STORIES."

Guy promised, and because he felt guilty and wasn't such a bad sort, he kept his word.

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