Sunday, August 30, 2015

"Correcting the Coeds"

1950s Wife is on summer vacation but hopes to resume writing this fall. In the meantime, here are excerpts of an exciting new book on 1950s-style discipline just released, Correcting the Coeds, featuring four hot spanking novellas by four great spank fiction writers:

Correcting the Coeds

Excerpt from Stepbrother’s Rules by Renee Rose

Turning to LuAnn, he asked, “What happened?”
She stared into Brad’s ocean blue eyes, her breath catching in her chest, as it always did
when he was around. She’d had a paralyzing crush on him since the day he’d moved in with
them when she was thirteen years old.
Brad raised an eyebrow, shifting subtly from the carefree rebel to the authority figure he
LuAnn swallowed. “I broke some dormitory rules.”
Brad said nothing, as if waiting for her to elaborate.
“We were, uh, drinking. And smoking. And we sneaked boys into our room.”
Brad’s face grew serious. “I see.”
“It was not her first violation of rules, either. She’s been written up a few times already
for smoking, sneaking out after hours and missing curfew,” Mrs. McCormick was happy to
LuAnn pressed her lips together.
Turning to the older woman, Brad said, “I’m sorry for the trouble she’s caused.” He
beckoned to LuAnn with a quick curl of his index finger. “Let’s go.”
She stumbled forward, still shaky from both the liquor and the disastrous evening.
The moment they stepped out of the office, Brad shocked her by smacking her backside,
She jumped and scooted forward, out of his reach.
“You’re in big trouble, mouse,” he said.

A Husband for Betty by Sue Lyndon

When Betty is sent to her college advisor on a disciplinary matter, she doesn’t expect
Dr. David Bauer to scold her, make her stand in the corner, and propose marriage all
within the hour. Yet that’s exactly what happens, and out of desperation to escape her
family’s influence, the young coed finds herself saying yes to the handsome widower.
David is a strict man who has no compunction about baring his wife’s bottom for a
sound spanking, but he’s also patient and caring. Betty feels blessed to be his wife, but
she worries he views their union as nothing more than a marriage of convenience. Will
he ever truly love her, and how will he react to the shameful secret she’s been keeping
about her past?

Back to Her Future by Celeste Jones

To keep peace with her roommate, Astrid agrees to try her time travel app, never
imagining that this would be the one time Margo invented something that worked. In an
instant, Astrid is transported to 1956 and the dorm room of Richard "Dick"
Johnson—Eagle Scout, straight arrow, spanker.
Dick Johnson has never met a girl like Astrid. Just because she says she's an exchange
student from Canada doesn't mean she can flaunt the rules of proper ladylike behavior
and he intends to help her understand American ways, even if the lessons are taught
across his lap. Astrid is charmed, and turned on, by Richard's old-fashioned ways, but
she knows he'll never understand if she tells him the truth. When the time comes for
Astrid to return to 2016, will she be able to go Back To Her Future?
This book contains spanking, hip 50s slang, and some mocking of Canada. If such
things offend you, please do not buy this book, eh?

Educating His Bride by Cara Bristol

Never much interested in her studies, Margaret Atwater attends college hoping to
graduate with an Mrs. degree instead of a bachelor’s. When she catches the eye of
English Professor Henry Thurston, she’s thrilled to marry him, drop out of school, and
begin a new life as a married woman and faculty wife. However, Henry is a kinky man
who has much to teach his eager young bride—in, and out, of the bedroom. As Mrs.
Henry Thurston, Margaret’s education has just begun.
Stepbrother’s Rules by Renee Rose
LuAnn’s had a crush on her older, rebellious stepbrother since the year he lived with
them—his last year of high school. Now, four weeks before graduating from Sarah
Wharton Women’s College, she’s been kicked out for having boys in her dormitory, and
he’s the one who shows up to collect her. With her parents away in Europe, he brings
her to his place, because leaving a young woman unchaperoned isn’t done in 1957.
Brad makes it clear she is not to emulate the wild behavior of his youth, and he starts
things out with a long, bare-bottomed punishment. Soon, though, he discovers his
stepsister is all grown up, and having her under his authority makes her a temptation
too delicious to resist. Before long, he’s strayed way past what is acceptable, turning
her into his little girl and bringing her to the peaks of pleasure during her numerous

Correcting the Coeds my be purchased on And for more information about the writers, links to their home pages are included in the links section of this blog.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Execution of Barbie: Mean Mom's Punishment

1950s Wife is on summer vacation. In the meantime enjoy this nostalgic childhood tale by her alter ego, Claire Colinsgrove

This story is fiction, mostly. And dedicated to the memory of my father.
"Thump. Thump. Thump."

"Boom! Boom! Boom!"

"Thump. Thump. Thump."

"Boom! Boom! Boom!"

Even with noise that comes from my usual morning activity this summer of 1974, the year I turn 12, smacking a tennis ball against the garage door pretending to be star player Chris Evert, I recognize the other sound.

Firecrackers! From a yard down the street. I drop my tennis racket and ball and hurry out my driveway.

No need to go inside first to ask Mom’s permission. In the 1970s, neighborhood kids and our dogs play in packs free to run from yard to yard with minimal adult supervision. Younger children of six and seven are told not to go beyond next-door yards, but kids my age can acceptably roam in areas forming concentric circles around our houses of approximately one square mile without getting in trouble for “going too far.”

I walk quickly to the back yard of the house where I heard the explosions coming from. No need to announce my presence to the property owners and request permission to recreate on their grounds. In the 1970s, a crowd of children in a back yard is open invitation to any child of comparable age to come by and play.

Just as I come round the house into the back yard, I hear the explosion. An action figurine flies into the air.

“Far out,” a boy cries. “That was cool, man! Really cool!”

I come closer. Several boys and a few girls, most my age but a few younger ones, gather round a partially destroyed “GI Joe” figurine. An arm is missing and his Army uniform frayed.

“Is he still alive, corporal?” a boy shouts.

“Barely,” another kid says. “He’s got a pulse but he won’t last long.”

“Give him a morphine shot,” the boy-in-command says. “I’m radioing the MASH unit to send a chopper.”

“But there’s enemy fire,” another kid screams. “We’ll never get a bird in here.”

“Damn it, private,” boy-in-command says. “We need that helicopter. I’m not losing another of my men to the fucking Gooks!”

“Those are bad words,” a girl cries, genuinely shocked. “You shouldn’t say those words!”

“My older brother was in the ‘Nam,” says boy-in-command with an authoritative tone befitting an officer. “That’s what they called ‘em, ‘Gooks’.”

“Well, you shouldn’t say the ‘F word’,” the girl scolds. “It’s bad.”

I know the girl from school, but don’t consider her a friend. Susan is a goody-goody who never has her name put in the “talking box.” I, on the other hand, hold the school record for being punished this way more than any other student.

The “talking box” is my elementary school’s primary means of student discipline. Repeated misbehavior, particularly talking without permission, results in a student’s name written in box on the chalkboard and subjects the offender to five minutes after school. Additional misbehavior places a check mark by a kid’s name meaning five more minutes of detention up to a maximum of twenty minutes after school.

Serving maximum sentences of after-school punishment was such an everyday occurrence that Mom for most of elementary school didn’t show until 20 minutes after school ended to drive me home. On the rare occasion when I only served five- or ten-minute detentions, I stood around by the school entry door waiting for her.

Susan’s scolding the boys for cursing and using racist slurs makes no effect. A boy carries a toy helicopter through the air pretending to transport injured GI Joe to the MASH unit. After running several feet, the boy slams the helicopter down on the ground.

“Motherfuck,” boy-in-command says. “The fucking Gooks shot down our bird. Two proud American soldiers dead.”

Boy-in-command carries the GI Joe figurine over to me.

“Mrs. Colinsgrove, I regret to inform you that your son perished in combat in Vietnam,” he says, handing me the battered figurine. “He died a hero.”

I take the bait. “Oh my God!,” I wail at the top of my lungs.

“My son. My son. My beautiful baby boy. Dead. Damn this senseless war. Damn President Nixon. If only McGovern won the election my child would be alive today.”

“Claire, it’s illegal to talk like that about the president,” goody-goody Susan cries. “I’m telling.”

“I don’t care if you do tell because it’s not illegal,” I shout at her. “We have freedom of speech in America because of the First Amendment.”

Susan looks at me with a puzzled expression on her face. She’s probably heard the term “First Amendment” but I’m sure has no idea what it means. Afraid to look foolish in her reply, she shuts up.

I hand GI Joe back to boy-in-command.

“Hey Claire,” he says as he takes the doll back. “I thought you had a tennis lesson today.”

“No that’s Wednesday,” I say.

I feel a strange sensation, a tingling, shoot through me. I think this boy looks cute, at least as cute as a 12-year-old boy can look to the eyes of a 12-year-old girl who still agrees with her friends that boys are “icky.”

He knows I take tennis lessons, I say to myself, feeling pleasure at the thought that this boy knows something about me.

Boy-in-command walks a few feet over to a burned-out area in the grass. He puts a firecracker under GI Joe’s behind and pulls a cigarette lighter out of his pocket. I feel the tingling sensation again as I see the boy’s familiarity with a contraption kids our age are forbidden to use.

The firecracker explodes and GI Joe flies high in the air. Boys cry “Far out!” and “Cool, Man!” The chopper again attempts to transport dying GI Joe to the MASH unit only to again crash to the ground to shouts of “Fucking Gooks.”

Boy-in-command tries handing dead GI Joe to prissy Susan, but she’s either too shy or too stupid to engage in make-believe grieving over a dead soldier’s passing.

GI Joe is blown up a couple more times. Now just a torso is left. Boy-in-command carries the doll’s body parts to the garden in the back yard, kicks up dirt, tosses down the toy and smoothes the loose soil over it.

GI Joe, proud American soldier who lost his life in the senseless tragedy of Vietnam, is committed to the ground of make-believe Arlington Cemetery.

“One firecracker left,” says boy-in-command. “Let’s catch a stray cat and tie it to its tail and light it.”

“You better not!” Susan shouts. “I’ll tell.”

“OK I won’t,” boy-in-command says. He takes the cigarette lighter from his pocket preparing the light the firecracker.

“Hey wait,” I shout. “I’ve got an idea.”


I enter my house still having second thoughts. I’ll get in a lot of trouble with Mom if I get caught, maybe even whipped.

As soon as the words pop out of my mouth, I regret it. But the tingle I feel at boy-in-command’s gleeful look and encouraging words cause me to go through with it.

“I haven’t heard your tennis ball for awhile,” Mom says as I pass by her heading to the stairway. “What are you up to?”

“I was over at Sharon’s house,” I lie, knowing that my best friend is home now, is quick to answer the phone when it rings, and will cover for me if Mom calls asking about my whereabouts.

“I’m going back,” I say. “She wants to look at my Barbies. She’s thinking of getting her little sister one for her birthday.”

“Oh that’s sweet,” Mom says as I walk upstairs. “You haven’t played with your Barbies in a long time. You’re still my little girl.”

I enter my room and walk to the toy chest where stuffed animals and dolls are kept, marveling at my ability to improvise such a convincing lie to explain carrying my Barbies out of the house.

I grab all four of them. I don’t care which one is used. I not interested in playing with any of my Barbies anymore. I’m practically a teenager. I don’t want to play with dolls.

I walk back down the stairs with my quartet of Barbies. “Bye Mom,” I shout as I walk out the door. “Be back in a little while.”

I walk quickly down the street and round the house into the back yard. The younger kids and most of the girls have left leaving just the boys my age and the prissy Susan girl.

The boys belch loudly. “That’s so gross,” Susan scolds.

Boy-in-command spies me. “You got them,” he says delightedly. “Far out!”

“Which one do you want to use,” I ask.

“It doesn’t matter,” says boy-in-command. “Any of them.”

I toss him a Barbie dressed in a 1970s-style pants suit.

Boy-in-command picks up the doll.

“She’s a VC operative who hangs out by the base posing as a hooker,” he says. “She intentionally gives soldiers ‘the clap’.”

“That’s so gross,” Susan shouts. “You better not talk about that stuff. I’ll tell.”

I don’t know what “the clap” is except that it’s must have something to do with sex. But I don’t like the idea of Caucasian-looking Barbie being Vietnamese.

“She can’t be VC. She’s not Asian,” I say. “She’s ‘Hanoi Jane’.”

“Who?” asks one of the boys.

“You know, Jane Fonda, the movie actress,” I say. “She was one of those anti-war protestors in the 1960s. She visited North Vietnam and posed in photos with Ho Chi Min, the head of the VC. That’s why they call her ‘Hanoi Jane’.”

“Yeah, ‘Hanoi Jane.’ My older brother talks about her,” says boy-in-command. “She sold out the American troops. She’s a traitor.”

Boy-in-command holds the Barbie doll up in the air.

“We’ve gone on a mission deep into VC territory and discovered ‘Hanoi Jane’ at a base camp,” boy-in-command says. “She’s letting the VC officers fuck her.”

“You better not say that word again,” shouts prissy Susan. “I’m telling.”

“I’m a master interrogator, ‘Hanoi Jane’,” says boy-in-command. “Tell us what you know!”

“I will never ever talk, imperialist U.S. Army pig,” I shout. “Long live the third world. Long live Chairman Mao and Che Guevara!”

Boy-and-command walks over to me grinning.

“We have ways of making you talk, ‘Hanoi Jane.’ Confess or it will be all the worse for you.”

“I won’t,” I cry. “The boot of American imperialism will never crush the fighting spirit of the Viet Cong, true representatives of the Vietnamese people.”

“Confess or you’ll be tortured,” says boy-in-command.

“I won’t,” I shout.

“Very well. You leave me no choice.”

Boy-in-command lays the Barbie doll on the ground and sets the last firecracker under her plastic behind. “Last chance,” he says.


He takes the cigarette lighter and lights the firecracker. A second later, then “Boom!”

Barbie flies high in the air to cheers of me and the boys.

“Corporal,” shouts boy-in-command. “Is she dead?”

Another kid picks up the tattered Barbie. “Yes Sir,” he says. “No pulse.”

“Chop off her head and stick it on a post as a sign to locals of what happens when they defy the U.S. Army,” boy-in-command says. “But shave off the ears for you and the soldiers to keep as souvenirs.”

 “Yes Sir,” says the other kid. He tugs at Barbie’s head popping it off. He tosses the torso to me and the head to prissy Susan.

“That’s so gross,” she says.

“No more firecrackers,” says boy-in-command. He fishes in his pocket pulling out a loose cigarette.

“I stole one from my brother’s pack,” he says. “Who wants a puff?”

“I’m leaving,” declares Susan. “And you better leave too Claire or I’m telling on you for smoking.”

I look over at boy-in-command. “I better head home. It’s almost lunch time.”

I toss Barbie’s torso to him. “Can you throw this away for me?”

“Sure,” says boy-in-command. I turn to leave. “Hey Claire,” he calls after me. “Wait up.”

He catches up with me as we turn round the house into the front yard. We’re out of sight and sound of the other kids.

Boy-in-command looks bashful all of a sudden. “Um, Claire, um …”

He’s lost some of his “command presence.” But, thankfully, not all.

“Um … would you like to play tennis with me sometime?,” he finally stammers.

I feel my heart leap. “Sure,” I say excitedly. “Call me. We’re in the phone book.”

I turn to leave. “Hey Claire,” says boy-in-command.


He reaches one arm out to hold my shoulder then his other. My hands hold my remaining three Barbies, so I can’t help but let him pull me closer.

Boy-in-command kisses me lightly on the lips.

My first kiss! And it’s not icky at all.

“Bye,” says grinning boy-in-command.

“Byeee!!!,” I sing out.

I hurry home resisting the urge to skip instead of walk because I know he may be watching me and I don’t want to look like a kid.

What a great day!


I head out the back door the next morning, Tuesday, carrying my tennis racket and ball ready to do battle with the garage door.

As usual, I prepare with a hearty breakfast except this morning I had some of the yucky-tasting bran flakes Mom eats instead of sugared cereal. Got to watch my weight now that I have a boyfriend.

Boy-in-command telephoned yesterday night just as we finished supper. Today he has a baseball game, Wednesday is my tennis lesson, so our tennis match is set for Thursday. Mom shook her head “no” when I asked, but Dad overruled her.

“Tennis only,” Mom told me. “No going to his house after.”

Later that night, as I watched TV in the den, I overheard my parents talking in the kitchen.

“She’s only 12,” Mom said. “It’s harmless,” Dad replied.

 “She needs to begin learning how to interact with boys at some point. She knows not to do anything wrong,” Dad continued. “You’ve got to accept the fact that her life growing up is going to be different from yours. We can’t afford to send her to a girl’s boarding school for high school. She’s going to be in a co-educational environment.”

I’m about to walk out the door when Mom says “Claire, I need to talk to you.”

I walk back into the kitchen. Mom’s sitting at the table finishing her coffee. I’m not too worried. She hasn’t been my room since I returned yesterday for lunch. If she’d asked then, I was prepared to explain the missing Barbie by saying I left it with Sharon’s little sister to play with. But Mom didn’t notice that I only returned with three dolls.

My parents rarely interact with my best friend Sharon’s parents, who, unlike Mom and Dad, didn’t go to prestigious East Coast colleges and don’t belong to the country club. So, if Mom ever discovers the missing Barbie, I can likely get away with lying that it’s at Sharon’s house and Mom probably won’t ever follow up on it.

But, as the poet says, “The best laid plans or mice and man (and 12-year-old girls lying to their mothers) go oft astray and leave us not but grief and pain…”

Just how much pain I’m about to find out.

I stand a few feet from Mom. “What were you up to yesterday morning?” she asks.

This isn’t good. I try to sound confident, but I feel the bravado drain from my voice as I say “What do you mean?”

“Between when you quit bouncing the tennis ball against the garage door and lunch. Where did you go with your Barbies?”

“I went to Sharon’s house,” I say. “Her little sister wanted to look at them. I let her keep one to play with for awhile.”

“I don’t like you lending those dolls to other kids,” Mom says. “Other toys maybe, but not your Barbies. Santa brought them to you. Hurry over to Sharon’s house and bring it back.”

I feel a bit of hope. With a convincing performance I can get out of this. Maybe.

“But Mom,” I whine, “I told Sharon’s little sister she could play with it. A bunch of her friends are coming over later this week to put on a pageant with their dolls. What’s the big deal? I don’t really play that much with Barbies any more. They’re for younger kids.”

But Mom is unmoved. “Go and get it,” she says.

“I can’t,” I say, starting to plead.

“Why not?”

“I just can’t,” I mumble.

“Is this why,” says Mom, pulling my late Barbie’s head out of her dress pocket.

I flush, more with anger than fear, and feel my heart pound. That bitch Susan tattled on me! Oh she is so dead the next time I see her.

“Susan Miller’s mother stopped by early this morning before you got up,” Mom says. “Hanging out with boys who smoke and shoot off fireworks. How could you? Santa brought you that Barbie for Christmas!”

“I dunno,” I mumble. “I heard the firecrackers and went over. These kids were blowing up a GI Joe doll and it looked funny. They had one firecracker left and they thought it would be cool to blow up a Barbie.”

I continue: “I know I shouldn’t have been around firecrackers. I’m sorry.”

“What else are you sorry about?” Mom demands.

“What do you mean?”

“Are you sorry that you lied to me just now?”

“Yes Ma’am.”

Mom continues: “What is the punishment for lying.”

I feel the tears start to flow. I can’t believe it! I’m 12 years old. She can’t be planning on washing my mouth out with soap.

“Mom, I’m too old.”

“What’s the punishment?” she demands.

“I get a soapy mouth,” I mumble.

“Very well,” says Mom. “Let’s get you upstairs.”

Mom assists me in walking upstairs to my bathroom by grabbing an earlobe and tugging me along. Great. Nothing like the pain and humiliation of being “taken by ear” to the bathroom to get your mouth washed out with soap at age 12.

I sit down on the toilet lid. “Please Mom,” I cry.

No response. Mom is busy lathering up a soapy rag.

She turns from the sink to me. “Open,” she says.

I comply, trying to maintain my dignity in my mind by fantasizing that I’m at the dentist.

Mom would certainly make a great dental assistant. She’s very thorough: My lower teeth and gums, the upper set, across the tongue and under it, the top of my mouth, all soundly soaped.

Finally, she’s done and I stand by the sink. My whole being rebels at the horrible taste in my mouth, but I know from past routine that I better not spit yet.

“One minute,” Mom says looking down at her watch.

I count the seconds in my head of the longest minute in my life. At last Mom says, “Spit.”

I expectorate a load of soapy spit. Mom gives me a small paper cup from the dispenser. “Wash your mouth out,” she says. I comply, refilling the cup to wash my mouth out several times.

“OK,” Mom says. “Brush your teeth.”

I brush away, doing a much more thorough job than usual. At last the horrible taste is gone from my mouth. I spit one last time and wash my toothbrush off with water.

What next, I wonder. Hopefully, she’s not going to tell me my tennis date is cancelled.

“Now go fetch the “ouchy stick” and meet me in the living room,” Mom says.

“But Mom,” I cry. “I’ve been punished enough. I’m sorry!”

“What are you sorry for?” Mom demands.

“I’m sorry that I was hanging out with kids playing firecrackers.”

“What else?”

“I’m sorry that I lied to you.”

“What else?”

“Mom, that’s all I did. I said I’m sorry. Why are you being like this?”

“Apparently, you’re not sorry enough,” Mom says. “Go fetch the ouchy stick.”

I walk out the bathroom down the stairs to the broom closet. I feel a mixture of rage and fear, my stomach churning. I’ve already gotten one humiliating punishment. This is too much. It’s abuse.

I open the broom closet and retrieve the “ouchy stick” from its customary place hanging on the wall. Its purpose is obvious, so obvious that I’ve taken in the past year to make sure the broom closet is closed when friends visit.

Nearly all my friends got spanked by their parents as young children, no big deal about that. But those who still get it at age 12 are likely to be teased should other kids know. I’ve been working up my nerve the past several months to make a formal request to my parents to declare me “too old” for spanking and throw away the ouchy stick. But, not having been whipped in several months, I haven’t pressed the issue.

The ‘ouchy stick” got its name from Mom referring to the hand spanks I got as a toddler and young child on my backside as “ouchies.” By the time I turned ten, hand spanks were considered insufficient. So Mom acquired an “ouchy stick,” which consists of a 12-inch ruler with handle affixed. The handle has a strap allowing it to be hung on a wall.

I have no idea where Mom got the ouchy stick. She probably went around the neighborhood asking parents of grown children if they had an implement no longer needed she could buy from them so she’d have something handy to beat her daughter with. In the 1970s, parents were less hung-up about this sort of thing.

Applied to a 12-year-old bottom covered by panties and jeans, the ouchy stick doesn’t hurt that bad. Applied to bare legs, it stings like the dickens. Better to get the ouchy stick in winter than summer.

I walk into the living room and hand Mom the ouchy stick. By now, the fear has left. All that remains is anger. Because I’ve figured out what this whipping is about.

Mom holds the handle of the stick with her right hand and runs the fingers of the left along the face of the implement.

“If you tell me all three things you should be sorry about, we won’t have to go through with this,” Mom says.

“I’m sorry that I played with firecrackers,” I say. “I’m sorry that I lied to you.”

“What else?” Mom demands.

“That’s all I did,” I wail.

Mom walks behind me and cracks the back of each bare thigh twice with the stick.

“What else,” she screams.

“That’s all I did,” I holler back, tears rolling down my face.

“Crack! Crack!” on the right thigh. “Crack! Crack!” on the left.

“What else?” Mom again shouts.

 “Nothing else,” I say in a voice choked with tears.

“Crack! Crack!” on the right thigh.

“What else?”

No answer.

“Crack! Crack!” on the left.

Mom ceases interrogating and but continues spanking. The thigh cracks continue, by now I’ve had at least a dozen spanks on each thigh. I’ve never been beaten this bad before. The few whippings I’ve had before that came close I would have long since been jumping up and down doing the “Ouchy Dance.”

But I stand completely still. I know what she wants, but I’m not going to give it to her.
I’m not going to say “Sorry” about blowing up my Barbie.

It was fun seeing the GI Joe and Barbie dolls blown up. If was fun pretending to be the grieving mother of a dead soldier lost in the senseless tragedy of Vietnam. It was fun pretending to be “Hanoi Jane.”

But, most important, it’s a huge ego boost that I got the coolest boy in the sixth grade to like me, that he gave me my first kiss, that he asked me to play tennis. I’m not going to let my bitch of a mother steal my victory from me no matter how badly she tortures me with the ouchy stick.

At last, Mom stops spanking me. Nothing is said for several seconds. My tears stop.

“How could you, Claire?” Mom finally asks in a wounded voice. “How could you destroy your Barbie? Santa brought it to you.”

“There is no Santa,” I say firmly. “It’s my Barbie and I can do what I want with it. Possession is nine-tenths of the law.”

“What?” My Mom asks. Her tone of voice is genuinely perplexed, not angry.

“Possession is nine-tenths of the law,” I say, citing the maxim that we kids say when refusing to return another kid’s toy that was left in a neighboring yard. Though it’s mainly younger children who rely on this rule in settling disputes over found property, even to my more advanced 12-year-old brain the simple saying justifiably fits the situation I’m in:
It’s my Barbie and I can do what I want with it!

“Just go to your room,” Mom says. “I’ll call you when it’s lunch time.”

“Fine,” I shout as I depart.

 “I don’t want any lunch,” I call down from the top of the stairs as I prepare to go in my room and slam the door. “I hate you!”


Less than 30 minutes later, Mom calls up the stairs that my punishment is over and I can come out of my room. But I don’t reply and continue to lie on the bed reading the “Wizard of Oz.”

American POWs captured by the VC spent years inside tiny bamboo cages. I can stay in my room long enough to force Mom to come upstairs and beg forgiveness for spanking me too hard.

I’ve got the complete series of “Oz” books penned by the author L. Frank Baum and it’s been awhile since I’ve read all fourteen books back-to-back at breakneck speed to prove my mental prowess. I had ample bran flakes for breakfast to enable me to miss lunch without much discomfort, particularly as I didn’t burn any calories this morning knocking a tennis ball against the garage door. I can easily last till dinner time if I have to.

I’m about two-thirds through the “Wizard of Oz” when Mom calls out, “Claire, your lunch is ready.”

I don’t reply. Fifteen minutes and an impressive number of read pages later, I hear Mom coming up the stairs. I lay down the book and roll over on my stomach with the streaky red backs of my thighs displayed. I want Mom to see the full measure of her evil.

The door opens of my room opens, but I don’t look up as I hear Mom set down a tray on my night stand.

“Claire, honey, I brought you some lunch,” says Mom.

She continues: “I know I spanked you way too hard. I was upset about the Barbie doll. You were so happy to get it that Christmas. I can understand if you want to stay in your room this afternoon, but you’re welcome to come downstairs anytime you want.”

That’s it? No promises to never spank nor wash my mouth out with soap again and that she’ll burn the ouchy stick?

No reply from me. Mom might as well be a female President Nixon apologizing for the Watergate scandal by blaming her underlings and assuring the American public she’s “not a crook.” I know from watching TV news and reading the copy of the Washington Post that’s delivered to our house each morning that neither the American public nor Congress is in a forgiving mood. I’m certainly not.

Mom leaves. I wait until the sounds of her footsteps indicate she’s back in the kitchen, then get off the bed and shut my door. Then I check out the lunch tray.

Yum: Bologna and melted American cheese on white bread, one of my favorite style sandwiches!  And two large chocolate chip cookies, one more than usual.

I eat the cookies first dunking them in my glass of milk. Then I eat the bologna sandwich, dunking it in milk as well. Mom hates when I do that with a sandwich. For good measure, I peel off the bread crusts and drop them in the milk glass, which I leave unfinished. A nice soggy mess for Mom to clean.

Sated, I return to the “Wizard of Oz.” About an hour later I’m done. Next is “The “Land of Oz,” which introduces the seminal character of “Ozma,” princess of Oz, to Oz readers.

The celebration of the “Dorothy” character in popular culture is unseemly to Oz scholars such as me. “Ozma” is the true heroine when considering the literary qualities of all 14 books in their entirety.

But before I begin the “Land of Oz” I have to pee.

I open my door to walk to my adjoining bathroom. I can hear Mom talking on the phone downstairs. From the conversation, I can tell she’s speaking to Dad about me. But unlike usual when she calls him after I’ve been punished, she sounds sad rather than angry.

My bathroom needs completed, I return to my room, shut the door, lie on my bed and begin reading page one of “The Land of Oz.”


Three hours later and I’m nearly done. Boy oh boy, am I impressive! No one can read “Oz books” faster than me. Still, my brain is fatigued from the effort and I’d prefer not to start my third Oz book before dinner starts.

I hope Dad will be home from work soon. Then I can listen in enjoyment as Dad scolds Mom in a loud voice that’s she’s too strict with me, that she needs to cut me some slack and remember that I’m just a kid.

Mom’s excessive discipline has been a regular point of contention between my parents for the past year. I love Dad for defending me. My father is the “good parent.” He never punishes me. He doesn’t have to. Just a few words to me of disappointment from him are as painful as a dozen spanks with the ouchy stick.

To my pleasure, I hear the sound of Dad’s car pulling into our driveway at 4:30 pm, a good hour earlier than normal. Dad never works past 5:00 pm. “If I wanted to work late, I wouldn’t work for the federal government and federal government pay,” Dad is fond of saying.

Dad enters the house. I walk over to my bedroom door and open it a crack looking forward to the sounds of Dad giving Mom a good lecture. Hopefully it’ll end as it sometimes does with her screaming at him and running up to their bedroom in tears to slam the door.

Then I can go downstairs to give Dad a sympathetic look, as I usually do after Mom’s finished verbally abusing him, and go outside and put in good hour of smacking a tennis ball against the garage door before dinner. I’m feeling kind of logy from being cooped up inside all day.

But, to my disappointment, I can’t make out what my parents are saying as they speak in hushed tones. After several minutes they stop talking and I hear my Dad walking up the stairs.

I shut my door and hurry over to my bed and lie down on my stomach with my face buried in my pillow and the backs of my thighs visible. The red streaks have faded quite a bit in the several hours since my whipping, but there’s still convincing evidence of Mom’s crime.

Dad enters my room and sits down beside me on the bed. I keep my face buried in the pillow.

“Claire, I spoke to your mother,” Dad says. “I told her she had no business spanking you like that.”

I try to work up a sniffle as I whisper “OK.”

Darn it, the tears won’t come.

Dad continues: “Your Mom knows she was wrong. She’d come upstairs and apologize to you again but she knows you don’t want to talk to her now. We’ve talked and we agree you’re too old for spanking. You’re not going to be punished that way anymore.”

“I’m also too old to get my mouth washed out with soap,” I say in a voice slightly above a whisper.

“I’m going to tell her you’re too old to be punished that way as well,” Dad says. “So how about coming downstairs now? Mom is making your favorite for dinner: spaghetti.”

 I look up at my father for the first time since he entered the room. “OK,” I say in a normal tone.

I follow Dad out my room and down the stairs carrying the lunch tray into the kitchen. Mom is at the table arranging plates for dinner.

I wash off the plate that held my sandwich and put it in the dishwasher. Then I stick my fingers into the milk glass pulling out the soggy bread crusts and wash them down the disposal. Then I wash out the glass and put it in the dishwasher.

Mom doesn’t look up from the dinner table as she says “Thank you Claire.”

And, as much as I don’t want to say it, the words tumble out: “You’re welcome.”


I walk down the stairs and through the kitchen the next morning. It’s twenty minutes till nine, plenty of time to walk the mile to the country club for my tennis lesson.

Even though it’s 90 degrees and humid, I’m wearing sweat pants instead of a tennis skirt. There’s really no need, there are just a couple of tiny bruises remaining, nobody would know the difference.

Nobody but one, and her punishment isn’t quite done.

I pass by Mom. “Claire, why are…” Mom stops midsentence. She knows good and well why I’m wearing sweat pants on this muggy July morning.

I walk out the door without saying goodbye.

I’m halfway down the driveway when I hear Mom call after me:

“Have a good lesson!”

No answer. My walk turns into a jog. As I hurry along, I make a serving motion with my right arm.

Gotta get loose. Gonna ask the tennis instructor to help me work on my serve today. I’m one of the better girl tennis players of my age at the country club. I have a great top-spin forehand and a decent two-handed backhand.

But I haven’t really learned how to serve. When I hit the ball hard, it invariably goes into the net so I usually lob my serves in.

I’ve seen boy-in-command play tennis. He’s OK, but not great. We both need to pick up our game if we’re going to win the mixed-doubles category of the tennis tournament the country club puts on for kids our age at the end of the summer.

I’m going to ask boy-in-command to be my partner for the tournament after we’re done playing tennis tomorrow. Practicing together will maintain momentum of our budding summer romance. I want to spend as much time together with boy-in-command in the next two weeks because I have to go to summer camp in August and I know boys are fickle.

Maybe I can talk my parents out of sending me to camp. I’m really too old for kid stuff like that. I’m practically a teenager.

I enter the country club driveway and hurry to the tennis courts. Worries about boys, summer camp and a Mom who hates me enough to beat me with an ouchy stick leave as I anticipate the pleasure of smashing a tennis ball around the court.

What a great day!


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Too Many Upsets in "March Madness" Results in Wife's Well-Spanked Ass

A Gentleman Writes:

As a life-long resident of a Major Metropolis with requisite NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB teams, I consider enthusiasm for college sports an infliction shared by unsophisticates living in in Alabama, Kansas and other dullard states forming the "Pumpkin Patch." (Or as those of us important enough to fly first-class on business travel sometimes say "Flyover Country.")

As hiring partner for the firm, I do inquire as to an applicant's interest in sports, as effete fellows who spend weekends hunting butterflies and practicing the violin rather than cheering the home town's professional football, basketball, baseball and hockey teams won't fit in with the jocular nature of firm culture.

But I take a hard look at interviewees who express undue interest in college sports. Our firm consists of professionals at making money. Why take a chance on applicants who care about sporting efforts of amateurs?

So I was surprised when word got round that some of the younger fellows at the firm formed a betting pool based on results of the so-called March Madness college basketball tournament. I considered firing them all for wasting time on such nonsense. But, after discussing the matter with a younger partner with more insight as to the ways of the "Milennial Generation," I changed my mind.

The fellows playing the pool don't actually care about the teams, only about the games' results, the younger partner explained. Similar to how we at the firm don't care about our clients, only the money we make off them. And while betting on March Madness games used to be the province of employees at saving-and-loans, office supply stores and other rubes, in recent years even those talented enough to work in Big Business have gotten in on the action.

We partners aren't slavedrivers with our associates. In the course of the 16-hour work day, associates are permitted a stray minute here and there to glance at the internet and visit the water cooler or restroom. So long as associates aren't watching or listening to games at work via streaming media, just checking on scores, "March Madness" wagering is an acceptable diversion, I decided.

Moreover, as it's good management practice for a boss to take notice of his employees' outside interests, I decided it would boost office morale if I participated.

Initially I was at a loss as to how to fill out my bracket. Of course, I hadn't watched any of the teams on television. I doubt any of the associates watch much college basketball either, though as long as an associate clocks his 80 hours Monday through Friday, plus 12-hour "half days" on weekend, what he does in his spare time is his own business.

From their conversation, I gathered the associates based their picks on high-powered analysis of team statistics. All well and good, I decided. The firm is in the number-crunching business, after all, so this March Madness activity is practically a training exercise. I contemplated billing the matter to a deep-pocketed client but realized that would be a bit of a stretch.

However, I haven't used a spread sheet since I made partner a decade ago, so preparing my own analysis wasn't an option. Finally, I decided to go with the experts and base my picks entirely on the brackets' official seeding.

Playing it safe has always done well by me, as attending the right sort of preparatory school and college, choosing the right sort of major, entering the right sort of profession and choosing the right sort of first wife and her trophy successor made me the success I am today.

For a high-powered, Type A, successful businessman such as myself, there's only one way to watch televised sports: sitting on my luxurious leather-upholstered couch before my movie-projector style TV with 120-inch screen, my shapely trophy wife spread across my lap so I can vigorously spank her bottom throughout the game to express joy for good play by my favored team and disappointment for bad.

While I require my wife to be completely naked during games, I decided it would be fun to decorate her a bit. So for each game she must wear nipple clamps weighted with a locket resembling my favored team's mascot, plus a ball gag in team colors. (It's amazing what you can buy on the internet these days!)

While interviewing for a trophy wife, demonstrating an affinity for taking a sound spanking and the requisite round rump ranked high in the job's criteria. My trophy wife certainly meets the requirement and is a far improvement over her predecessor. (Wife number one wasn't into spanking and would only accommodate me by stuffing a pillow under her pants, hardly a satisfying option.)

But I hadn't counted on so many upsets. We're only through round one and already several favored teams have been booted from the field. These so-called experts who prepared the official seeding of the tournament brackets obviously aren't Big Firm material.

I've spanked my wife so hard in frustration that she must cool her blistered behind in icy water in the bathroom sink for several hours post-game while I stick my aching hand in next to her. And my wrist hasn't hurt this much since we fellows at prep school realized they were spiking the cafeteria milk with saltpeter and quit drinking it.

At round one's conclusion, I assigned our firm's token female associate, who's not participating in the March Madness betting pool, with a top secret assignment. She crunched the numbers and with so many upsets the odds of my winning the pool are unacceptably low.

You strike me as pretty smart for a woman. Would it be bad form for me to cancel the betting pool and tell the associates to get back to work?

Kind Sir:

While we normally have little in common with the moneyed set, I must admit that my husband and I share your disdain for college athletics.

Hubby was far too busy during his college years selling encyclopedias door-to-door during the day and attending class at night to pay attention to his school's athletic teams. Meanwhile, I went on scholarship to a private women's college, St. Scholastica Heart of Mary Sisters of Mercy School of Education and the Secretarial Arts. (Among my work-study obligations was serving as whipping girl so students training to be teachers could practice with the ruler.)

Though my college, the Novitiates, was at one time a small-school volleyball power, the stubborn refusal of the NCAA to allow us to continue fielding teams clad in the traditional knee-length gymslip caused us to abandon sports.

So while we watch in the humble living room of our 800-square-foot Chicago bungalow on a 12-inch black-and-white TV, professional sports, namely da Barez, Bullz, Hax and Sax, are what's televised in our home. (There is another well-known Chicago team, but they're famous mainly for losing and playing in a nostalgia-ladened park popular with tourists and we don't care about them.)

But, no matter how trivial college sports may be, I certainly would call foul if you cancel your firm's March Madness betting pool. Such action would make you a poor employer, for just as you allow your trophy wife to enliven her day by mixing in trips to the gym and beauty parlor with overseeing the servants cooking and cleaning -- I assume a man of your means employs household help -- your firm's hardworking associates deserve their momentary recreation.

While I don't know if you plan to watch the  tournament's remaining games, I certainly don't feel you're obligated to continue spanking your wife during the contests. As my husband likes to remind me, spanking is for my benefit and his pleasure, and if neither end is being met perhaps you should try an alternate means of entertainment.

Instead of spreading your wife across your lap for spanking, perhaps you can allow her to forego a ball gag so she can kneel before you sucking your Big Unit. During half-time she can entertain you by doing cheers causing her nipple-clamped boobs to bounce up and down.

While my husband normally doesn't make me wear nipple clamps during discipline, the idea of wearing a pair weighted with a locket bearing resemblance of our favorite professional sports teams does sound appealing. Putting that on my list for an anniversary present.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hubby's Valentine Gift of Snowblower Warms Wife's Heart. Excessive Late-Night/Early-Morning Snowblowing Results in Wife's Warm Bottom.

Dear 1950s Wife:

My husband is such a sweetheart and he never ceases to amaze me with the thoughtfulness of his gifts.

This Christmas he delighted me with a pair of custom-designed mink-lined pot holders and, being a New Year's baby, just a few days later presented me a fancy fly swatter with teak handle. (Being wintertime, I haven't used it on the little critters yet, but the implement works wonderfully as an impromptu punishment tool for minor offenses that don't require me to fetch the "naughty girl paddle.")

Hubby having splurged, I certainly didn't expect a big-ticket item for Valentine's Day.

But with so much snow in the northeast this year, I did mention in passing to my husband the other day that my back was a bit sore from shoveling the driveway so often. Hubby graciously offered to take over the chore, but I could never stand for my man to do such 'skirt work." What would the other submissive wives in the neighborhood think if they happened to spy him shoveling away? They might get the wrong idea about "who wears the pants" in our home.

We had a wonderfully romantic Valentine's night out, stopping first for dinner at an Italian restaurant in the mall followed by a movie in the adjacent theater.

(I recognized several of my non-submissive gal pals from the gym standing in line with their husbands to buy tickets for "Fifty Shades of Grey" but, as genuine practitioners of the 1950s domestic discipline lifestyle, my husband and I would never waste time watching such a trashy portrayal of so-called BDSM. We instead viewed the new "SpongeBob" movie. I recommend it highly!)

A big nor'easter was due to blow through and by the time we arrived home from the show a couple of inches had fallen. Once Hubby pulled the Cadillac into the garage, I said I would fetch the snow shovel, as clearing the driveway now would mean less to dig out when it came time for us to drive to church in the morning.

But Hubby told me to never mind that. He opened my passenger door and helped me out, then turned me round and administered a firm swat to my bottom. He told to stand with my nose in the corner of the garage and not to dare peek out else I'd get licks with the naughty girl paddle.

So I stood in the corner wondering what I'd done wrong. Perhaps I'd gone a bit too far in my light-hearted antics at the movie, including shouting out "Skidmark Testicles" when SpongeBob's friend "Squidward Tentacles" made his first appearance. I heard Hubby rummaging around in the utility closet and I worried he might be looking for a length of rubber hose to whip me.

But then he called out for me to turn round. I squealed, not from fear but with pleasure. For what to my wandering eyes should appear but a brand-spanking-new snowblower wrapped up in ribbon.

I rushed into my husband's arms and kissed him passionately on the lips.

"Oh sweetheart," I sighed as our lips parted. "You shouldn't have!"

Naturally, I couldn't wait to try out my toy. The machine was gassed up and ready to go, so Hubby went inside to build us a fire in the den and I wheeled the snowblower out of the garage and gave the starter cord a rip.

Boy oh boy, what a sweet sound the engine made!

As I wheeled the machine down the drive, chewed-up snow spewing out the side onto the yard, my heart filled with joy at recognition of what a kind, loving husband I have. I couldn't help but break out in song and what else would I sing but the "SpongeBob" theme.

With only a couple inches of snow to remove, plowing took just a few minutes. I was finishing rounding the edges of the drive when I spied the irritating elderly woman who lives next door walking determinedly across our yard wearing nothing but flannel pajamas, ratty housecoat, rubber boots and most unbecoming stocking cap.

I wasn't surprised at her costume: she and her husband are "outer borough people" who somehow managed to squirrel away enough pennies over the years from their blue-collar jobs to move from their 'Archie Bunker"-style bungalow in Queens to spend their golden years in our tony Westchester County suburb.

As I turned off the snowblower, the neighbor stopped walking about halfway across our lawn.

"What's da madda wit' use?" she growled at me in outer-borough-speak. "It's ten a' clock at night fer Pete's sake."

"Just giving the driveway a plow. I'm nearly done," I replied politely. "What do you think of the new snowblower my husband gave me for Valentine's Day? Isn't it a dandy?"

"Aint'cha heard da weather report?" she growled. "It's gonna snow all night. Why da hell ya gotta plow now? And why use plowin'? Yer college boy husband too soft fer da job?"

"My husband is in plenty good physical condition, thank you very much," I replied curtly. "But he works very long hours at his bank preparing alternative payment plans for people such as your husband who've fallen behind on their mortgages. So I do all the house and yard work."

The woman scowled at me even worse. But she said nothing. She knows I know that my husband sent her husband a letter the other day inviting him to come by the office for a "consultation." They've missed two payments. One more and my husband will call in the foreclosure lawyers unless he can be convinced to show mercy.

I continued: "Now if you'll excuse me, I've a bit more plowing to do."

The woman turned to go. But just before I pulled the snowblower's starter cord, I heard her mumble "stupid bitch."

"Well that does it," I said to myself. "This old woman needs to learn to mind her Ps and Qs."

I bent over and scooped up a handful of snow. I'm certainly not the butch-dyke girl-jock type. But Dear Ol' Dad was a Yankees fan and I spent many summer nights playing catch with him in the back yard. Roger Clemens has nothing on me. My snowball knocked the old lady's stocking cap right off the back of her head.

The old lady turned round, her face beet red. She marched furiously towards me.

"Stop right there. You're trespassing on private property,' I shouted. "Private property that I might add includes several hundred thousand dollars in home equity, the balance of the loan being subject to an interest-only loan 75 basis points below the prime rate, a fee only available to the most credit-worthy borrowers."

The woman stared at me in bewilderment shaking her head. "Yer one crazy bitch," she finally said. "I'm callin' da cops."

As she turned to walk home, I realized that, while I was naturally taken aback to be insulted by a social inferior, I may have gone a bit far in beaning a woman 40 years my senior in the back of the head with a snowball and the police would likely take her side. Though I was confident my husband's position as a BMIOS (big man in our suburb) would spare me getting arrested, Hubby would certainly beat my bottom black and blue for causing trouble.

I rushed over to her. "Please, no need for that," I said. "I apologize. You're right. It's far too late to use a snowblower."

I continued: 'A little bird told me that you and your husband are in a bit of a pinch with your mortgage. I'm going to talk to my husband. I'm sure he can work something out with his bank. And, if you play nice, I'll let your husband borrow my snowblower to earn extra money clearing neighbors' drives."

"OK. OK," the woman said, pulling her stocking cap back on her head. "Just no more snow blowing tonight."

I watched the elderly woman return to her house, then wheeled the snowblower back in the garage. I was a bit irritated that I wasn't able to finish the job by getting the edges of the drive perfectly square. But it probably didn't matter that much. Two more feet of snow were on the way.

I put my coat in the closet by the front door and walked into the den. My husband was sitting on the couch in front of a roaring fire. He'd uncorked a bottle of wine. I sat down next to him and nestled in his arms.

I was still a bit flustered from coming out on the losing end in the argument with my irritating neighbor. But a glass of wine helped restore my mood. So did the warm-up hand-spanking that came next, followed by my husband carrying me upstairs, throwing me on our bed, stripping off his clothes and mine and climbing aboard for bed-shaking sex. It was only a few moments after he rolled off of me that I fell fast asleep.


I awoke at the crack of dawn and looked out the bedroom window. The snow had stopped.

While we didn't appear to get the two feet that were predicted, many more inches had fallen since evening. But with my new snowblower, the driveway could be cleared in a jiffy, leaving me ample time to prepare Hubby's hearty breakfast of flapjacks, scrambled eggs and T-bone steak and finish my beauty preparations for church.

I changed into winter clothes, entered the garage and wheeled the snowblower onto the driveway, all the while whistling the happy tune of the "SpongeBob" theme song. I pulled the starter cord of the machine and commenced to plowing.

With my high-powered snowblower, the job was done in a matter of minutes. I looked at my watch. Plenty of time to get breakfast made. So much time, in fact, that, just to show there were no hard feelings, I decided to do a neighborly good deed.

I'd only been plowing the neighbors' drive for a minute when the old lady's husband stuck his wizened face out the door. He was hollering something but I couldn't make it out over the snowblower's roar. I turned the machine off.

"What da hell use doin'?," he shouted. "It's da crack a dawn, fer Pete's sake!"

Naturally, I was taken aback at his angry reaction. But I still managed to politely reply that I was trying to help them out clearing their drive with my new snowblower, that way they wouldn't be pressed to make it to church on time.

"We ain't going ta church today. We went ta mass last night," the old man sputtered. "Monday through Friday fer 40 years I gets up at 5:00 am ta get ta da loading dock on time. I sleeps in on Sundays."

He paused to shake his head, then shouted: 'What da hell is wrong with use, ya crazy bitch? Ya wuz runnin' dat damned machine when we wuz tryin' ta sleep last night. Ya wakes us up today. Get da hell offa my property or I'm callin' da cops!"

The old man slammed the door. I turned to go, tears rolling down my face at his impertinence.

"Such crust," I muttered as I wheeled the snowblower back to my garage. "Try to do a good deed and look what happens. Serves me right for trying to make friends with uncouth 'outer-borough people'."

I put the snowblower away and walked into the kitchen. By the time I finished my morning cup of coffee, I felt a bit better. Time to get started on breakfast, I thought, but then I heard our beloved pet bulldog "Sparky" waddling down the steps. Sparky scratched at the kitchen door letting me know he needed to go out in the back yard to "do his business."

I retrieved his leash and a paper bag and led him into the back yard. (Our busybody town council recently banned the use of plastic bags at the grocery store. Consequently I must spend good money at the pet store on overpriced "environmentally correct" poo bags made out of recycled paper.)

Sparky took his time pawing at the snow but finally found a suitable place. His turd was rather impressive. I made a mental note to check the size of his feed rations more thoroughly. I bent over and picked up the steaming piece of poo and placed it in the bag. Then inspiration struck.

I took Sparky back in the house. Of course, neither I nor my husband smoke. But we do keep a box of matches on hand to light candles in case of a power outage.

I walked out the garage onto our paved driveway then onto the street. Best strategy is to not be furtive, I thought, but to walk straight up to their front door. If they happen to see me out the window I can pretend I came by to apologize.

I clomped through the neighbors' snowy driveway onto their porch. So far so good. I pulled the paper bag and box of matches from my coat, bent down and lit the bag, pausing for a second or two to make sure fire took hold.

Then I rang the bell and ran.


My husband speaks animatedly to the police officer at the front door. I cower in a corner of the kitchen. Normally, Sparky defends the home by barking vigorously. But, sensing the gravity of the situation, he cowers in the corner with me.

"I can assure you officer that neither I nor my wife would do such a thing," my husband says adamantly. "I'm a high-ranking executive at our town's local bank, head of the mortgage department. My wife's in the Junior League. We belong to the country club. I'm a Yale man, for Pete's sake."

"I don't care if you went to Yale, you and your wife are going to jail if you don't fess up," the cop says.

"There are foot prints in the snow leading from their front door to your garage. The prints are from a distinctive style of female L.L. Bean winter boot. You own a dog. There are remnants in the feces of a particular type of dog treat sold only at the fancy pet store on Main Street. Now I'm asking you again: does your wife wear such a shoe and do you feed your dog such a treat?"

My husband looks over at me. The policeman taps his foot. Sparky whimpers. I clear my throat.

They say confession is good for the soul. But it's not so good for the bottom. Boy oh boy it sure was hard to sit through the Sunday sermon on those hard wooden church pews without wiggling after my husband was through with me.

The good news is Hubby talked the cop out of issuing me a ticket after assuring him he'd make good with the neighbors. The good news for the neighbors is that my husband worked out a very lenient mortgage forbearance plan that will allow them to catch up on their missed payments. More good news for them in that I will be clearing their driveway of snow at no charge for the rest of the winter, making sure to never run my snowblower too late at night nor too early in the morning.

And the neighbors and I are starting a snow-clearing business for neighboring driveways that will last until their mortgage payments are caught up. The old man and his wife are managers. I'm the employee. And if my husband hears one word of complaint from the neighbors about my attitude, he's paddling my backside 50 shades of red.

Oh well. At least I get to use my totally awesome snowblower!

Good woman:

I can only trust this humbling experience taught you the duty of respecting one's elders, even if they speak in working-class "outer borough" accents.

Good luck to you and the neighbors in your snow-removal business. More good news exists in that the lower cost of gasoline from plummeting oil prices will increase your profit margin.