It was just two months since Randy had arrived at the small Christian college in Tennessee and began renting an inexpensive room in the home of Mrs. Susan Symington.
Since her husband had run off with an eighteen-year-old girl who worked at a local supermarket.
Mrs Symington has supplemented her income as a nurse by renting an extra bedroom to a series of college students.
Randy was the latest
Randy and Davey sat down at the table with Mrs Symington while Aunt Carolyn brought the dinner out. It was one of her specialties, lasagna, and it didn’t take long before the four of them were pitching into generous helpings and talking up a storm.
After dinner, Randy and Davey cleared the table and did the dishes while the two women retired to the parlor for coffee.
When the boys finished cleaning up, they joined the two women who were discussing the upcoming October church supper.
Suddenly the bell rang and Davey rushed to the door.
He greeted his best friend, Sammy, grabbed his coat, and said goodbye to his mother and Mrs Symington before dashing out to the car where Sammy’s dad was waiting to take them to the movies.
Randy remained in the parlor, looking glum as Mrs Symington took on a puzzled expression.
“What’s the matter, Randy? It’s Friday night. How come you aren’t off with Davey and the Parsons to the movies?”
Randy looked at his shoes and mumbled,
“I don’t really feel like the movies tonight, Mrs. Symington. I’ve got a big history test on Monday and I’ve got a lot of studying to do this weekend.”
“Randy MacPherson, you know better than to fib to Mrs. Symington,” Aunt Carolyn spoke out sharply.
Turning to her friend, she continued, “Susan, Randy was planning on going with Davey to the movies tonight but he misbehaved yesterday and he’s being punished.
He may have a lot of studying to do this weekend but that’s not why he’s staying home tonight.”
“Oh … I see.
Well that certainly makes a lot more sense,” Mrs. Symington noted, her serious tone combining with a distinct twinkle in her eyes.
“And what may I ask did Randy do to get grounded on a Friday night, Carolyn?”
“I’m afraid he broke his curfew and then lied about it to cover up the fact that he was at a dorm party and not in the library where he said he was.
If it wasn’t for the reserve desk librarian who called asking for an overdue reserve book charged out to Randy, I never would have known he was off partying when he should have been studying.”
“And he’s only getting off with a grounding for lying?
Do you really think a simple grounding is going to work, Carolyn?”
“Of course not, Susan.
You should know me better than that by now.
A month ago, I would have grounded Randy for two weeks but ever since I caught him in my liquor a month ago and told him he was going to have to find a new room to rent, we have established a much more satisfactory arrangement.
I have agreed to let him continue living under my room and he, in turn, has agreed to give me a parent’s normal authority in disciplinary matters if he breaks any of my house rules.
You might say Randy is no longer a tenant.
He’s more like one of the family.” Randy sat there, his ears growing red as the two women discussed his misbehavior.
Sensing the direction of the conversation, he asked if he could be excused only to provoke a sharp reply from Aunt Carolyn.
“Young man, I will excuse you when I am good and ready.
You will sit right there quietly until I say otherwise, do you understand me, child?”
“That’s better, young man. As I was saying, Susan, I now treat Randy exactly the way I treat Davey, and that goes for disciplinary matters whenever he misbehaves.”
“Really … oh my … I see … I see,” Mrs. Symington replied.
Catching a little twinkle in her friend’s eye, Mrs. Symington pushed a little further into the matter.
“Carolyn, do you really mean ‘exactly like Davey’?”
A little smile hovered around her mouth and she looked pointedly at Randy as she asked the question sending him to the floor and making his face flame up all over again.
“Exactly like Davey, Susan.”
“Isn’t Randy a little old to be punished like a small child when he misbehaves, Carolyn?”
“Perhaps, Susan, but that’s exactly why my method of discipline is so effective with a freshman who still behaves like a thirteen-year-old from time to time.
Since I only punish him when he misbehaves, he can’t say he doesn’t deserve what he gets or that I’m being unfair.
And frankly, it is a lot better than risking a suspension or expulsion from school and jeopardizing the education his mother worked so hard to provide. Isn’t that so,
After hesitating, Randy finally replied in a quiet voice without taking his eyes off the carpet
“Yes … Aunt Susan”.
“So far, it’s worked out very well. Randy learns a good lesson for his little misdemeanors just like Davey.
“I’m sure he does, Susan. I’m sure he does I imagine a childish punishment makes quite an impression on a college boy.”
“You put your finger right on it, Susan.
I’m sure my methods of punishment are effective for naughty boys of all ages but they work best with someone who thinks he’s too old to be turned over my knee.
As with Davey, once Randy’s pants come down and his punishment starts, he’s just as much a little boy as any child getting a spanking.
If you saw the way he carries on, you would understand why my method of punishment works so well.
The fact that Randy hasn’t started looking for another room also shows he agrees with me, even if he hates to admit it. Isn’t that right, Randy?”
Again Randy’s ears flamed dark red as his eyes fell even lower and he began fidgeting.
“Sit still, child. You know I don’t like it when you fidget.”
Randy stopped shaking his leg but kept his eyes on the floor.
“So you see, Susan, ever since our agreement a month ago, it’s just like having another teenage son around the house.
Davey knows I plan to continue disciplining him as long as he’s living in my house.
Despite his age, he accepts my approach completely and even prefers it to have his allowance cut or getting grounded for an extended period like his friends.
It makes sense when you think about it.
A spanking allows him to get his punishment over quickly so he can return to his regular routines and privileges.”
“You don’t have to sell me on that argument, Carolyn, since you know how I treat Charlie and he’s the same age as Davey.”
“Randy’s not bad, Susan, just immature and in need of strict guidelines backed up by firm discipline.
If more mothers spanked their boys through high school and into college when necessary, we wouldn’t have half the problems with truancy, delinquency, and underage drinking.”
“That’s exactly the way I feel, Carolyn. Does Davey get into more trouble now that Randy is here?”
“Yes, he does, Susan, and vice versa as well. It’s the same as it is anywhere else.
Two boys are always more than twice the trouble of one.
Though Davey’s influence makes Randy even more immature, I find I can handle him just fine thanks to our new understanding.
If he were in one of those awful dorms, he’d be in much worse trouble with all the drinking they do.
A strict house mother in each dorm would soon put an end to that if the parents would allow it.
I’m afraid it’s the permissive parents who are to blame for most of the problems teenagers get into these days.
Fortunately, Randy’s mother used spanking through tenth grade so he has been much better behaved than most.”
“Oh, I see. So he’s used to being punished this way?”
“Yes, he is. Susan, which makes it a lot easier around here on nights like tonight.
If he didn’t have a traditional upbringing, Randy probably never would have agreed to stay on here after I insisted on a new arrangement.”
Randy was beside himself with embarrassment and asked once more if he could be excused.
Once again, he was rebuffed and the two women went on talking about him as if he wasn’t present.
Aunt Carolyn continued. “The hardest thing for Randy to get used to so far is being spanked in front of Davey. ”
“How is that, Carolyn?, Mrs. Symington asked?”
“Well, Susan, on spanking nights when I have two naughty boys on my hands, I always spank them together so each child witnesses the other’s punishment.
That way, they learn what happens to bad boys in my home firsthand and from watching.
A child who has to wait while his friend gets paddled right in front of him and who knows he is next is a lot more anxious by the time he goes over my knee.
I keep track of who went first the last time so I can reverse the order.
It’s also more embarrassing for each of them to have a friend see his spankings.
For that reason, I always bring both boys into the den when just one of them needs a spanking.
A little embarrassment goes a lot way.
Remember last summer when I spanked Davey in your parlor after he broke that dish?”
“Yes, of course, Carolyn, how could I forget. Davey’s face was as red at the beginning as his bottom was at the end. Do Randy and Davey need to spanked together very often?”
“No, not more than once a week, Susan, though it depends. Last week, they earned two spankings together. My goodness, it’s already eight o’clock.”
The grandfather clock had begun chiming and both women looked at their watches.
“Why so it is, Carolyn. Is that a special time?”
“It is on a spanking night, Susan, because it’s when I put any naughty boys to bed after giving them a good paddling. Do you mind waiting here while I take care of something in the den which has been waiting all day?”
“Not at all, Carolyn. I can read today’s paper right here. Don’t bother about me.”
“Aunt Carolyn, please, not now with Mrs Symington here, please … can’t you wait?”
“Shush child. You knew Mrs. Symington was coming for dinner all week, didn’t you?”
“Yes, I suppose so.”
“You suppose so. I told you three or four times earlier in the week.
If you didn’t want to be in this situation, all you had to do was behave properly yesterday.
I didn’t go to a party when I was supposed to go to the library and study, did I?”
“Noo…” “Who snuck out to a party and then lied about it, young man?”
“I did,” Randy whispered, his face growing very worried.
“That’s right, you did, young man. You were the one who went to a party on a weeknight and then lied about it. What happens to boys who lie in my house, Randy?”
“That get … pu … punished” Randy whispered again, this time even more faintly.
“I can’t hear you, young man.”
“They get punished” he repeated in a slightly louder whisper.
“That’s right, they get punished.
If you give me even the slightest bit of trouble right now, I won’t bother to take you into the den.
We can just take care of your punishment right out here in the parlor. I’m sure we wouldn’t want that, would we, young man.”
Randy said nothing, his face a mask of misery and shame.
Already tears were welling up mysteriously in his eyes despite his attempts to fight them back.