Our gym mistress was a right dab hand with the slipper; it was an old plimsoll, actually, that was kept for the purpose of whacking the bums of naughty girls. Being quite naughty myself, I was a recipient of its sting quite a number of times during my schooldays.

One such occasion was when we had to come in early from hockey due to the weather and Miss told us to change and sit quietly. She went out for something and when she came back there was quite a din which caused us to get a right telling off. Miss then told us we were to sit in silence for the remainder of the lesson, which was about 15 minutes. Anyone not so doing would get the slipper, which she had thoughtfully brought out as a visual aid.

Now you would have thought that a simple task. But not for certain teenage girls, me included. Three of us started whispering when we thought Miss wasn’t looking. Unfortunately, the lady’s antennae were well tuned that day and we were spotted.

“Out the front, you three!” snapped Miss, taking up the slipper. She pointed it at me: “Bend over and touch your toes!”

I obeyed and felt a resounding WHACK to the back of my skirt which caused me to yell. I returned to where I was sitting with a pained expression and heat spreading in my bottom.

“Now you, Janet!” said Miss to my friend whose bottom then received the same treatment. She took it stoically and sat beside me. “Ow!” she murmured.

“OK Tracy, your turn!” said Miss.

Tracy took up the position with her somewhat plump bum pointing to the ceiling. I dunno whether she’d ever been whacked before, maybe not, but when Miss let fly with the slipper Tracy shrieked and literally jumped up holding her behind. Now the class found Tracy’s performance funny and started to titter until quailed by a look from Miss.

Unfortunately, Janet and I continued to titter and broke out in a fit of the giggles, much to the exasperation of Miss, who had us out the front again and doubled the punishment with two whacks each.

After that, any girl of sense with an already well warmed bottom would have buttoned her lip, but not me at that age. I was sadly (much to the annoyance of my teachers) the eternal show off. I just couldn’t get the image of Tracy hollering out of my mind and so, teenage hormones being what they were, the giggles came back.

The result was another summons from Miss to come out and touch my toes. She was obviously aware that a game was being played and was prepared to see it through. As I again viewed the floor from up close, I just couldn’t believe I was in this position again. I had already had one and then two whacks of that wretched slipper but now she doubled again to four. That would make a grand total of seven!

“When will you learn girl?” said Miss, as she poised the slipper above my upended bum.

When indeed? But she was certainly intent on imparting another lesson! With my bum already stinging from the previous assaults I braced myself:


I’d held it together till now but the sting of the slipper brought tears to my eyes as the slipper descended again.


This really started the waterworks as my teenage bravado crumpled and I went back to my seat unable to keep back the tears. I noticed the other girls grinning and realised I’d made somewhat of a spectacle of myself as I sat uncomfortably on a bottom that felt as if you could fry an egg on it. With deflated ego, I realised I’d played a game with Miss and lost all ends up.

One of those ends included my poor little bottom which had received no less than seven whacks. Today whenever I see a can of the drink named ‘Seven-Up’ it takes me back to that experience.