Of all the spankings I received, getting paddled on the bus was the one place I really hated getting it. First, you had a big audience and, second, the swats were fewer but harder. I suppose this was the case because the driver had a schedule to maintain.
It was the first week in October 1956, 6th grade. It was a very warm day and I had showered, put my hair in a ponytail (which seemed to have an invisible sign on it that said ‘pull me’ to boys) and put on a pale blue sun dress and blue canvas shoes. After eating breakfast, I went outside to congregate with my two brothers and four cousins from next door to wait for Mr Tanner (an appropriate name) and the bus to pick us up. My house was the 3rd pickup, which was great because you got your pick of the seats. However, it also meant you had about 45 minutes to go before arriving at school.
The big yellow school bus soon appeared and we all got on. I went to my usual seat which was 4th from the back on the left side and sat down. My cousin Cathy sat with me and the rest were nearby. We went down county road 7014 and soon were on county highway 178. About 25 minutes later, we stopped to pick up Eli Jeffries whom everyone called EJ. He was a 5th grader who was also a little pain in the ass, literally, as was a few others boys in his class.
We had just picked him up and he came and sat in the seat behind me. About two minutes later he began reaching over the seat and pulling my ponytail. I sat there very still waiting for him to strike again and when he did I tried to grab his hand which caused some commotion.
Mr Tanner, who was known for his strict rules of conduct on the bus, looked back and said: “You in the back, settle down or I may have to bust some tail. I haven’t done it in a few weeks and I am itching to do it again.”
Can you imagine some school employee saying that today? He would be fired so quickly that his head would spin.
So we had now just turned on to county road 980 and again EJ reached over the back of my seat in an attempt to pull my hair. This time I caught his hand and sank my teeth into it.
He yelled: “Oh crap, you witch, that hurts!” followed by the laughter of several kids.
Then Mr Tanner said: “Emily and EJ, come up here and sit in the front seat.”
The front seat was the seat that was the front one of the row to the right of the driver. No one sat there because you had to be really well behaved or he would see anything you did. As we walked up to the front seat you could hear snickers and giggles from the other students who knew what was about to happen. Mr Tanner slowly pulled off to the side of the road and came to a stop just after we sat down in the seat. He then stood up and asked what happened back there.
I said: “EJ was pulling my hair so I bit his hand when he tried doing it again.”
Mr Tanner looked at me and then at EJ’s hand where he observed my teeth imprints on his right hand. He then decided that we both were at fault and both would receive 6 swats. Although it is fewer swats than I got from Mr Anderson, his swats were harder and really burned.
He called EJ up first. “Turn around and face the back of the bus and bend over and grab your ankles.”
EJ sighed and turned around and did as he was told. Mr Tanner took the paddle stored in a small compartment under his seat and took his place next to him. Mr Tanner swung back and came down on his behind with a loud ‘WHAP!
EJ let out an “ahhhh” and then gritted his teeth.
Five more hard swats followed with EJ yelling “ahhhh” followed by a loud exhale. Then he was told to go back to his seat. Now this is where I find school spankings unfair. Unlike the ones in school where boys usually had to get it on their underwear, this did not happen on bus spankings. But that was not the case for girls.
When he called my name I went to where EJ had stood and faced the back of the bus. When he told me to bend over and grab my ankles I did as I was told and then I felt Mr Tanner lift the edge of my dress to get a clean shot at my pantied bottom. Unlike Mr Anderson, who would pull the dress edge back over your back, Mr Tanner just lifted enough to get to the target area.
I remember looking at the floor and my blue canvas shoes when the first swat hit. ‘WHAP!’ came the sound and I gasped and tried to start my breathing exercises. Damn did that one smart like hell! Then about 2 seconds later came number two ‘WHAP’ and I gasped again and said “owwieee.” Then came the next 2 of equal force and loudness. I struggled to keep my hands around my lower legs as that paddle repeatedly found its destination.
I had began lightly crying by the 5th one and I must have been moving too much because I felt his non-paddle hand press down slightly on my lower back. “Last one,” he said as number 6 was finally delivered. He cleared his throat and then told me to back to my seat.
Again I could hear low volume snickers as I went past the ones sitting in front of me. As I sat back on the seat next to Cathy, she put her arm around me and said: “Are you ok?”
I said: “Not really,” through light tears as I shifted my behind on the black colored seat, trying to get a bit of relief from the pain and sting coursing through my behind.
She tried to inject humor in the situation by telling me that when every swat struck my behind, my dress billowed out like a parachute.
It was still stinging 20 minutes later when we arrived at school. Cathy looked at me and said: “EJ is an ass.”
I agreed wholeheartedly and then added: “And my ass is on fire.”
She again said: “I’m sorry,” in that dorky high voice of hers and then we went different directions to our respective classes. I hated that damned EJ for weeks after that.