Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, a clip round the ear for some misdeed was not out of the ordinary and would certainly not have been reported back to your parents.
One such encounter happened in 1979. I was in the local corner shop goofing around as most 15 year olds do.
“Excuse me, can you not do that please,” said Mrs Dobbs the shop keeper, as I was picking up and putting back sweets into my pick-and-mix bag. “If you are not going to buy a sweet, don’t pick it up; other people don’t want your germs on their sweets.”
“What do you mean? My hands are lovely and clean!” And sticky from touching the sweets!
“I’ll have none of your lip, young lady. Just pick what you want, not what you don’t please, and use the tongs provided,” she said before getting some stock out of the back room.
Whilst she wasn’t there, I deliberately picked up 7 or 8 items and put them back in the wrong containers. Pure teenage spite. What I hadn’t bargained for was that the 4 foot by 3 foot mirror on the wall was actually a 2-way mirror, like the ones on police programmes on the television.
Moments later, Mrs Dobbs came out of the back room, walked past me, clicked the door catch, turned around the ‘open’ sign and put up a ‘back in 5 minutes’ notice.
“You are coming with me, young lady,” she said, taking my wrist and leading me into the back room, and it was at this point I saw the glaring error of my deeds, a perfect view of where I had been standing a minute before. “Have you got anything to say for yourself?” she asked angrily.
“No, Mrs Dobbs,” I replied quietly, wondering what was going to happen now.
I hoped she wouldn’t tell my mum. I would be for the high jump, that is for sure.
“Well what a to-do. I should by rights tell your mother,” she continued.
I butted in. “Tell who you like. She won’t do anything,” I said to try and stop her train of thought.
“Well in that case,” she continued. “She won’t mind me taking the appropriate action, will she?”
With that, she sat on a stool, pulled me across her knee and started to spank my bottom. She was much stronger than she looked. Pressing my back down with her left hand, her right hand worked its way across and around my bottom with a speed and accuracy that I had only experienced from the headmistress at school. Thankfully, unlike Miss Brown, she didn’t spank me on my knickers, so my fairly thick skirt stayed in position and offered at least some protection from her intense spanking.
Finally after 3 or 4 minutes of steady blows on my increasingly sore bottom, she stopped and said, “Now get up, pay for the sweets and get out of my shop. Don’t come back until you learn how to behave, otherwise it will be more than my hand walloping your bottom next time!”
I struggled off her lap and rubbed myself vigorously. Whilst I was nowhere near tears, I could feel my face must have been bright red by this point. Mrs Dobbs went back into the shop, unlocked the door and turned the sign back around to open.
I held the bag of sweets out for her to weigh. “That’ll be 65 pence please, which includes all these I cannot sell so you will have to buy,” she said as she used the tongs provided to put them in my bag.
I handed over the money, took the bag and grudgingly said, “Thank you,” and left.
Outside, I bumped into one of my school friends, Anna.
“What the heck has happened to you?” she enquired.
“I just got my bum spanked by old Mrs Dobbs for touching her precious sweets,” I said, absentmindedly rubbing my bottom again.
“Oh, my brother Nick got whacked with her slipper last year when he tried pinching a bar of chocolate. He said he’d never been spanked so hard. He reckoned she must be a secret weight-lifter or something,” she added as she nicked one of the sweets from my bag and popped it in her mouth with a smirk.