The summer between 9th and 10th grade, we went as a family (mom, dad, me and my younger sister and two younger brothers) to Scotland to visit my grandmother, my dad’s mother. We flew to Scotland in July and stayed for the month with my grandmother.

I was not especially happy to be giving up a summer with my friends, especially the boy I had been secretly dating for more than a year. I was, to put it charitably, often sullen and glowering for much of the trip, to the point where I was warned more than once by mom that I was “this close” to having my attitude adjusted. By some miracle, I managed to improve my disposition each time to avoid a trip over her knee and I emerged from the trip spank free except for one specific instance that happened while we were visiting cousins in London.

While we were there, we made a side-trip to London, a rather lengthy train ride, to visit my dad’s cousin, who was a career Canadian diplomat and was stationed at the time at the Canadian embassy in London. He and his wife had two kids, Lisa who was 15 and a few months older than I, and Stephen, who was 9, around the same age as the older of my two younger brothers.

After a couple weeks being at my grandmother’s with no kids my age around, it was nice hanging out with my cousin, whom I had not seen in a couple of years, and talking about music, school and, mostly, boys. They had gone to London after being in Toronto and Ottawa for a few years.

A highlight of that visit was a matinee performance of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ that my dad’s cousin had used some connections to get tickets to. After a lot of back and forth and pleading from Lisa, we were given permission to go on our own without the parents, as long as we took and looked after my sister, who was around 12 at the time. We readily agreed and, when the day came, off we went to the show.

The journey from where they were living to the theater took about an hour and involved two different bus routes.

The show was spectacular; still one of my favorite theater experiences! When it was over, we ducked into a restaurant for some food. When we finished, we went outside, and Lisa said we’d have to hurry to catch our bus home. We raced to the stop but, in our haste, we became separated from each other. I think we both thought that my sis was with the other one, but when we finally found each other after several stops on the crowded bus we came to the sickening realization that we had left my sister behind.

In a complete panic, we got off at the next stop and took another bus back to the pick-up point. We made a frantic search but my sis was nowhere in sight. I was beginning to seriously panic when my sister emerged from a shop and waved us down. Now, this was in the days before everyone had cell phones, and she had no money on her and did not know the phone number of my dad’s cousin. She had gone into the shop in near hysterics and the people who ran the shop were just about to call the police when she spotted us looking for her.

We caught another bus and made our transfer, but we arrived home hours after we were expected and were met by two frantic and worried moms. My sister promptly burst into tears and told them what happened and how she was abandoned in the middle of a huge city and how terrified she had been.

The concern from the moms turned quickly to anger at Lisa and me for being so irresponsible. Lisa’s mom also was furious at her for not calling to let them know what was going on. After spending some time consoling my sister and sending her off to watch TV, they turned their attention back to us.

“We’re going to finish this conversation upstairs in my room,” Lisa’s mom said.

I saw a look flash across Lisa’s face that told me the conversation was going to be very one-sided. I knew from previous conversations with Lisa that her parents both spanked them, her dad with a belt and her mom with a wooden spoon or leather slipper. I had this sinking feeling that I would be experiencing one of those implements shortly.

We trudged up the stairs to the third floor, where Lisa’s parents’ bedroom was, our mothers close behind. It was a large master suite with a sitting area. Lisa’s mom disappeared into a walk-in closet and re-appeared with a slipper in each hand, a size 11 or 12 men’s slipper with what looked like a fairly thick and firm leather sole. I saw Lisa flinch when she saw the slipper.

Unlike the spankings mom gave at our house, there was less procedure with Lisa’s mom. She sat on an overstuffed hassock and my mom took residence in an armless occasional chair that she pulled to the center of the room.

Both Lisa and I were wearing dress shorts and button down blouses. We had lost our sneakers entering the house but had crew socks on.

Lisa’s mom waved the slipper at her and said: “Take those down, now.”

My mother chimed in, “You, too, Missy.” I hated when she called me Missy, because it usually meant my rear end was going to be imminently tanned.

I immediately flushed. I was in my post-puberty period of incredible body consciousness and felt very embarrassed in any state of exposure. But I also knew I risked a worse fate if I didn’t comply quickly, so I undid my shorts and slid them down, along with my cotton panties, in one motion. I now stood there with my patch of black pubic bush on display in front of Lisa and her mom.

Lisa was perhaps even more modest. I had never even seen her in her panties, let alone in any stage of undress. She was flushed and perspiring as she slid down shorts and then a pair of nylon panties, revealing a thatch of strawberry blond bush and a pale white bottom that, while not plump, was fuller and rounder than mine.

Her mom gave us a proper telling-off, citing how irresponsible we had been, how much they had worried us and compounded our misjudgments by not calling them. She had been raised in Canada by English upper middle class English parents and came across as very formal and reserved. As she upbraided us, my mom would occasionally interject with her own admonishments, including how she only agreed to let us go because she thought I could be trusted to watch my sister.

By the standards at my house, this was an exceptionally lengthy lecture. It probably went on for 10 minutes, an excruciatingly long time to be standing on full display. Finally, the lecture wrapped up and with a signal of slipper pointing to laps, we each bent over the knees of our respective moms.

Again, Lisa’s mom took the lead and began vigorously applying the leather to Lisa’s upturned bottom. My mom followed suit and soon the room was filled with the sounds of leather smacking bare bums and yips and yelps from two sorry teens. I noticed that Lisa’s mom did not make her count swats and, in a break from our usual protocol, mom did not make me count either. She also did not spank in her usual group of 12 swats. I don’t know how many I got, but I would estimate it was well past 60 and she painted every inch of my bum, top and bottom, and the tops of my thighs with that thick-soled leather. I could see Lisa’s legs occasionally scissor kick and I know I was squirming and bucking myself toward the end. I am not sure of the duration, but it was probably a good sound three minutes that we spent over their knees.

When we were finally told we could stand up, we each hopped up and down and rubbed our sizzling behinds, no longer concerned about modesty or embarrassment. When we had calmed down some, my mom took the lead and pointed to an empty corner and told me to go park my nose in it. I realized at that point I had kicked off both shorts and panties.

Lisa’s mom said: “I think that is an excellent idea. You can think about what you should have done better,” and dispatched Lisa to a space between her vanity and dresser.

I am not sure how long our exile lasted, but mom came back up and told us to get dressed and get down for dinner. The only saving grace is that my brothers and Lisa’s brother were out with their dads and didn’t know what had happened. We also had to apologize to my sis, who seemed to take glee in the come-uppence we had gotten.