Sometimes the dispensation of discipline is so swift that, looking back, I'm not sure: has it really happened, or was it a wild fantasy of the type I tend to have when I can't sleep at 4am?
Abel doesn't like it when I lean against the radiator in the kicthen. He thinks that there's a good chance that it'll break off the wall, scalding me with hot water and flooding the house. I've only recently became aware of this fear, having spent three and a half years happily warming my bottom against the kitchen radiator whenever I felt like it.
But what wouldn't I do for love, and out of desire to avoid punishment? When Abel told me I wasn't to lean against the radiator any more, I promised to stop this dangerous habit and lean against something else. Like, the wall next to it.
You know, though, how hard it is to break a habit that's become instinctive. We were making lunch, and chatting about life and all, when suddenly Abel's face became very grim and scary, and he said to me in his "you're so busted" voice: "What did I say about leaning against that thing?" Only then did I realise that, without even thinking of it, I'd been committing a Spankable Offence which would be very funny if it wasn't about to become very painful.
"Upstairs!" Abel commanded. (I'm noticing that it's become a kind of a catch phrase for him. Is it because I chiefly misbehave downstairs, or because there aren't any implements there? Odd.)
"I forgot!" I exclaimed, hopping away from the wall. "You can't punish me now - the bacon will overcook." And I pointed at our future lunch, that was beginning to smell very nice, but would surely turn into cinders if we started going into this whole spanking thing.
"If you do what you're told, it won't have time to overcook. Up you go." And he gave me an encouraging push up the stairs.
He told me to bend down with my hands on a chair, and walked into the room not a minute later with a polished wooden paddle about the with of a table tennis bat, only three times as thick. (Ouch, said my inner voice, ouch, ouch, ouch.)
"Six," said Abel. That's right, that was all he said. He didn't even make me take down my jeans: he simply wallopped me 6 times with that paddle across my seat, hard enough that each stroke counted, but not so hard that I needed any recovery time between the strokes, or afterwards. As far as punishments go, it was pretty mild, but still, I was in deep shock when, two minutes later we were back in the kitchen, serving our miraculously non-burned lunch onto the plates.
And that was that. The whole scene, from the discovery to the final tight hug, happened in less time than it takes to grill very thinly sliced bacon. Maybe I've dreamt the whole thing? Surely nobody gets punished so quickly?
P.S. No, I haven't dreamt it, definitely.
P.P.S. I'll thank everybody not to make any comments about my "bacon" being "cooked", thanks.