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BOTD 12/6/12 "CHARLIE NEEDS HELP!" A DMK Production

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David M. Katz


A DMK Production

Dear Aunts and Uncles at Bransom,

I hear you all are really good at helping kids in trouble. That's me - a kid in trouble. I am Charlie and I am fourteen. I am in eight grade at a strict private school. I did a really silly thing this morning. I skipped school. I did not go do anything bad, I just walked off campus and went to the park that is close by. I guess I see now that it was wrong but it is a beautiful day today. If I had to sit and listen about prepositions and parabolas on a day like today, I would have snapped. So it was for my sanity and everyone's safety that I skipped. So, I spent the morning playing on the swings, sleeping on the warm grass and sharing my lunch with some pigeons. My science teacher decided to go have lunch at the park. You guessed it - BUSTED! He took me back to school and gave me to the principal. I got chewed out real bad. You would have thought I had killed the Governor's dog or something when all I did was spend the morning hanging out in the park. Well it looks like skipping is a serious thing at our school. It means I have to get paddled or my parents can elect to punish me instead. If my parents don't punish me then I will get four licks on Monday morning. Oh yeah, today is Friday. The principal called Mom. I could tell she wasn't happy. Perhaps the Governor's dog is dead?

So, I get home and Mom sends me straight to my room to wait on Dad because "she is too angry to deal with me." Jeez, Mom, it was just a morning in the park. Dad is not much better. He chews me out too and talks about the importance of education and responsibility and personal safety. So Dad gives me a choice. He can punish me or I can take the paddling on Monday. If he punishes me I can either get a spanking or be grounded for the weekend. If he spanks me, it will be ten licks with his belt on my bare butt. If I am grounded, I will spend the weekend in my room with no electronics or contact with friends. Or, yeah, I can take a paddling at school. Dad also says he will entertain any other reasonable and fair idea I may come up with.

OK, Dad's spankings hurt but it will be done and over. I really don't have plans for the weekend but still the grounding sounds really boring. If I take the licks, I will have to wait and I bet it will hurt just about as bad as Dad's belt but I can establish some cred with the kids at school. Dad says to let him know by bed time.

What should I choose? Any ideas for something that might be "reasonable and fair?"


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Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


Well, reasonable and fair would actually be you meeting your obligations and being responsible. Since it's too late for that...

And yes, I am coming down hard on you, because it doesn't seem like you're taking this seriously. Sure, I have no trouble with a kid missing a day of school for mental health reasons (once in a great while), but school attendance is required by law, and your parents trusted you to be there.

Okay, with that out of my system, I agree with you that being grounded for the weekend would suck. Having no idea of how your principal paddles, I'd probably say take it from Dad and get it over with. To me, even if Dad's whupping is harder, you don't have the anticipation to deal with all weekend. To me, that would mess things up almost as bad as the grounding.

In the end, it's just which way you think will be easiest to deal.


Uncle Jack has covered it very well. I agree with him--best to just get it over with.


Editor Extraordinaire
Personally, I'd go for the licks, though it would mean a pretty tense weekend.


John Boy

First things first if you think you need the street cred go for the licks, if you want to enjoy your weekend go for the belt. If you want to be bored out of your mind take the grounding. Sorry I can't be more help. You are lucky your good pal John Boy isn't chewing you out as well. After all... Embarassed


To me this is a school offence so should be dealt with at school.

It may spoil your weekend thinking about what is to come as I don't know if you've had licks at school before, but that's unfotunate.

Not very sympathetic am I Charlie?


Charlie, you have been silly and irresponsible haven't you?

From what you say you seem to have managed to p..s your dad off pretty bad and are quite lucky that in his anger he hasn't just added to your school punishment. Even so you will have lost a measure of his respect and trust.

If you want to try regain this it might be a good idea to tell your dad at bedtime that you will face up to the school punishment on Monday but you are also very sorry you let him down and if he still wants to add to it you know you deserve it. (Then cross your fingers)

If you do this then whatever the outcome you can be proud of yourself for facing up to the situation you created and walk tall again.

Stone Man

JB, Ivor, and MM have stated my feelings about our situation.


I am afraid that you do NEED something to change the attitude. We all have to do things we don't like at times, What if Mum decided to go to the park rather than make your dinner, not to mention all the other running around she does for you. Do you think you'd have all those electronic toys if your Dad spent mornings in the park when he should have been at the office. And thats before we discuus what you might get up to instead of being in school. I realize at 14 you can probably look after yourself but as they say the devil makes plans for idle hands. Then you do have to knuckle down to your work. There will be no sympathy if your grades suffer because you didn't attend class.

I think, if looking for a positive you should take the paddling for the street cred. I am sure you can put it out of your mind and then get over it quicker than if your Dad had to belt you. I have no alternatives to offer


Less than 10 days ago, my answer would be he's getting it from me and the school. Now, l'll counsel him to let the school deal with it. I can't do him "justice".

I actually agree closest with Jack on this from a conceptual standpoint.

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