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BOTD 6-28-2015 It's Hard to Be Fair - A Memory Man Production

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Bransom Postmaster
Its Hard to be Fair
A MM Production

You are a widowed father of four lively boys. Fifteen year old Joe is the eldest, followed by Mark, Kyle and Liam, 12,11 & 8 respectively. Since your wife's death seven years ago you have struggled to be both mother and father to your rather exuberant tribe whilst holding down a demanding job. In the process you have become a very close knit family.

Joe 15
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Mark 12
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Kyle 11
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Liam 8
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The boys are generally good kids, they help you around the house and look out for each other. You don't often have to punish them but when you do you invariably spank them since their mutual support network takes the edge of other sanctions.

Accordingly from time to time they find themselves pantsed and across your lap for spankings that range in severity from stingy reminders to a rare application of the heirloom strap you hold in reserve as the nuclear option. They accept their spankings without much fuss but you have become aware that after a spanking the four of them convene discreetly for a sympathetic appraisal of the resulting war wounds.

You are especially proud of Joe. Joe has matured quickly and become a role model for his younger brothers who look up to him as he looks out for them and he organises them in your absence. He has become, in effect, a deputy dad. More than two years have passed since Joe last found himself across you lap.

Today you sent Joe to the Mall for some provisions and the three youngsters are helping you to prepare the evening meal when you are interrupted by a loud knock on the door. You open it to a policeman who has a distressed looking Joe in tow.

You are informed that Joe had been skateboarding in the Mall, where boards are prohibited, and had knocked over an elderly lady. The police were called but luckily for Joe the lady has declined to file a complaint so he's turning him over to you. You thanked the policeman and assured him you would deal with his offence.

Joe admitted to you that he had been on the board in the Mall but his account differed in detail. He told you he had skated down but carried his board whilst in the Mall. After shopping he had three bulky bags and found it awkward to carry the board as well so he put it down and just scooted it gently along. Unfortunately he lost his balance and fell sideways into this lady knocking her over. She was shaken but not injured, he apologised, helped her up and led her to a seat but by then a small crowd had gathered. Then security arrived and called the police.

On hearing Joe's version of events you believe him. Joe knew how much he'd have to carry and should have had the sense not to take his board along with him; but having heard his explanation you conclude that with the police becoming involved he's had such fright that the natural consequences of his misjudgement are a more than an adequate penalty for not thinking things through.

Although inclined not to impose any further punishment you were keenly aware that his brothers are watching intently and that you know, and that they know, that had they been caught skating in the prohibited area of the Mall their buns would have been toasted even without any police involvement. You strive to treat your boys fairly and after thinking for a moment you reluctantly tell Joe. "I'm afraid this is going to have to mean you losing your pants."

"I know." Joe sigh. His shoulders slump as he trudges across towards his room. On reaching the doorway he turns and asks "Do I have to fetch the strap as well?"

You hadn't considered using the strap until he mentioned it. His brothers were exchanging knowing glances, no doubt anticipating their first clandestine gathering in Joe's room for nigh on three years, so you stalled and replied "Dinner is almost ready to go on the table; it'll have to wait.

With the elephant in the room Joe has little appetite and the meal is consumed in almost total silence. Your reluctance to punish Joe is increased by the realisation that he has grown beyond a little boy's spanking across your lap being appropriate, that you are going to have to use the strap, and due to the family dynamics, you will need to make his hiding more than just a token punishment.

But at least you have given yourself some time to think.

Dinner is over. It's time for Joe to be sent to collect the strap on the way to his room......
..........unless that is, you've used your thinking time to devise a way out that won't at the same time send his young brothers a wrong message.

Have You?............and??????????????

Can you dig it?


Bransom Postmaster
I'm going to believe Joe until I have a good reason not to believe him

Can you dig it?


I'm not worried about sending any message. I'm not going to whip a boy who made an innocent mistake. I will explain this and my reasoning to all my boys, just like I am always willing to explain my decision.

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."

David M. Katz

Jack wrote:I'm not worried about sending any message.  I'm not going to whip a boy who made an innocent mistake.  I will explain this and my reasoning to all my boys, just like I am always willing to explain my decision.  

I totally agree.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


I agree with everyone else. I don't think a spanking is deserved.

John Boy

AFinch wrote:I agree with everyone else.  I don't think a spanking is deserved.
Ditto, though I still think skateboards are evil and nothing but trouble.


Editor Extraordinaire
According to the scenario, I've already made a pronouncement of punishment; and Joe has demonstrated both expectation and acceptance of punishment. I think going back from this position is very difficult. Perhaps the best thing is to tell all the boys that while I believe Joe's explanation, I consider that his lapse of judgement is deserving of some punishment but not a harsh one. Therefore, I'll give Joe three strokes with the strap, hard enough not to be merely symbolic, but light enough to cause nothing more than some sharp, transitory pain. I think that Joe's status with his younger brothers will be strengthened this way. Sometimes in life you take one for the team because the appearance of fairness can be as importance as the abstract concept of fairness.



Oh Joe, why did you take the skateboard with you, you stupid young man? You love that thing almost as much as your brothers.

Hey, wait a minute that's the solution. Joe can live without his skateboard for the next fortnight.

Emlyn Morgan

Open fires in the living room grate may look nice but they are an awful lot of work. Think of going downstairs on a cold winter morning and having to clear out the grate and riddle the ashes in the garden before you can even lay the fire - starting with yesterday's newspaper, kindling wood and then the logs or coal on top. And you have little control over the room temperature as you fetch more fuel and apply a poker from time to time.

You could get a boy to do it, but nowadays they've no idea what I mean by 'go and riddle the ashes'.

Anyway, I'm going to whack them.


If the boys were watching closely they will have known that Joe's was an innocent mistake and will understand when they realise I choked back a bit when using the strap and that the marks arent as vivid as expectedl The will also understand that I will not be at all forgiving if anyone so much as mounts a skateboard in the mall in future. I think I would also have suggested to Joe that he might prefer to have his meal reheated later rather than try to struggle through it mow.


I'm in agreement with Kat and Square on this one...

Hugs kal

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