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BOTD 7/21/15 "Confession Is Good For The Soul . . ." A Pi Beta Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
Confession Is Good For The Soul; But What About The Seat?
A Pi Beta Production

You are the headmaster of a boys (aged 8-13) boarding school in the 1960s where punishment usually involves the use of a gymshoe or, for the oldest boys, the cane.

It is close to the end of the summer term and, having consulted with your staff, have decided that Patrick is the ideal choice for Head Boy for the new school year. He is good at sport, his studies and is generally well-behaved. His few gymshoe whackings have all been ones for being involved with others in his dormitory for relatively minor mischief. You have no knowledge of anything individual or more severe.

PATRICK
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When you invite Patrick into your study to inform him that you intend to make him Head Boy, you expect him to accept with alacrity but he goes quiet, deep in thought before hesitatingly he tells you:

"I'm pleased you want to give me that role, Sir but I think I need to confess something to you that might make you change your mind."

"Go on."

"You remember this time two years ago there was the fire alarm while you were hosting Mr. Heath's leaving party, Sir. Well, I was the one who set it off, Sir."

You certainly do remember the incident. You were furious at the time because the meal was spoiled and the evening badly disrupted. Mr. Heath had not been popular with the boys, especially the then senior boys, and you'd assumed it was one of the top two years who had set off the alarm. You had made it very clear at the time that if you found out who had set off the alarm, he would receive an exemplary caning in his sports shorts in front of the whole school.

Patrick went on in explanation, "I'd always hoped to keep it secret from you, Sir, but all the boys knew it was me. I was dared to do it to prove I wasn't the goody-goody they all accused me of being. But I know that as Head Boy I'll be expected to report boys to you for punishment. It's almost certain that the first boy I tell I'll be reporting will respond by threatening to tell on me for that alarm, Sir. Sorry, Sir."

How do you react? With a smile and praise for his confession; choose another boy as your next Head Boy; give him the exemplary caning you promised two years ago, or...


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David M. Katz


Marshall
I think a moderate spanking with the gym shoe will suffice as I think Patrick is expecting some sort of sanction.

Patrick will still be head boy as I admire his willingness to be truthful.

Now if one of the boys tries to "black mail" Patrick with the information he can say I know and he has been punished.

Matter closed. I made a good choice.


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AFinch


Sherrif
I mostly agree with DMK, except that it was two years ago.

I'm going to commend his honesty and still make him head boy. I'm not going to punish him now unless he insists he needs to be punished to make expiation--and I can't really imagine any real boy insisting on that.

And now that I know, he can honestly tell anyone who tries to blackmail him over the issue that I know and that the issue has been dealt with. Case closed. Should one of those boys doubt it and come to me, woe betide him!

1strappedboy


Sherrif
I'm ok with the concept of a caning in front of the school, though not necessarily an "exemplary" one. I think it would have been my anger/embarrassment speaking at the time.

I will commend him for his honesty and tell him that if he's willing to "take his medicine" I'm willing to name him Head Boy afterward. I admire his integrity and though it took some time for him to 'come clean', at least he did so. This indicates that I'm still correct in my 'read' of his character-he'll make a good candidate for the job.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
First, I'll assure Patrick that he is still my choice for head boy. If he wants the job, however, he must take his medicine for the fire alarm incident. Otherwise, his authority over the other boys will suffer. Even if he is no longer subject to blackmail, Patrick can't afford to be seen as getting special treatment. If Patrick is unwilling to take the punishment, he can walk away; after all, losing the head boy position is punishment enough.

It's unfortunate that two years ago I said I would give the boy who set off the alarm an exemplary caning in front of the whole school. The time lapse can mitigate the severity of the punishment, but it still has to be substantial.

I won't cane Patrick in front of the whole school, but he will be able to tell the other boys he got 'six of the best' if he decides to accept my offer.

Kat

Jack


Admin
First of all, I think I need to worry about my position in the school. 'All' the boys know it was Patrick who did that, and I never heard as much as a whisper? I honestly wonder if Patrick isn't having me on.

In any event, 'the whole' school is no longer the whole school, since we've had two years worth of students move on, and since it is still summer term. If Patrick does still want the job, he and I shall retire to the auditorium, I'll wait while he changes into gym shorts, and then he'll receive the caning he's had hanging over his head for two years. Since it's his first caning, I'm sure he'll find it exemplary, even without special effort on my part.


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squarecutter


Sherrif
I am going to start by saying that this confession shows what a wise choice I think we are are making. Patrick is not a paragon of virtue but he will make an understanding head boy. May be 6 whacks with a slipper or 3 with a cane, I dont think 6 stripes 2 years later is necessary) will help salve Patricks conscience and allow him to look other senior boys in the eye when he reports them. There may shortly be a sermon at assembly about confession being good for the soul, however late and may be some of the older ones will connect the bruises on Patricks rear that they saw in the dorm with that incident

Pi Beta


Deputy
I started ruminating on this as an idea for a MMSA story -and it iis one that at some time I do intend to write but in the meantime it seemed an ideal BOTD. When I do write it, his punishment will definitely be in private.

ivor


Marshall
I consider I have dug myself a hole by promising 'an exemplary caning in front of the whole school'.

It is true that two years have passed and, as Jack said, there has been a significant change in the student body, but the ones who really matter are those in Patrick's year/form/dorm and they are still there.

Unless I am going to cane him in private and then ask him to go round and show off his stripes so the other boys know he was indeed caned for his prank, I have to do it in public. Partly so the rest of the school can see I do indeed do what I say I will do and partly so all know Patrick has been punished as promised.

Perhaps I can reduce the sentence by one third for subsequent good behaviour or otherwise make them not 'of the best'.

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Jack


Admin
No, no, no --- What I said was 'if I catch the person who sat off the alarm....' Since he confessed, I didn't catch him.

Yeah, that's the ticket.


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1strappedboy


Sherrif
Nice save, Jack!! Razz

Y Lee Coyote


Cowboy
With the exception of Kat, you're all pussyfooting about which will not do.

Patrick needs to make a choice -- get caned or walk.  The caning has to be to the usual standards and witnessed by his form mates so that they see the marks lasting as long as for others.  The only possibility is doing it during summer term when (perhaps) fewer are about.  The next term comes, he can be appointed Head Boy along with the other perfects.

Philadelphia layering with words as Jack suggests will come back to haunt me so absolutely not possible.

Y.

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John Boy


Sherrif
Jack wrote:No, no, no --- What I said was 'if I catch the person who sat off the alarm....'  Since he confessed, I didn't catch him.  

Yeah, that's the ticket.  
I'll take that one, and if it doesn't work then I will take Kiers idea.

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Pi Beta


Deputy
he pobability is that this conversation will be taking place on the penultimate day of the summer term since such decisions are usually announced at the final assembly which would be the following morning. Indeed, it is possible that there will be parents present or at least around at that time ready to take their little darlings home for the summer holiday..

The possibility of an exemplary caning in front of the whole school can effectively be ruled out by the logistics, therefore. My take on this as headmaster is that, two years after the event, my anger and resulting high blood pressure will have dropped considerably from the radar but that I still feel that Partick must pay for his act, either by me withdrawing the head boy offer of by caning him. Indeed, if Patrick is the sort of person I imagine he would need to be for me to have chosen him as Head Boy, I feel sure that he would accept that punishment is due. I would give him the choice and when he chose the caning, would give it to him there and then - six stokes laid on hard. Taking a caning will be good preparation for him for later years when he moves on to senior schooling.

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