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BOTD 01-07-2017 A Flowered Accident - An 18Smacked Production

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Bransom Postmaster
A Flowered Accident?
An 18Smacked Production

You were sitting at home on a very windy day, with periodic torrents of rain, when your 12 year-old son, Jerry, comes to the door, and his best suit of dress clothes is coated with mud. He tells you that he had been carrying some flowers that were at school for “Class Picture Day” that he wanted to give his mother, when the wind blew them away, and he ran after them. In his race to retrieve the flowers, he slipped along the edge of the road and fell into the mire, and ended up getting muddy.

When you sent him to school this morning, you knew it was going to be a bad weather day, so you’d given him an umbrella, and strict instructions to keep his clothes clean. But, asked about the umbrella, Jerry tells you, “I forgot it at school.” You ask if it was raining when school let you, and he answers, “Well, yes.” When you take away some of the caked on mud from the knees of his pants, you then see that they had been torn badly, and were ruined. Jerry undresses in the kitchen, and heads straight to the bathtub to bathe before anything else. While he bathes, you need to decide if Jerry has earned a spanking.

Jerry -12 (At least the suit stayed nice for the school picture)
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You spank Jerry for severe misbehavior with your hand, a hairbrush, or a small wooden paddle. Was this an accident, or not, and what- if any- punishment should Jerry get?

Your reaction?

Can you dig it?


If I can confirm his story, accidents happen. He'll get his bath and go on with his life. If he needs new clothes, well, at 12, he'll need them soon enough anyway. I don't think forgetting one's umbrella and/or coat, especially at that age, is unusual.

If I find out he was playing in the mud and made up the story, he's in for a deluxe.

I don't think I ever took an umbrella to school, though even as an adult I can't keep track of one. I think it's in my car, unless I lost another one. As a kid, I remember when my grandfather died when I was 9--and I was sent to school to retrieve my coat before we flew to NY where it would actually be needed.

David M. Katz

I am curious as to why, considering the weather and Jerry's state of dress, I didn't drive Jerry home or arrange for a ride. Oh, well, maybe the boy likes to walk.

Anyway, I see no malice or ill-intent here. It is just an accident. In fact, it seems Jerry wanted to surprise his mother and I am sure he is sad over the loss of the flowers. I doubt the umbrella would have helped much. And, who among us hasn't left an umbrella behind before?

I will let him clean up and get in to some warm, clean clothes and then we can have a hot drink (tea, cocoa, coffee, broth, etc.)

No punishment. We'll get Jerry a new suit and, in the future, I'll make sure there are fewer opportunities for accidents.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


Editor Extraordinaire
I'll go along with Katz. If Jerry's story doesn't hold up, I'll be more inclined to go along with Kier. I'm not going to mount an investigation, though.



Unless I'm an ogre, in the absence of any other evidence I'm going to accept Jerry's word.


What I don't understand is, if I was home to give him an umbrella when he left, and I was home to see the mud when he got home, why didn't I get off my lazy rear and give him a ride?

As a kid who was expected to get himself to school in all weather conditions (and often showed up with mud up to his knees for one... very legitimate, of course... reason or another, I think he gets a pass.

PS - at least he stayed clean until after the picture!

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


Jack wrote:why didn't I get off my lazy rear and give him a ride?

Maybe dad doesn't own an automobile...

Stevie thinks there should be some punishment involved... perhaps a loss of allowance to help pay for the clothes?


Jack wrote:What I don't understand is, if I was home to give him an umbrella when he left, and I was home to see the mud when he got home, why didn't I get off my lazy rear and give him a ride?

Maybe Dad works from home and had a scheduled conference call while school let out/Jerry was walking home. The time for the call could not be altered.

Knowing Dad would not be able to drive his son home, and knowing about the expected rains, Dad gave Jerry the umbrella so he could mostly stay dry on his way home.

Sometimes when one works at home, their time is just as tied up as someone who works in an office.


Pity as the suit will be quite an expense which the flowers obviously werent

I forget brollies, glasses. all that it is possible to forget. I was just as bad at 12! might have been more annoyed if the suit had been wrecked before the photo . If I have no reason to believe Jerry lied and that heart was in the right place trying to save the flowers
Jerry escapes punishment

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