Mnemonic Techniques

by Chris


"I want you to paddle me." I casually mentioned it at the breakfast table and reached for another toast.

He nearly choked on his green tea. "Excuse me?"

I looked up from spreading butter on my toast. "I want you to paddle me." I repeated patiently. He usually has a quicker grasp. Must be the early time of the day. He never was a morning person.

He won back some of his composure and asked: "Right now or has it time until after breakfast?"

"I am not joking, I'm deadly serious here." I answered impatiently and continued: "It's quite simple. I just read an article about how paddlings increase the grades of students. They were running tests about this in Switzerland. It works. After a paddling the students were able to learn better and faster because of the endorphins and hormones and stuff that were set free during the paddling. See, I will fail my economic classes this semester when I won't at least get a B in the next term paper. It's nearly impossible to learn the stuff of one semester in one week so I thought, when a paddling would help me to keep the stuff I have to learn in mind, why not doing it? And who should I ask to do it if not you?"

When he didn't answer but kept looking at me I asked: "You do understand what I'm asking for?"

"Oh yes, yes, totally." He leant back in his chair, grinning. "You forgot to work for economics the whole semester, finally noticed that you are going to fail the class when you don't get your ass in gear and you now think that an ass-whacking will get your brain in gear. Did I get it right?".

Uh... I wouldn't have put it that way but, "Yes, that's it more or less. Are you willing to help me?"

He grinned again. "When you really believe that it will help, I would be more than happy to help you out here. When did you plan to execute this, erm... performance?"

"What about this evening?"

*****

I still was amazed how easy the talk that morning went. Actually I had expected a bit more resistance to my plan. He was a member of Green peace and Amnesty International and every other organization that cares for the rights of living beings. He was vegetarian, regularly demonstrated against nuclear power stations and Castor-Transports. He fought actively for the rights of our non-german fellow citizens and sued the municipal authorities for trying to reduce the number of pigeons in town by feeding them poison. When you put all the pieces together you get the picture of a man who abhorred violence in any shape, form and color. The Gandhi of Hamburg.

I was on my way to school when suddenly the fact hit my mind that we missed a very important point in our discussion. We didn't own a paddle. Which was very careless. Every student should have one. They should be handed out the moment somebody matriculates to university. It seems to be the ultimate educational aid, a few whacks and what you have to learn is burned into your brain without much effort. Some physical discomfort, but that would fade soon.

*****

He came back at a 4.30 pm, like every Wednesday. You can set you watch after it. I'm at least doing it.

I was watching MTV, sprawled on the couch with my feet on the coffee table and ate the rest of the rice dish we had last Sunday for dinner. He sat aside me, maneuvered his face between my mouth and the next fork-full and gave me a brief kiss.

"You have rice on your shirt." He greeted me when he was finished.

He was always so horrible pragmatic. I stuck out my tongue to him and brushed the rice of. He rolled his eyes when the rice fell on the couch and the floor and shook his head but didn't say anything. I love the way, he didn't let himself bother by my little antics. He was able to cope with everything. Nerves of steel.

His eyes fell on the item that was placed against the wall beneath the TV.

"Where did you get that?" he picked it up. It was the paddle I got that day. He held it in his hands, turned it and measured it with his eyes.

"There is a shop on St. Georg where I went this morning. They have a great variety of paddles there. And other stuff." I watched him doing some training swings.

"Don't you think this thing may be perhaps a bit too... large? I mean, it's nearly one and a half foot long and more than an inch thick. And what are these holes for?"

"The guy in the shop said to increase the speed." I said a bit more subdued. Julius had a point here. This thing looked lethal. And, to be honest, I was glad that he seemed to have objections. I didn't feel too well by the thought of this thing striking my backside. Actually, my enthusiasm in this idea had faded rapidly within the last hours. I had surfed the Internet when I came home and what I found to the issue of paddlings was not encouraging. I wouldn't have thought that backsides could get that red.

"Sorry, Benjamin, but I would never beat you with this. I probably would break your pelvis. You will have to bring it back tomorrow. "

I inwardly let out a sigh of relief. I had played with the thought of skipping the plan but I had felt so responsible this morning when I told him that I would took into account even some physical discomfort only to increase my grades in economics. Now, when he took the decision out of my hands I could get out of this situation with a good conscious. I at least had tried to do anything to master this class. He was right; it would have been ridiculous and extremely dangerous to let him beat me with this paddle.

"You are right, Julius, the idea was silly. It's way too dangerous and cruel you have never handled such a thing before. I would never be able to forgive me when I would have forced you to hurt me with this. Let's forget about it." I put my hands around his neck, stood tiptoed and kissed him. He folded his hands behind the small of my back and smiled down at me, the paddle still dangling from his wrist.

"But we don't have to skip the idea, honey."

I blinked.

"We don't?"

"No. You convinced me this morning that this would be good for you. I thought the whole day about it. You were right. It would help you."

"It would?"

"Yes. And I think we will be able to execute this... special way of memory increase without using that paddle." He continued smiling at me.

"What do you have in mind?" I asked suspiciously, pictures of canes and belts floating past my inner eye.

"My hand."

I was surprised.

"And you think that that would have the same effect? As and memory aid?" His hands were normal sized and shaped and I couldn't imagine that they would be able to make the same impression as a paddle. On the other hand I didn't want them to make the same impression. They were gentle hands that were capable of guiding me to absolute heights of pleasure. Hands that were always there to comfort me when something went wrong in my life.

"I'm sure I will make enough of an impression for our purpose." He planted a reassuring kiss on my lips and broke loose from the embrace.

He gave the paddle in his hands one more doubtful look and put back against the wall.

I decided when we would do this, we'd do it now. No stalling, no delay. I morphed once again into a responsible student who was going to go through an unusual but provable successful training session. I took a deep breath and felt the enthusiasm and determination that had left me a few hours ago come back. What would I do without Julius? Always there for me. I loved him so much. Filled with this warm fuzzy feeling I went over to the kitchen to get my books.

He called after me: " What does your Professor say to your newborn eagerness to study? Did you tell her about the new, erm... mnemonics?"

I put my books on the coffee table. "Actually, I skipped economics today and instead bought that paddle. I'm so far behind with the teaching subject that hanging around there is misspend time. When I made up with the stuff I will go again but until then..." I shrugged.

"I see." he said.

I braced myself with my forearms on the backrest of the sofa and put a few sheets with some basic information on the subject that I had prepared the evening before in front of me on the seat of the sofa.

"Ok, I'm ready, you can start." I told him confidently and started to mumble the first paragraph.

Nothing happened. I waited a few more seconds before I turned round and looked at him.

"What's the matter?" I wondered. Was it now him who had changed his mind? Got cold feet in face of the task? I was confused. What was the problem here?

He hurried to enlighten me. "Benjamin, I would wear out my hand within a very short time when I'd struck you on your jeans. And, in addition, I'm a bit larger than you are. This position is highly uncomfortable for me."

"Oh." He had a point here. He was larger than me and it was highly probably that his hand would stung quicker and more than my posterior. I helplessly looked around. "What would you suggest?" I wanted to get this over with.

He left. I stood in the middle of the room, still more confused and stared at the door. He was back within seconds, carrying one of our kitchen chairs. He put it down in the middle of the room, gently grabbed my wrist and pulled me with him. I managed to grab my papers before I found myself standing in front of him sitting on the chair. He let go of my wrist, took the paper out of my hand and placed it next to the chair on the floor.

*Oh.* I thought. Over the knee. Yes, that would be much more comfortable for him. And being in body contact with him always was a situation I loved to be in. I started to bend down but was stopped.

"Sweetheart, I'm afraid, you forgot something."

I looked at him blankly for a moment before it dawned. I quickly unbuttoned and unzipped my jeans and pushed them down past my hips to my knees, then bent forward and with Julius' help I lay over his knees within a second.

I braced myself with my hands on the floor and tried to get into ground contact with my feet as well, but in vain. I felt Julius' legs shifting and my lower body was adjusted into a position he seemed to see more convenient. He laid one hand on the small of my back. My buttocks twitched involuntary when he put his other hand gently in the middle of my butt. And kept it there.

Any objections I possibly could voice now where cut off by a loud "SWAT", accompanied by a burning sting in the middle of my backside and Julius' rather businesslike announcement: "Ok, let's get started. Can you read your paper?"

I refused to answer. Despite my willing mind my body absolutely refused to accept the just experienced assault to one of his most sensitive parts. My right hand flew back to protect the target area and, at the moment more important, to rub away some of the sting. When I found back my ability to breath I let out an indignant "Ow!" Not very loud but enough to make him understand that he didn't need to slap that hard.

My hand was removed before it could fulfill it's task, replaced by his, and Julius' voice, somewhere between annoyance and amusement let me know: "No rubbing and stop exaggerating. The swat wasn't that hard. Now take you papers and start to read. Loud. Let's see if we can pound a bit of knowledge through your bottom into your brain."

I took a deep breath and started to read the first paragraph. I was halfway through when his hand slapped down. I flinched, but noticed that the swat wasn't nearly as forcefully than the first one. I continued reading, his hand slapped down every third or fourth word of mine. After a minute or so I involuntary had adjusted the rhythm of my words to the rhythm of his falling hand. I started to relax. The steady slaps built up some heat in my posterior, but it was absolutely bearable. I tried to focus only on the task at hand, in my case the loud reading of the so important subject that hopefully was about to be burned into my mind by the firm but not overly painful hand applied to my butt.

*****

I couldn't help it but after a few minutes I gently started to wiggle. The blows hadn't increased in force but because of the steady assault, the skin of my buttocks unfortunately lacked the ability to recover. The skin started to become more and more tender and every swat stung more than the previous one. I had a harder time to breath calmly and stopped a few times with my volubility to take deep breathes. Although Julius´┐Ż ability to swing his arm like a metronome deserved admiration, I meanwhile wished he would stop, even if it were only for a second.

My wiggling changed into open squirming and my reading was more and more interrupted by *OW*'s and *AH*'s while I tried to get my butt out of his reach. I didn't want to give up, I only had one more page to read. It was Julius who finally had pity with me. Well, kind of. He suddenly stopped, much to my relief, bent down to me and took the remaining paper out of my hands.

"I'm going to make it a bit easier for you." He told me. Before I could feel too relieved he added, "I'm going to read the remaining paragraphs and you only have to listen. I think it will be much easier for you to concentrate on the subject this way."

I nodded, not sure if this was really a relief for me.

He briskly readjusted my hips over his lap, put a heavy arm over my back and continued to steadily swat my backside, totally in tact with his voice.

It was a relief not to have to concentrate on reading while I simultaneously got my butt swatted. Although I have to admit that I focused more on the hand that repeatedly made contact than on the text Julius read. But since I now had my hands free I could use them to clutch the leg of the chair, what helped me to keep the wiggling down to a tolerable degree.

A few moments later everything was over. The sheet gently floated down from Julius' hand to the floor and Julius rested the hand that so unwavering had pounded my bottom, on my right thigh and rubbed my back with the other. I lay there, still panting a bit and with watery eyes and sincerely hoping that the hormones and endorphins had done their assigned job. I finally slid backwards from his lap, knelt beside him and put both hands on my smarting bottom to gently rub some of sting out. My head rested on his thigh and his hand combed through my hair.

It didn't take me long to calm down. I looked up at Julius and saw him grinning down at me.

"And. Was it sufficient?" he wanted to know.

"Let me see." I tilted my head back, looked up to the ceiling and tried to remember anything that had to do with economics. There were a few fragments but before I could try to put them together to a picture Julius had grabbed my arm and pulled me up and down on his lap. I gasped when my still a bit tender backside made contact with his thighs and wiggled into an a bit more comfortable position. He soon stopped any wiggling by tightly wrapping his arms around me, capturing my arms as well.

"Hmmm, let's see," he frowned in the way he usually does when he was in deep thoughts.

"Tell me the three principles that characterize the liberal-capitalistic economic system." He suddenly shot out a question.

It took me a few seconds and then the answer suddenly popped into my mind.

I looked at him surprised and grinned widely. "Yaaayyyy, it worked! It worked! Ow!" Bouncing was not advisable when you butt was still tender.

Julius grinned too, but there was something in this grin that disturbed me. Nevertheless he shared my joy with me.

"That's great, darling." He squeezed me a bit more. "And since it worked so well, I would be happy to help you with a few other issues you have problems to keep in your mind." With these mysterious words spoken out I immediately found myself flipped over and once more looked at the carpet.

"Wha..... JULIUS.... NOOooo!... What are you doing?" I tried to squirm of his lap but was captured by a strong arm around my waist and an equally strong arm keeping my legs still. "What other issues? There are no other issues." I stopped struggling. He must have misunderstood something, I was sure. He would let me up again as soon as I explained that to him.

"Oh, only a few minor details." He reassured me. " Insignificances like skipping classes, being lazy, spending your money on superfluous crap like killer-paddles instead of paying your part of the rent, general untidiness, being permanently late, ..." he trailed of, obviously running out of issues.

Erm.... I wouldn't exactly contradict to these points, but....

"But...but... Julius." I struggled more vigorously to get up. "When you have problems with these ... details ... we should talk about it. Discuss it. I mean ... I mean ... this paddling thing is for sure only effective when the participant is willing."

His answer wasn't promising at all.

"Oh, but we have discussed them. Dozens and dozens of times. Over and over again. And that's the problem I see here. Those discussions went in to one ear and out to the other, without even making a break in your brain. And since you think yourself that this is an effective way to help you to remember, we will today add a few endorphins to this discussion. And hormones."

I vaguely remembered him complaining about certain things in the past. Ok, maybe even repeatedly.

"I didn't know you meant it that serious." I sulked.

"Well, I meant it serious. Every single time. As I told you. Every single time. When I remember right, the words 'and I'm serious here' were part of every discussion. And now let's get this over with. We can talk later."

Ok, time to serve up the heavy artillery. I struggled to get my upper body up to turn round far enough to look at his face. Surprisingly he loosened his grip enough to let me fulfill this task.

I solemnly, or as solemnly as my position allowed, looked into his eyes. He looked back, kind of amused.

"Julius, you are member of amnesty international. And green peace." I explained calmly. "You are AGAINST violence. Remember? No cruel and unusual and humiliating treatment? Isn't that something amnesty fights for? Imagine what they would say if they will find out?" My unusual current position forced me to grab for a handful of his shirt to keep position. "And... and... what about your principles? I cannot take responsibility for you acting against you principles."

There. Now he would see his errors and let me up. I would promise to visit classes more regularly, clean up after me and give him the money for the rent after returning the paddle and after that we could go over to some more pleasurable things.

His mind worked amazingly single-tracked today.

"I am sure they would mention me in their next annual report. Just beyond the report about torture in Iraq." Did I mention that I hate sarcasm? "And one of my most important principles is, that I would do everything within my abilities to help people to improve their life. It is beyond my capabilities to help people in the third world other than sending money from time to time but it is very well within my capabilities to prevent my boyfriend from ruining his life because he got ex-matriculated. You see, no harm will be done to my conscious. And who said something about punishment? Remember, Benjamin? 'Mnemonic techniques'." he said heartlessly.

I groaned. It had been supposed to be a good idea, this whole paddling thing. It was not supposed to get that out of hand. When I would have even imagined that it would give Julius weird ideas I happily would have repeated the class. I let go of his shirt and flopped back into the undignified position head-down-ass-up. I had to come up with some other argument quickly.

Thoughtfully I prodded at one of the various tears his old jeans where decorated with. I don't know how often I'd tried to convince him to buy a new one, it was in vain. His usual answer was that there was no need to waste natural resources without need. A conservationist to the bone. Oh, he owned a suit. Avery nice one. I chose it and bought it myself. But I usually had to knock him out before I could put the conservationist into the suit.

My breath left me when his hand came down on my right cheek, suddenly and without any advanced warning. Although he'd said "let's get started", I'd expected at least a drum roll. The situation was dramatic enough. The swat was accompanied by a gunshot like sound and a forcefully spoken out "YOU!". My first yelp came after the "WILL", because of the noisy and painful contact of his hand with my left cheek. And that was it. I had no interest in finding out the other words in this sentence. He didn't seem to hold back at all. It HURT!

"Jul-OW! Julius? Ok. I got the message. You are serious. OW!" The word "NEVER" and a forcefully applied swat interrupted this attempt to safe my hide. Before I could even take a deep enough breath to continue to voice my indignation, Julius quickly finished up with the three words "AGAIN", "SKIP" and "CLASSES", all in capital letters and each accompanied with this darn palm connecting noisily with the skin of my not yet fully recovered backside.

I'd always admired his ability to quickly bring things to the point. The sentences he tried to imprint into my bottom were short and concise. The swats that accompanied the sentences, too. Unlike my yells and howls. When my voice was the only instrument left to express my feelings I had any intention to use it.

Suddenly a muffled boom - boom - boom sounded through the wall. Julius stopped in midswing and I kept the air I'd just collected to produce another shriek in my lungs.

Boom - boom - boom.

Those were the disadvantages of living in a multiple dwelling. There is always somebody whose sole purpose of life it is to permanently remind the others of the rules of the house.

"See what you've done. You'd upset Mr. Steiner again." I hissed and used the opportunity to put one hand back to rub my butt. I inwardly kissed the hands and feet of the old fart from below. As annoying his need for tranquility usually is, today it was more than welcome. I finally had the ultimate means against Julius' newborn eager to adjust my attitudes and behavior. Our neighbors were used to occasional shrieks in our apartment, but the combination of shrieks and the deafening sounds of bare ass slapping obviously were too much for them. And, much worse, what if they figured out what the sounds they heard really meant? How embarrassing. I blushed at this thought even deeper as the head-down position already had made me.

"What 'I' did?" Julius interrupted my thoughts with a laugh in his voice. "Am 'I' the one who is shrieking like a banshee? You are horribly exaggerating, I am not slapping that hard."

"How do YOU want to judge that." I sputtered. "But you smack loud enough to alert the whole neighborhood. This house definitely is not made for spankings. Way too poorly soundproofed." So. There. Even he must be convinced by this argument. And apparently he was. He swiftly removed my still rubbing hand and pulled up my boxers again.

And tightened the grip around my waist.

Before I could point out this error in movement his hand slapped down, again. Harder than before and nearly equally noisy.

I yelped, as much from pain as surprise.

"Not so loud, not so loud, not so HARD! It won't work that way, it won't work that way, let me up" I howled, knowing that I started to sound extremely distressed and I hated it. This started as a responsible and dignified study session and ended with my boyfriend doing a parental thing on my backside.

"Sorry, sweetheart." Julius sounded really apologetic. "You are right, it won't work that way."

I sent a prayer of relief to the entity whose duty it was to watch over the spanked and spankables... and looked behind me in astonishment when I felt him wiggle above me.

"Why are you removing your shirt?" I asked baffled.

"Soundproof measures." He cheerfully answered and spread the piece of well-worn flannel over my bottom, smoothed it and went back to work, imprinting his ideas of sensible handling of money into my now nearly sound absorbent bottom with a vigor that obviously should compensate the interfering layer of clothe.

"I should add one whack with this killer paddle, only to remind you not to buy such crap." He threatened when he finally loosened his grip and let me up.

I quickly brought a healthy distance between us and glared at him.

He looked back, one eyebrow raised in a Jack-Nicholson-like way.

"That HURT!" I informed him accusingly.

"Oh good." He showed a frightening lack of remorse.

"You SPANKED me!" I still couldn't believe it.

" No."

"No???"

"Sweetheart, could you please pull up your pants again before we continue this discussion?" he asked mildly. I could have throttled him. Until I realized that he was right. Having my pants dangling around my feet would weaken my stand in this upcoming discussion enormously. I pulled up my jeans and slid it carefully over my still smarting backside. Julius meanwhile slipped back into his flannel shirt and carried the chair back into the kitchen. I followed him indignantly. How could he leave me back here while we were in the middle of an argue.

"You DID spank me, or how would YOU call it!" I shouted at his back when I entered the kitchen where he just neatly arranged the chair to his usual place.

He turned to me, still this unnerving amused look in his face.

"I would call it a training session. Since you were so enthusiastic about this new method to imprint knowledge into your brain it was only logical to use this newly discovered technical to cover a few issues from your private live you have trouble with. I am sure it will work great . We will have a future full of joy and peace."

I gaped at him. He must have lost his mind. What the hell was he talking about?

Julius put an arm around my shoulders and pulled me close, despite my attempts to draw back.

"Do you remember all the long and frustrating discussions, your yelling and snapping, the slammed doors, and all that because you "forgot" to do something and I dared to remind you. Or complained about something you did or did not? About not paid rent? About chores not taken care of? About homework not done? About coming home in the middle of the night? And all the other annoying little details in our life you tend to "forget" about? This all is history now." He beamed at me his most cheerful smile. I decided that it was safer to bring some distance between us, wiggled out of his grip and slowly retreated backwards to the kitchen door. I got a faint idea about what he was up to and I couldn't agree less.

"Oh no, my Julius. Forget about it. We are NOT going to repeat this every time one of your ridiculous rules-of-sensible-living-together slips my mind. Definitely not! Besides, it wouldn't work anyway." I informed him triumphantly.

"It wouldn't? Why not? It worked this time. You nearly shot out the answer to my question and it was totally correct. That is what I'd call a successful training-session. We HAVE to repeat it. It is for you own good."

He displayed a rather missionary enthusiasm. God, what had I done? I'd created a monster.

"I'm sure that had nothing to do with the... the... training session. I probably remembered the answer from yesterday evening when I worked out the details of the economic lessons." I explained hastily.

"Hm, are you sure? The concept with the endorphins and the hormones sounded plausible to me." He thoughtfully rubbed his chin.

"No, believe me, it was the writing down that made me remember the stuff." I informed him quickly.

"Does that mean, that if I would make you write down the few totally sensible rules that would make our living together so much easier, you probably would finally remember them and act accordingly?" Julius inquired.

"Yes... NO! No, I mean, I remember them, I know them, there is no need for writing them down.." Hell, this was becoming hard work. I really had to watch what I say.

"Well, since you remember them the training session obviously WAS for something good?" He'd meanwhile gotten comfortably by propping his hip against the counter and stuffing his hands down his pockets, still this amused glimmer in his eyes.

I groaned desperately.

"NO! I knew them. Always! That had nothing to do with this ridiculous so called training session." I'd obviously need a jimmy to get this weird idea out of his head. It was a strange situation. He usually was the rational and levelheaded part in our relationship so I couldn't understand why he didn't see how idiotic the whole idea had been in retrospective. Maybe something had snapped in his mind when I'd forced him to do bodily harm to me. After all, he was a member of amnesty international. No violence and stuff.

I seriously started to worry when he suddenly started to laugh.

"Benjamin, you are unbelievable." He finally choked out.

What?

"Come here." He held his hand out, a bit sobered down but still with a laugh in his voice?

What?

"Come here!" he repeated when I continued to stare at him while trying to figure out how dangerous a cracked up amnesty international member could get.

He suddenly leant forwards, grabbed my wrist and towed me to the nearest chair where he sat down with me in his lap and wrapped his arms around me. Despite the familiar comfort of this embrace I stayed alerted. As long as I didn't have any proof that he finally abandoned all thoughts on training sessions that involved me and his lap I didn't feel as safe as usual at this special place. His arms tightened when he noticed my reluctance. I scowled in reply.

"Don't worry, sweetheart." He told me and pressed his lips on my hair. "No more training sessions. You totally convinced me that they wouldn't have any effect on you."

Halleluiah! He'd finally got it.

"After all," he continued, "we found out that you remembered the economic lesson because you did something as exotic as reading and taking notes. And not because I whacked your ass. No endorphins, no hormones. Only good old fool proofed learning. I suggest you keep this special mnemonic-technique in future."

I had to agree whole-heartedly and fractionally relaxed into his arms.

"And since you know our rules-of-sensible-living-together by heart as you'd just told me I won't have to remind you of them again. I have to admit, I was getting tired of repeating myself over and over again." He sighed.

He had my full sympathy. I remembered only too well the irritation he usually displayed under all the patience when he had to complain about something I did or did not. I was getting tired of his litany, too.

"No arguing, no nagging, no yelling and snapping. No sulking, no slammed doors," he mused. "Well, whenever you'll do something in future that formerly belonged to the category "forgotten rules", I'll know now that the problem wasn't your swiss-cheese-like memory, but blatant ignoring of the rules." he added cheerfully.

Erm... this was not quite the direction this conversation was supposed to take.

"Uh... I wouldn't put it that way." I informed him slightly alerted.

"Oh, but I would." he reassured me. "And I have the ultimate means against this little problem of ours...."

I had no interest in finding out what those ultimate means were. Ultimate means were usually unpleasant things like root treatments. Or... a horrible thought shot through my mind. He was going to threaten to kick me out if I don't change. I was sure. What else could he mean. I sat up straight, or as straight as his arms allowed me, when the consequences of this idea hit me. I was doomed. I was about to lose my home, my boyfriend, the filled refrigerator and the brand-new 36" flat screen TV we'd just bought (I wouldn't be able to put it up anyway in the cardboard box that would be my home in future.). I sighed unhappily and forced back the tears that started to brim in my ears.

"...so when you decide the next time to ignore the rules I am going to spank you."

What?

"What did you just say?" I abandoned the rain-drenched cardboard box I just had mentally moved in and gaped at him. "Did you just say "spank me"?"

"Yep." There was it again, this cheerful beaming.

"Stop, stop, stop!" I forced my way from his lap and fled to the other side of the kitchen table. "I thought we had just decided that this ass whacking thing was a stupid idea?"

"Well, stupid in the context of memory aid. What I had in mind was rather something like - retaliation for deliberately undermining our relationship. Or, if you want to call it this way: punishment."

I looked for a sign of amusement he had shown just a moment before but found nothing but determination.

"Pun- ...You can't be serious."

"I am serious. And I think it is a clean and clear way to deal with some of your... our... major problems. It usually takes hours for us go get back to normal when you pulled one of your stunts again. We are distressed, hurt, angry, avoid each other. And in the end nothing gets achieved, nothing changes. And I know that you hate it as much as I do when we have stress in our relationship. Clear rules, which we have by the way, and clear consequences would cut out all this emotional uproar. By the way, you considered this paddling stuff as a useful method to get knowledge into your brain, so the mere thought at it cannot be that horrible to you."

"But... but... but... There is a big difference! That would have happened when I wanted it and under my direction not when you'd decide it."

"Sweetheart, it still would only happen under your direction. It will always be your decision. When you decide to ignore a rule you make the decision to bear the consequences. It's totally logical. I wouldn't do anything without your conscience. You know that."

I decided that this was a downright mean interpretation. He was closing bit by bit any loophole I could imagine that would help me out of this. I mean, except of telling him, I would break up with him when he dared to touch me again. But although people sometimes might get the impression, I am not insane! This was the best relationship I ever had and I really, really loved him and I knew that he loved me, too, so breaking up wasn't an option I would have even remotely taken into consideration. What only left the option to try to find loopholes. It's not that I didn't knew that I was driving him insane with my attitude and I detested the argues we had at least once a week. But usually I couldn't help it, even when I tried to live up to the rules we... yes, even if it is rather unbelievable, but we both set up those rules. Setting up rules is a simple thing. Unfortunately I found out too late that living up to those rules demands rather superhuman abilities.

Let's take a normal morning Julius-style. It required airing the bedding, making the bed, cleaning and drying the bathroom after using it, putting worn clothes into the dirty clothesbasket, and that only concerned the bedroom and the bath. I don't even want to think about the kitchen. I mean, it's not that worn underwear would do you any harm when it lies around on the floor. And a showers purpose IS to get wet, so why to dry the tiles after showering? And since we get back into bed every night again, where is the sense in making the bed every morning. I had successfully convinced my parents of the lack of necessity of all this very early in my childhood but Julius was stubborn like a tank when it came to this. And he got never tired about arguing with me about this. He simply couldn't see my point that I had more important things to do in the morning. Like checking my e-mail, since most of the activity in the world happened usually when I was sleeping. What was one of the major disadvantages of living in Germany.

But back to the problem at hand. I was still confronted with the fact that I didn't want to be spanked and that my boyfriend had all intentions to do exactly that when I wouldn't give up certain behaviors that usually made my life so much more pleasant. And I was running out of arguments.

My only comfort was that due to the noise-disturbance-problem we experienced, he won't be able to spank my bare ass. I would have never believed that dear old Mr. Steiner would ever come to my rescue. I suddenly hold warm and fuzzy feelings for the old far... old guy. Will have to buy him a nice pressie from the money I will get back for the paddle.

Oooops.

The rent!

Sorry, Mr. Steiner, no pressie for you this month.

Damn! Life is going to become horribly complicated. I really have to start to think twice in future.

But for the moment I wanted nothing more than to bring this embarrassing discussion behind me and spend the evening with more pleasant things.

I went over to Julius and leant against him. He straightened up and put his arms around me in a crushing hug. I put my head against his shoulder and felt his face pressed against my head.

"Do you want to give it a try?" Julius asked after a moment.

"I think so." I said.

"You will survive. I promise. And if it will make you feel better about it, let me tell you, that it is nothing I actually look forward to."

"Next thing you tell me is that it would hurt you more than me." I pouted into his shoulder.

He chuckled. "No. That would only be the case when I would bend over your knee and you would spank me."

I groaned. "Can we please stop talking about it now."

"Of course." He assured me. "Wait! One more thing: this paddle, do they have them in smaller sizes?"

I abruptly pulled back and said outraged: "JULIUS!"

"What?" he asked back. "We already had the discussion about my hand and you jeans-covered bottom. Since we cannot do it bare we will have to do with sound-absorbent clothes over your skin. And my bony hand is in much more danger to be severely hurt by whacking your jeans as your upholstered backside."

"We didn't need any tools today, and you made an impression." I pointed out, not at all happy about being back in the middle of the discussion: "How to properly spank your boyfriend".

"Well, when you have no problems with circumstantially preparing the operation-field for the spanking, it will be ok with me." He said dryly.

"Can we PLEASE stop talking about the technical details." I glared at him. Agreeing to being spanked when I broke rules was one thing, but I definitely had no interest in discussing the details.

"I'm sorry, Benny, but this is new for me, too. It's not that I have that much experience. I only want to cover all aspects before we go into it. And I think our poorly soundproofed home is an issue we have to take into account. I don't want to have this discussed when we find ourselves in a situation where you were due a spanking. You won't be able to discuss it, and me neither."

"You don't even know what kind of sound a paddle would make and I for sure won't allow you to try it out in the shop."

"I wouldn't even think of the idea to try it out on you in public." He reassured me. "But perhaps they have booths in those shops where you could try out the stuff. Something like changing cubicles... ok, ok, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he laughed when I threw a banana at him in utter outrage. "It was a JOKE, Benjamin, a joke." He avoided the second banana by ducking away, but when he came up again a ripe peach found it's target and burst against his forehead.

I stayed in combat position, another juicy projectile in my hand to keep him covered.

"My flannel pajama bottoms. And your hand." I looked at him challenging.

He wiped the juicy remains of the peach from his face, narrowed his eyes and said: "Agreed!"

I relaxed a bit but kept an eye on him.

"Do our rules cover the misuse of food?" he asked and wiped his face with a clean towel.

"No." I answered carefully, inching backwards, peach still in hand and ready to use.

They didn't, did they? I repeated the rules in my mind with the speed of light. I really had to be more careful in future. But luckily, no, they really didn't.

"Well, consider it added." He said with a grim expression and lunged at me.

I shrieked, threw the peach in his vague direction and bolted out of the door and down the hallway, Julius hot on my heels. He caught me in the bedroom and threw himself down on the bed, pulling me with him. Within a second he had pinned me under him and dug his fingers in my ribs and merciless began to tickle me.

"You are not throwing fruits at you beloved boyfriend, never ever, nor any other food. Not even the tiniest pea." His voice barely drowned my shrieks and laughter.

"STOP! STOP!" I managed to yell between laughter and screams. "Think at poor Mr. Steiner and his sensitivity to noooooiiiiise......!" I ended the sentence with a shriek that let the windows rattle.

Julius let off me and rolled on his side of the bed.

"Sweetheart, the last thing I want to think at in my bedroom is a seventy-five year old guy with false teeth and digestion problems." He informed me with brutal frankness.

There was a moment of silence between us while I tried to catch my breath again and soothe my vocal chords.

"Do you think we covered it all and can close the issue for now?" he asked after a while. "Anything you still want to talk about?"

"No. Everything's ok. I think."

"You sure?"

"Yep. Let's talk about something else. For example the dinner-party my mother is giving Friday night."

He bolted upright and stared at me with wide, aghast eyes.

"Your mother is doing what?"

"Giving a dinner-party. Friday night." I informed him politely and looked at him innocently.

"Tell me you didn't accept the invitation." He paled.

I blinked at him.

"You did." He said toneless.

"Yep." I confirmed cheerfully. "Black tie and all. You should send your good suit to the cleaners in time. And I'm afraid we need a new pair of shoes for you since you wandered the mudflats with the old pair."

He flopped face down on the bed and pulled his cushion over his head.

"You are a sadist." I heard a muffled wail.

I took a deep breath and prepared for the deathblow.

"And I think you are in dire need of a hair-cut."

The moan that followed this information reminded me strongly at the last signs of life of a dying walrus. This walrus was about to lose his dreadlocks.

I patted his back sympathetically.

There is nothing better than balance of power.


~Chris

© 2003

Return to the Stories page.