Men, huh? Can't live with 'em. Can't strip 'em and spank 'em. Well actually, you CAN, in this little corner of cyberspace. Around here, fully grown males are at constant risk of humiliating bare bottomed correction - hence the 'humblings' of the title.

Monday 4 December 2017

In At The Deep End - Part Two

Hello again, everyone.

Thanks for all the comments on my recent picture post, and especially to those of you whose naughty imaginations fuelled a number of associated narratives.

As promised, here's my own take on preceding events. Hope you enjoy it!

************************************************************************************ Robert was prowling the bedroom, naked, engaged in a frantic search. As he always did when he couldn't find something, he was cursing steadily under his breath. He'd already tipped two drawers full of clothing onto the bed, and now began to rifle through a third.

"Debora," he yelled in the direction of the en-suite bathroom, "have you seen my trunks?"

His wife appeared at the doorway, dressed in her underwear and with her blonde hair wrapped in a towel. She regarded the tangled jumble of garments with a sigh.

"Right there," she said, pointing with her toothbrush at a pair of swimming briefs atop one of the piles of clothing. "There. Look."

Robert looked. "Not those," he said, irritably. "The shorts."

Debora had returned to the bathroom to spit toothpaste into the sink. "Oh, those," she called back. "I dropped those nasty old things into the clothing bank yesterday morning, while I was down at the supermarket - you know, buying food to make sure we don't starve, while you were still snoring in bed."

She leaned out beyond the door jamb. "And before you ask what's happened to that hideous shirt you brought back from Jamaica, I'm afraid that's also been donated to the homeless. God help them. As if they haven't suffered enough."

Robert looked dismayed. "I don't care about the stupid shirt," he said. "But I needed those shorts. You knew I only had those, and... these things... for swimming." He held up the trunks by one corner, and eyed them as he would something he'd found forgotten and putrefied at the back of the fridge. They were blue, but covered in a pattern of smiling yellow emoji. "And you know I've never worn these," he groaned.

Debora reappeared. She had thrown on a t-shirt from the airing cupboard.

"Well, it's about time you did wear those," she said. "My mother bought them specially for you two Christmases ago."

"Two Christmases ago I was thirty-three years old," Robert complained. "Not twelve."

He examined the trunks, front and back, with a scowl. The emoji grinned back at him. "These are like something you'd buy for a child - a very, very uncool child. In fact," he said, peering suspiciously at the label, "I'm guessing they are from the kids' section - they're at least a size too small."

Debora shook her head and began to towel her hair vigorously, her face now stern. "Then you should have taken them back or given them away, like I told you at the time, instead of leaving them in the drawer. That way I'd have known not to get rid of the other ones. Anyway", she said, "Here's an idea. How about you just try them on and stop being a crybaby? I think they're fun. And hurry up - we're already late."

She disappeared off down the landing in search of a pair of jeans.

With a deeply unhappy expression, Robert stooped to slip the briefs over his feet and then pull them up. They were already tight by the time he'd got them to the tops of his thighs. He winced as he worked them over his buttocks, and that made another thought occur to him - a fluttery, panicky kind of thought.

When Debora returned she found Robert with his back to the full-length mirror, craning his head around to study his behind. "Oh shit," he said. "Shit. Debs, we definitely can't go to the pool."

His wife stopped in the doorway, jeans in one hand and a disbelieving expression on her face.

"I'm sorry," she said, theatrically tilting her head to one side and and waggling a fingertip in her ear, "maybe I got some water in here and it's affected my hearing. Because I'm pretty sure - especially so soon after last night's little discussion - that you didn't just say something about not going to to the pool."

"But that's the thing," said Robert, waving his hands ineffectually to indicate the livid cane marks traversing his buttocks and extending well beyond the edges of his improbably skimpy costume. "Everyone..." His voice trailed off into bewildered silence.

"Well, yes. I expect they will," said Debora, stepping into her jeans and sliding them up her long legs. "But since it was you who earned a whipping by breaking your promise again about going to the gym this week, and you who swore you'd come swimming with me to make up for it, I don't really see how that's any of my concern."

"But, honey..." began Robert, and then stopped short as his wife approached him and reached up to put a finger to his lips.

"Shush," she said, and Robert did.

Debora leaned in close to his ear. "I don't want to hear any more about this. Are we clear?"

Robert nodded.

"Good boy," smiled Debora. "Now I am telling you for the last time that we are both going to the pool and that you are going to wear those trunks, and there's nothing at all that you can do about it. And when I remove my finger, there are only two words I want to hear from you. Are we also clear on that?"

Robert nodded again.

Debora dropped her hand to her waist and waited while her husband's shoulders slumped and he looked at the floor and said quietly and with some difficulty, "Yes, Ma'am."

Then after a moment he said, "Honey, I've said I'll come, ok? So please don't be angry." He gestured again at his vividly striped bottom. "But is there something we can do to cover up these marks?"

Debora finished fastening her jeans and glanced over at the dressing table. "I suppose we could find time for that," she said. "What would you like me to use - the strap, or the hairbrush?"

Ten minutes later, in the car and en route to the pool, Robert pointed hopefully towards a side-road and said, "You know, we could swing by the supermarket and get me some new swimming shorts. It's only ten minutes that way."

Deborah sighed. "Except that it's Sunday, and they don't open until eleven."

"Oh. Then maybe they have some for sale at the pool."

"Maybe they do," said Debora, "but we won't be buying any there. The mark-up on the stuff they stock at reception is nearly three times what they pay for it, Chloe said."

That only added to Robert's unease. He tried to think of all the Chloes that his wife might know.

"Chloe?" he asked. "You mean Chloe-on-my-team-at-work Chloe?"

Debora watched the road. "Yes, my young friend Chloe, who also has the misfortune to report to you as her boss. I met up with her for coffee yesterday."

Robert had the distinct sense that his woes were piling up in some way that he didn't yet fully understand. He tried out half a dozen questions in his head, and finally settled on "How was that?"

"Not bad," said Debora, "only she was a little bit subdued, which isn't like her. You know, she's normally such a gossip. But she did tell me about the public dressing-down you gave her last week for being all of three minutes late for a meeting."

Debora slowed the car momentarily to let another driver pull out at a junction, and took the opportunity to give her husband a cool sidelong look. "Three minutes! The poor girl was trying to make light of it, but it was obvious you'd upset her."

"It was a key meeting," Robert grumbled, "with a new client."

"But still just a meeting," said Debora, "and still just three minutes."

She acknowledged the other driver's thanks with a nod, and put her foot back on the accelerator. "Don't you think you could have cut her some slack? Maybe had a quiet word in private, or said nothing at all? She's still finding her feet, Robert. She's twenty-two years old."

"I guess so," admitted Robert. "Did you manage to cheer her up?"

"Oh, yes," said Debora, with a sly smile that Robert didn't like the look of.

"What did you say?"

"Hmm. I don't recall exactly. I think something about you not getting away with speaking to me like that."

"You're kidding," said Robert, his eyes widening.

"Why would I be kidding? It's true, isn't it? Oh, and I might have said something about you maybe being a bit of a bully at work because you don't get to wear the trousers at home."

"Oh God," said Robert. "Why would you say that?"

Debora reached down to change gear and said, "I may even have mentioned that you might not be sitting comfortably on Monday. But you know, Chloe just giggled at that, so I guess she assumed I was joking. After all, no little woman is going to be taking big, bad Robert Saunders in hand, is she?"

"Um," said Robert.

They drove on for a few excruciating minutes in silence, until finally Robert asked the question he'd been avoiding because he was now almost certain he wouldn't like the answer. "So how does Chloe know about the mark-up? I mean, about the stuff at the swimming pool."

Helen brightened at that. "Oh, didn't you know? She works there on Sundays."

"In reception?" asked Robert, as casually as he could muster while his heart threatened to beat its way out of his chest.

"Sometimes," said Debora. "But today I gather she's on lifeguard duty." She waited a moment while Robert considered this and then, as though the thought had only just occurred to her, said, "Oh! Just your luck that it's her who's going to be keeping an extra close eye on all the swimmers this morning. I mean, on the very day when you turn up with your well-wealed behind hanging out of your cute little swimsuit."

Robert stared. He opened his mouth to make one last plea to his wife, but what came out of it was little more than a noise something like a whimper. He sank a little lower into his seat and looked sideways out of the car window at the street signs as they passed. They were almost at the pool. He hoped against hope for something - a puncture, a prang, anything - that would curtail their journey.

"Oh dear, oh dear," his wife was saying. "Whatever will Chloe think if she notices? Perhaps she'll realise that I wasn't joking after all. Perhaps she'll tell the other people at work what happens to mean Mr Saunders at home when he misbehaves."

Robert looked dazedly through the windscreen. They were just pulling into the pool's car park. "Christ, I hope she doesn't," he said.

But Chloe did.

Monday 20 November 2017

In At The Deep End

Just when you thought I'd sunk without trace, another picture trundles slowly into view... not quite a year on from the last one.

Hello, everyone!

There is a backstory associated with this drawing, and I'll post that in the next week or two (no, really!)

In the meantime, feel free to make up your own. :)