The Repeat Offender

Certain misdeeds chase me like demons of doom: most of the time I get punished for things I had already done wrong before, and suffered the consequences for, possibly several times.

It would be tempting to say: "Well, obviously, spanking doesn't work if you re-offend," but it's not so simple.

I don't react well to being expected to reform once and for all after only one occasion. Whether there's a spanking involved or not, the "go forth and sin no more, EVER" approach only makes me resentful: if I *could* avoid certain undesirable behaviour for the rest of my life, then I would, punishment or no punishment. I expect to live for a long time, though, and I don't anticipate spending any part of my life as a saint – which would certainly be the implication if all my usual quirks and badnesses were corrected forever within the next few years.*

One of my pet hates is hearing the phrase "Obviously, last time I didn't punish you hard enough." I don't hate it in a love/hate way: it just irritates the hell out of me. I'm not receptive to punishment when I'm irritated.

On the other hand, the phrase "I let you off last time", said in a hurt, regretful tone shred me into tiny little pieces.

This is what Abel said to me upon discovering that the
space-shuttle-taking-off noise emanating from our coffee machine was
caused by an overflowing dead coffee drawer. That drawer and I have a
painful history.
Our most recent clash happened about two months ago,
when the mould creatures that had evolved there had started to take
over the inner works of the machine, no doubt with designs upon the
rest of the kitchen.

I was horrified, but Abel must have decided that my terror was a
punishment in itself. He pondered dealing with me after all, but in the
end he let it go. This time I neither expected such mercy, nor was I
given it.

Despite the early hour – the machine had choked on our morning coffee –
and the tantalising smell of cooking toast, Abel gripped me by the
wrist and took me upstairs. I went as meekly as a Gorean slavegirl. It
was then that he uttered the shattering, injured reproach: I let you
off last time. I could have cried if I wasn't so pissed off with myself
for the unnecessary pain I had brought upon myself.

The retribution was swift and to the point: no delay, no lecture; he
simply made me assume the position – over the edge of the bed, –
announced the sentence – ten strokes of the cane – and delivered the
cuts slowly enough for each one to sink in, but quickly enough that the
waiting didn't border on cruelty. One of the advantages of having
already been punished for a particular offence is that you've already
heard the lecture.

Do I intend to avoid allowing the coffee monsters to breed again for as
long as possible? Yes, absolutely. It's not as though I revel in
growing penicillin; I'm going to do my best at keeping an eye on it.

Do I expect that it was the last time I've ever slipped up? Not for an
instant: there are so many things in life that need keeping an eye on,
that my attention is bound to slip at one point or another. I'm not
applying for sainthood yet.

Do I expect to be punished when the unlucky day comes? Oh, yes. All I can do is make sure it's not any time soon.

* You don't expect I have enough flaws to last me for more than a decade at a push, right?

8 thoughts on “The Repeat Offender

  1. Mija

    First, I really like that you found a way to write about the multiple offense. Sometimes I sort of wonder how to write about stuff here. It’s not that I’m not getting into trouble or being punished for stuff. But all too often it’s the same damn thing as the time before. You’re so right that it takes more than once — habits become ingrained.
    Second, I’m also glad you wrote about the being annoyed thing. While when I’m feeling annoyed or angry I can take a very hard punishment (of any sort, not just physical) without breaking down, compassion or disappointment are all too often just meltingly hard to take. (That said, if the punishment continues, I will break down and be contrite — bravery has limits.)
    But the third thing is, well, the coffee thing is kind of gross. I worry about the “How Clean Is Your House” ladies showing up and using science to somehow scare you straight (though maybe the grodie things are actually adding to the health of the coffee?). Okay, so I’ve been watching that show and have some fantasies going on about our own place.
    Anyway, maybe you and Abel need a French Press? I can really vouch for them making great coffee and being easy to dump grounds out of — though P does mine when he’s doing the dishes.
    But lastly, 10 cuts before coffee or toast? How very brave of you.

  2. candycane

    just goes to show how grouchy a man can get before he’s had his coffee in the morning…enjoyed the story, sympathy!

  3. Rob

    I think it is very brave of you (and all the girls) to record your little failings here on the PB for all the world to read (well the world that knows you as Haron that is) and I offer my sympathies (and even if he made you do it, it is still brave). There but for the grace of God go I…….and all that.

  4. sparkle

    Haron, I have this same dread in my stomach every time I leave a door unlocked. I really do. And – like Mija – I’m really glad that you found such a simple but effective way to write about the ‘repeat’ing problems!

  5. Haron

    Well, girls, I don’t know that the “repeat”ing trick will work again, pleased as I was to come up with it. I mean, not every punishment is exactly the same as all the others, but they don’t ecourage blogging creativity, that’s for sure.
    Heh, I’m not quite at the point of doing something worthy of a punishment specifically because it would be fun to blog about, but. *g*
    Mija, I assure you, our coffee machine is exceptionally easy to clean. It couldn’t be simpler: take the drawer out, dump the dead coffee, put the drawer back in. It’s the *remembering* part, pitched against the *I can do it later* part. *le sigh*

  6. Rob

    Mija: I was referring to little failings and the consequences thereof actually. A yucky coffee machine to one guy is a ‘are you on the internet again?’ high crime to another. I don’t think the local constable is interested in knowing the details of any of these events and yet they incur their own little ‘punishments’. It’s particularly good of you girls to write them up for our entertainment…I mean, so that we can offer our sympathies…..

  7. Martin

    It was a Sunday. One of those days when the weather is fine one minute and teeming down with rain the next, so you’re not sure if going out is a good idea but staying in makes you feel like you missed something.
    I had stayed in.
    I was doing some research for a picture I’m working on. They want something with a dance or performance art theme, so I’m idea fishing by typing Ballet into a search engine and browsing what comes up. After wading past three-hundred photos of Miki Kikuchi in Swan Lake what eventually comes up is a picture of spanking at the Royal Ballet.
    Getting past the picture to the site it’s on, and after reading some of Abel’s often witty posts on the theme, I am led inexorably to The Punishment Book where I meet his wife, Haron, detailing this one aspect of their life.
    My first response is to go, “Hooray, there are normal people who do this after all”, but then I spend three days struggling to define what I mean by “normal” people, and fail. So I can’t say that because even I don’t know what it means so it would be unfair of me to expect you to know. But I suspect you know anyway.
    What I mean is that I have spent about ten years trying to find someone with whom I can have just such a relationship – not necessarily the marriage bit, but you never know – and what I have found, mostly, is that the kind of people who respond to personal ads on this topic are not responding for the same reason I am placing the ad; because I enjoy it.
    Instead, they are responding because they see it as a way of making some money out of someone.
    I have lost count of the number of “I am not a photo service, but…” letters I have thrown in the bin, and of the number of people (who may or may not even be women) who require me to jump through twenty different hoops demonstrating supposed “submission” to someone I have not even met, and who refuses to have a normal conversation with me.
    All these responses have left me feeling very cynical about the existence of anyone, obviously not any one because by definition there can’t be only one, who actually lives this lifestyle. So finding you has brought me hope, hope that whoever she is, she is actually out there somewhere and is not just a figment of my imagination or an avatar in some virtual landscape on the web in some universe I have not yet visited.
    So this is just to say hi, and thank you.


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