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Date Posted: 04:20:01 12/05/18 Wed
TUTORED: When I told my friend Emily that I had a consulting gig in Hong Kong, she was the one that suggested Colonel Pickering to me. “An old English Walrus, impossibly strict. He used to be the Headmaster at a Girl’s School in England. But he lived in Hong Kong and knows Chinese like the back of his hand. He taught my daughter Sally Chinese quickly enough, and she has the stripes on her butt to prove it.”
“He CANED her?” I said, shocked. “In this day and age?”
“Well, Sally desperately wanted to be in the exchange student program at Wharton, and that meant learning Chinese, so… Truth is, I think she rather liked it, at least, after it was over, if you know what I mean.”
I knew exactly what she meant. The cane was exciting to think about, and exciting afterwards, but when you were getting it is another story. Emily promised she’d get me more information about the Colonel, and I thought nothing more of it.
A few days later I got home to find a letter addressed to “Male Head of Household” which my boyfriend had opened. It was a letter from the Colonel, laying out my tuition rates, class schedule, and the “rules” for the school. My boyfriend had thoughtfully filled out and signed the CORPORAL PUNISHMENT AUTHORIZATION FORM, checking all the boxes for tawses and straps and switches and canes, and signing it as my legal guardian!
I went to see my boyfriend, who was watching some stupid game on TV. “I think… I think there’s been a misunderstanding,” I said, opening up the letter.
My boyfriend never even took his eyes off the screen. “No, there’s no misunderstanding, Charlotte” my boyfriend said, as nonchalant as if he was discussing the weather. “He’s your teacher, you’re his student, and you’ll do as he says.. There’s a place for your signature too,” he said. “The school outfitters in town and we can get you kitted out in the morning. I looked it up online. I think you’ll look quite smart in your school blazer.”
“A school uniform! You can’t be serious. I’m 23!” I protested.
“I doubt you’ll look 23 when you put on that uniform,” he said dismissively, reaching over to take a sip of beer as he cheered his team on. “He’s pretty close to us, actually. You can catch the bus at the corner to get there.”
The bus? I shuddered at the thought of myself walking down our street dressed as a schoolgirl, and then having to stand at the corner waiting for a bus. Oh, the neighbors would have a laugh at that!
I stared at the CORPORAL PUNISHMENT FORM, mouth agape. Misunderstanding or not, once this was on file, my strict Headmaster would be free to punish me anyway he saw fit.
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