Karen had worked hard on planning the dinner party with their new neighbours and it was going well...so far.
She wasn't worried about all the aspects of the evening which she could control such as the drinks , food , music and ambiance.
It was the one unpredictable aspect she was concerned about ....her husband Frank !
Frank was a great guy , gregarious , fun and the life of any party , but he could be rash and unpredictable at times .
One of his inappropriate comments, corny 'jokes' or foolish actions could explode at any moment and ruin the evening , so his wife was rightfully nervous.
It wouldn't be the first time her husband had embarrassed Karen at a social event!
Despite his wife's warnings to behave , Frank just couldn't help himself sometimes and his action would leave Karen to deal with damage control.
Before their guests had arrived , Karen took the time to sit Frank down and explain how she needed him to act appropriately, and think before he spoke as these were people that they had just met and did not know very well. A comment he thought to be funny could easily offend or be inappropriate.
So far , Frank had behaved impeccably , but the evening was still young and the drinks were in full flow now so the risk of a 'Frank' incident increased.
As Karen was serving dessert , she heard Frank begin to tell a familiar joke.
His wife was aghast as she knew the 'joke ' well and knew it would not go over well.
She had to act fast.
So as Frank started into his story she made her move.
"Please help yourselves to dessert folks!" she yelled out .
The desserts looked delicious and easily distracted their guests .
As the guests milled around the treat , Karen accosted her husband.
"Frank! Can I speak with you for a moment?" she asked.
"Sure Honey....just let me grab a dessert and finish my...."Frank began but his wife's finger stopped him.
"I said NOW Frank please!" his wife ordered with gritted teeth , giving him a look he knew very well.
One of the men overhead the marital exchange and laughed , "Sounds like you're in trouble Frank. Best do as the little lady says!" he cackled.
Frank blushed and laughed along , but knew by his wife's demeanour that he was in REAL trouble!
With their guests preoccupied for a few minutes , Karen marched purposefully to the bedroom and Frank reluctantly followed.
The door closed and Karen confronted her husband with that familiar hands on hips pose.
"I can't believe you were actually going to tell that old joke Frank.You know it's not appropriate and I warned you about that didn't I?" She scolded.
Frank had no defence to offer , so responded with a sheepish grin and a shrug of his shoulders.
His angry wife continued , "I don't have much time but you are going to get a sharp lesson,in manners , but be assured we will be dealing this with more seriously later tonight!"
With that she opened her dresser drawer and scooped up a wooden school ruler.
"Put you hand out!" she ordered abruptly.
"Aw No Honey?" Frank protested , still promptly complying with his wife's request and holding out his right hand , palm up.
Taking hold of her husband's wrist with her other hand , Karen raised the ruler and brought it down on his palm with a crisp smack.
Frank let out an ouch and winced as his wife delivered another brace of short , sharp smacks.
He shook his stinging hand when his wife released it.
His palm stung like crazy and he tucked it under his armpit for further relief.
"the other hand!" his wife ordered impatiently.
Still grimacing , Frank obediently stretched out his left hand and braced for the same treatment.
Karen delivered a trio of smacks to that hand also and could not help chuckling as her husband hopped up and down , waving his hands around wildly to cool them down.
Frank stood wincing and wringing his stinging hands, but Karen was not quite finished.
"Turn around!" she barked.
Frank quickly obeyed and Karen put a hand on his shoulder and sharply whipped the ruler three times against the seat of his pants , immediately directing Frank's attention from his palms to his backside.
"OW! OW! OUCH!" he yelped.
Karen returned the ruler to the drawer.
"Now get in there and behave yourself . I'll deal with you properly later !" she ordered.
Frank's 'lesson' had taken only seconds to deliver but had the desired effect.
His palms and backside were still stinging when the pair returned to their guests who were unaware of the marital discipline which had just occurred.
The guests had forgotten about Frank's story , and were instead complementing Karen about the desserts she had worked so hard on.
For the remainder of the evening, Frank was on his best behaviour.
The short , sharp lesson his wife had delivered was just what he needed but he knew a much more severe retribution awaited him later.
When the last of their guests departed ,Karen and Frank stood holding hands and waved goodbye.
Frank pulled his petite wife closer and planted a long kiss on her full lips.
"Great job honey. Everything was perfect as usual.I'll help you with the dishes." he complemented.
Karen grinned wryly , "Correction Frank...you will be doing the dishes on your own, but first we have some business to take care of. Off you go and get ready. Lay out the paddle and the big tawse....you're going to get it good this time!" she scolded.
"AW Honey Not both !" Frank whined , his shoulders drooping in resignation.
"Yes both darling.....you need a sharp lesson....a very sharp lesson!" Karen replied.