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CAST: bella, alex, anthony, marty, troy
SETTING:   our home
SCENE: we've just finished eating dinner. i'm holding anthony and standing in the kitchen talking with marty. bella and alex are playing in the living room. suddenly, alex begins crying. i go to investigate.

ALEX
daddy, della hit me.

TROY
bella, what happened?

BELLA
well, he took the book from me and wouldn't give it back.

TROY
go to your room for hitting. five minutes.

BELLA
NO! i don't want to.

TROY
if i have to carry you it's ten minutes.

BELLA
OH! ALL RIGHT! (stomping off)

(i'm holding anthony in the foyer, with my back to the stairwell, when my spidey-sense goes off. i turn just in time to duck a shoe bella threw in my direction. the only thing that saved me was my natural gymnastic prowess.)

TROY
BELLA! TO YOUR ROOM! NOW! and you just bought yourself a spanking.

BELLA
NO! NOOOOH! i don't want a spanking. i don't want to be spanked.

TROY
you should have thought of that before you threw a shoe at me. i'll be up in ten minutes.

(i remain in the foyer to collect myself. bella continues to loudly plead her case from her room. marty walks into the foyer and comes to stand directly in front of me.)

MARTY
you can't spank her.

TROY
the girl chucked a wingtip at my head. she's gettin' spanked.

MARTY
i know she deserves one. i'm just saying you can't give her one.

TROY
when she launches footwear at your head, you can choose to not spank her. your choice. but, she throws shit at me she's getting a spanking.

MARTY
don't do it.

TROY (sarcastically)
yeah, yeah. your position is noted.

(marty leaves. her words do not. i continue to listen to bella wail for mercy upstairs. a few minutes later, i climb the steps to her room stopping in her doorway.)

BELLA
daddy, i don't want a spanking. please don't give me a spanking. i promise i won't throw a shoe again. ever, ever again. i promise.

TROY
i know bella. you're not going to get a spanking.

BELLA
i'm not?

TROY
no, you're not. but as punishment, you're not getting dessert tonight.

BELLA
WHAT!? NOOOOOH! i want my dessert! please give me a spanking. i want a spanking daddy.

(i turn and walk away grinning all the way to the tv room as she continued to plead for a spanking.)

BELLA
FATHER! GET BACK HERE AND GIVE ME A SPANKING! RIGHT NOW!



after five years and three children marty and i are still not in agreement about spanking. marty sides with the pundits who say children always have a currency, something they covet above all else and this is what is to be taken away as punishment. problem is, this object of desire is ever changing and often hard to track. additionally, bella seems particularly gifted at chesting her cards. she'll feign being injured but you can see, if you study her close, that she has not been maimed in any way. so on this night, it was nice to so concisely seize her secret currency. the only downside by my estimation is the jaded opinions formed by people walking by our home and hearing a young child inside sobbingly beg to be spanked.



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