Monday, December 27, 2010

"A Peeve-stipation Situation"

Regular readers here know that since I started “Building the Kingdom” as SugarAnne puts it, I have been working through several of my pet peeves with her. I have been quite the “peeve-ologist” – if I must say so myself.

Thanks to the consistent application of my trusty little wooden spoon, we (insert inclusive gathering arm gesture) now know the importance of pausing our online chat and give our husband a few minutes of our undivided attention when he gets home from work. We are now able to keep the hall closet door closed. We are now able to keep the three remote controls in their respective rooms. And, We are now able to consistently take our medicine.

I could’ve went all Chief Whackacheek on her and thwacked that booty for any infraction of any peeve at any time. But instead we were more like Hansel and Gretel picking up bread crumbs one at a time and taking several months to find our way “home” on these things. I have had an amazing amount of success with this method. Like I said (proudly buffing fingernails on shoulder), I’m a “peeve-ologist”. A patient “peeve-ologist” at that.

Unfortunately there’s one thing the ole peeve-ology degree didn’t prepare me for. Maybe I need continuing education. Perhaps it’s that “education never really prepares you for the real world” sorta thing. I don’t know. But whatever it is, it has left me unprepared to remedy what I call “peeve-stipation”.

That’s right “peeve-stipation”. We can’t seem to pass the latest peeve – not leaving recyclables on one side of the counter. To paraphrase her, I’ve tried to keep a sense of humor about it. I’ve teased. I’ve begged. And I’ve made empty threats. And now it’s officially a spankable offense. But it’s been a spankable offense for over a month now!

It seems it would be easy. All she has to do is stretch her arm out with the offending item in hand, let it go and watch the damn thing drop into the recycle basket. But noooooooo... apparently that’s too hard to do. The girl has been thwacked with her pants up, her pants down and “looking like a fool with her pants on to the ground”. And still!! she consistently leaves recyclables on the counter. Basically, she just sits there, pretty as you please, I might add. 

What is the noteworthy difference between this peeve and the other peeves we have passed this year with rousing success? The other peeves were something that she was in total and complete agreement with. They were something that she wanted to accomplish for herself – as well as for me. But this little peeve – as aggravating as it is – seems like it's all me. Now, I know this isn't true, but it seems like she could give a rat’s glute chute about it. So, although they sting quite deliciously, my little peeve-pats with my big wooden spoon may be nothing more than an uncomfortable inconvenience for her.

The inconvenience of the “peeve-pat” should be enough. And frankly, that’s all I have. Maybe I should get me one of those “W.T.F.!!!!!!” go all Lizzie Borden and 40 whack her into doing it. (That’ll be some Kaopectate for that ass now wouldn’t it?! Huh?) But I can’t (because I choose not to) and I shouldn’t (because that’s not how “ttwd” works for us). As a peeve-ologist I now realize that “ttwd” is not laxative for every “peeve-stipation” situation.

Besides, going Lizzie on her would only bring into question my integrity in “this thing we do”. An integrity that is dependent on me loving her and encouraging her, along with reasonableness of application. An integrity that, I might add, I am very zealous to maintain.


I've got a couple of other peeves in the pipeline. I just may have to pass this peeve in order to pass this peeve - if you get what I mean. For now, her uncomfortable "inconvenience" will just have to be the extent of my satisfaction.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

“The Breath of a Pit Bull”

It’s been a tough week for Sugar. There’s still snow on the ground from last weekend’s big drop; the temperature has been hovering in the teens; and the wind chill's got the bark of a pit bull and a bite to match. All week long that pit bull has chased SugarAnne back into the house. One day it even undercut my authority. She was tasked to go to the gym. But because of the cold she refuuuuused to go.

“I guess you’ll be able to get your ‘tweed’ on tonight”, she wrote in a chat message.

"Why? What do you mean?” (I’m actually thinking, “Oh no, what the hell unfixable thing did you do?!”)

“It’s cold outside”, she says. (I think: “Duh. Who doesn’t know that?”)

"Yes, I know”, I sanitized my internal sarcasm for external delivery.

“I’m not going out there!” She says.

I’m-not-going-out-there? I was so caught off guard by this last line that I actually tilted my head up to make sure that I was looking down through the most powerful part of my lenses. I squinted and slowly lowered my head until I could see those fateful words with the sharpest focus and clarity available. I just wanted to be sure that what I was seeing was actually what I was seeing. And that's exactly what I was seeing! Perhaps I had a virus that affected my vision. Nah. Maybe the computer had a virus? Nah. Perhaps she had a virus! Perhaps.

But there they were: “I’m not going out there" – followed by the ubiquitous exclamation point!

I mean, I can’t be seeing this! This cannot be true. It is not possible that these words were uttered from the loving pixelips of Her Royal (characteristically compliant) Sweetness. Surely there is something wrong with the World Wide Web – a glitch, perhaps, in the configuration of the electromagnetic forces, fields, rays and waves that pull and push words from keyboard to the screen and on to the screens all over the world. The World Wide Web was obviously broken!!

“Really.” My response was more a statement than a question.

“It’s just too cold”, she said. And the chat went silent for a moment.

I’m just not quite sure I’m believing this. At this point I could’ve picked up the phone and gotten to the heart of the matter. But I kinda like these chat exchanges we have each day. We actually get each other – even in chat.

I break the silence.

“You always have a choice in these matters Sugar” I veil my threat at first.

“But you’ll regret it.” Uh-oh! Here we go! It-is-on! I put my electronic bark up against the bite of the pit bull.

“I’m not going out there!” Wha’th-? There it is again! That frickin’ glitch!

"MickyD’s 3:16”, I say.

"???” She doesn’t understand.

“Have it your way”, I clarify.

“That was actually a Burger King campaign”. Oh no she di’int! She MUST have a virus!

“You know what I mean!” If the glitch were equal opportunity those letters would’ve been capitalized.

“I’m going to bed”.

That being settled we went on to chat quite amicably about other unrelated stuff. I spent the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon nervously planning a big “tweed” event. And event that outright defiance called for. 

The reality of Sugar’s outright defiance was driven home quite humorously later that afternoon. It was as if God was watching out for her. I had the unusual (and unfortunate) opportunity to be called out of the office in the late afternoon – the warmest part of the day mind you. I park in a garage but I had to stop for gas.

And when I stepped out of my car the breath of that pit bull wrapped around me and the damned thing bit me right on the ass! All I could say was “OH-MY-GOD!” And I said it out loud too (yeah, I’m the pastor - smirk). I, quite literally, quelled the urge to say to other people pulling up to the pump, “DON’T! Don’t get outta your car!!” I'm serious. I was freezing my ass off!

Needless to say, the plans for a big “tweed” event were blown away by the breath of that pit bull. Yeah, I got the paddle out when I got home. I postured; even threw a little intimidation around – at first. But ended up laughingly explaining how I came to understand her outright defiance. Amnesty International is not one of my charities. But amnesty was in order and amnesty was bestowed.

But don’t think I didn’t spend a few spanks - loving spanks that is - on her willing bottom.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

“’Tweed’le Need? ‘Tweed’le Duh!”



Not "tweed"
 What is “tweed”? No, it’s not a professorial sport coat with patches on the elbows. Or a punky little frock that I’d love to jack up in order to “melt her Mounds” (much to my Almonds' Joy). Nope. “Tweed” is short in our house for “this thing we do” or TTWD. Both of which have just too many syllables for someone who is as verbally efficient as myself to say again and again. So when we comb the blogs in the neighborhood together (as has become a morning ritual of late), rather than say “this thing we do” – or the even more syllabically burdened TTWD - we’ve shortened it verbally to, simply, “tweed”.

SugarAnne thinks I’m a bit crazy. She says that every time she turns around I’m “threatening” to spank her. She says I need “tweed”. But she says it more accusatorily, as in, “Not me, but “YOU! YOU'RE the one that needs ‘tweed’”!

I tell her, “I’m not 'threatening' you. I’m just ‘infoorrrrming’ you”. And frankly, “informing” her has been more than enough to keep her on the right track and out of trouble. But that brings an interesting development in yours truly as a result. B’Man needs to spank - and spank well.

To some of you this would come as no surprise. It has been apparent for some time. After all, I am BabyMan – he of “have paddle will travel” fame; he who is “quick to spank and slow to listen”; he whom anyone but Clutch Cargo might ascribe the name “Paddle-foot”. For you it’s easy to see: “'Tweed’le need BabyMan? Hmmpf...uhh…'tweed’le duh BabyMan”

Wasn’t I just helping her out – helping us out when we started “tweed”? Wasn’t I just assisting in getting her life in order? Wasn’t I just being the strong and dutiful husband who does what it takes to bring order to our lives so that we could have the liberty to love, and the emotional freedom to pursue our brand happiness? Wasn’t I? I mean – I was, WASN’T I?

Funny, the season and the weather normally call for “tweed”, but she’s running around here as happy as the hell as she can be right now! And I’m not wishing any less upon her. I’m simply noting that I’m not getting to wear “tweed” as often as I like (need?). Perhaps the emotional funk I’ve been experiencing the past couple of weeks is an indication that I ain’t been getting m’spank on sufficiently. I don't know.


"Tweed"
 I mean, there’s been those pet peeve patty-pat-pats with the wooden spoon here and there. And a "slap and tickle" recently. But there hasn’t been a “get your ass over here now, paddle popping, booty stinging, tear inducing, 'Now get your tail in that bedroom and gimme some of that thang'”, spanking in a while.

Hm…I’m probably doing all this “threateni- er, I mean "infoorrrrming” because I ain’t getting the full extent of my necessary spank on. And, come to think of it, if "threateni- er, uh, I mean, if "infoorrrming" her is working so well, can she be a true, blood running through the veins, spanko? I don't know. But if she ain't, some kinda sacrifice will have to be made! 

Ah...it’s probably easier for you than for me to see. So let me just say it for y'all,

’Tweed’le need B’Man? Hmmmpf...uhh...‘Tweed’le duh B'Man!”

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Hero Complex or Complex Hero"

I had to go in and save my girl. Yesterday she was all down in the dumps. The thermometer reading was SAD and rapidly falling toward depression. The weather had changed drastically. The sky went gray and a wisp of falling flurries could be seen. She didn’t have enough energy to complete all of her tasks. So in the late morning she called me. She received the measure of mercy she needed.

In the late afternoon when I got home I wasted no time. After a small amount of banter I grabbed a paddle, commanded her over my knee, peeled back those baby blue pajama bottoms and went to work ever so slowly and quite deliberately. I “raised her temperature” and set the thermostat to "function". It wasn’t punishment. Nah. The woman needed saving.

Like Mighty Mouse, I’m always looking for an opportunity to rip my shirt open, stick out my chest (with that big bold superhero husband insignia on the undershirt) and proclaim boldly and confidently,

“Here I come to save the day!!”

I need to be her hero. Husbands naturally feel this way about their wives. At least I think they should. I love taking care of Sugar. But more than that, I think I need to take care of her. In fact, it goes well beyond all of that chivalrous stuff: beyond the opening of doors and the walking down stairs in front of her. It goes beyond the anticipating her need of a sweater, an umbrella or a toothpick after popcorn. It even goes beyond fulfilling her wants and desires – and protecting her from them when her indulgence could lead her into harm’s way. 

need to protect her from the world. Need.

Yes, I confess I have a hero complex in that regard. But a hero complex can actually get in the way of me being the man that she really needs me to be. You see, there’s a difference between a man with a hero complex and a man who is a complex hero.

A man with a hero complex lets his wife get whatever she wants, whenever she wants it, however she wants it. He lets her engage her tendencies and desires – even if they could lead to harmful conclusions. He does it just to get his hero “fix”.

But a man who is a complex hero strives to give his wife whatever she needs, whenever she needs it, however she needs it. He sets clear guidelines for her and their relationship. He holds her accountable to those guidelines. And he follows through with punishment if necessary – even if that means spanking thoroughly and consistently – on a regular basis. He don’t need no hero “fix”.

I go back and forth between operating out of a hero complex and operating as a complex hero.

I once had a mentor who used to tell me, “Sometimes the person you think is lovin’ on ya, is actually really hurtin’ on ya. And sometimes the person you think is hurtin’ on ya, is actually really lovin’ on ya.”

I think the women who consent to “this thing we do” probably have a better understanding of that than we – the men they actually submit to.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Happy Thanksgiving"

Thanks to our many friends, commenters and readers who are beacons of light illuminating the path of this journey we call "this thing we do".



May God give each one of us the grace to see the many blessings and the inexhaustible mercy he bestows upon us each day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Add Sugar, Stir with Wooden Spoon"

“Get over here”, I said sternly. I jabbed toward the cocktail table then tapped the end of it.

"Tasking’ her to the gym yesterday didn’t get her motivated like I had hoped it would. She did not make it out of the house - at all. Didn’t make it out of bed really. Only long enough for an abrupt chat on instant message:

“You there?” She had just signed on.
“Yes, I’m here. How are you feeling?” Ever the concerned husband.
“Not good. Haven’t gotten outta bed.” Lethargy bled through.
“Omg…this is bad. Did you take your vitamin?” I figured if I mentioned one “task”, she’d mention the other.
“No”. She added no filler.
Why don’t you go on and do that.” Long pause.
“Okay, done.” More lethargy.
“Good”. Then all of a sudden she said…
“I’ll talk to you later.”
I paused and waited for her to address the gym. It was 2 in the afternoon. I knew she wouldn’t make it. The pain is tough on her. Depression even tougher. I waited, desiring to grant amnesty. She never mentioned what I sensed she remembered.
“Okay”, was my pixel lit response. That’s all she needed to avoid “hanging up”. She signed off immediately.

When I got home I found her right where I’d expected to find her – in bed. I didn’t mention the task. Just loved on her a bit. It helped her mood. Motivated her. Other than an undulating wave of perimenopausal hot flashes her evening went reasonably well. That was yesterday.

“Sit down right here.” Sugar sat. Submissive. Knees pressed together; hands placed demurely on her thighs; naked under her dark green robe.

At first I headed to the bedroom for our utility paddle. But changed my mind and doubled back. I decided that one of the large wooden spoons from the crock would be a quieter way to “stir" things up. I picked the one with the longest neck and the widest bowl.

I pulled one of the high back bar stools away from the long marble counter that splits the identity of the room. I turned it around, sat and looked down at her face. She looked up at me, her face poignant in paradox: part curiosity, part knowledge; partly troubled and part pain. These are the hard ones, these punishments. I know she’s dealing with a whirlwind of challenges. Sometimes I feel like I’m just adding to the mayhem.

I slipped the spoon under my arm, rested my elbow on my knee and, without breaking eye contact, buttoned the cuffs of my dress shirt. How authoritative – I thought with a smidgen of pride. It was more nervous fidget than anything. Her eyes shifted nervously then dropped sullenly. A knowing look erased all paradox.

“You missed a task yesterday. You didn’t make it the gym.” I channeled D’Onofrio’s Goren, tilted my head, lean down a little and flicked the air with the spoon to scoop up the lost eye contact.

“I was waiting to let you off the hook”, I said. “I knew you weren’t able to make it. But you decided not to mention it. All you had to do was address it.” She sat sullen in silent confession. I reached for a throw pillow and placed it over the arm of the sofa.

“Stand up and lay over this pillow.” I patted it with the warmth of an invitation to a Calgon bath. She jutted her chin in a soft up nod and added a lazy point toward the love seat. I picked up the signal and reached for one of the other throw pillows. She knew she'd need it to muffle the screams.

When I lifted her robe it was as if her globes gave the rising sun its light. “You-Need-To-a-DDress-Your-Tasks!” I enunciated through clenched teeth striking her as hard as the enunciated consonants. I repeated it again. And again. And once again. It was quick but painful. The singing of the morning finches just outside our window were as Pips to her screaming Gladys Knight. Then it was over. She stood up.

“I want you to understand something”, I offered tenderly while easing her into my arms. “I do not fault you for what you’re dealing with. I’m not trying to fix it. I don't hate you for it. I’m not trying to cure it. I just want to help best I can. You understand that don’t you?” She nodded.

“I’m not always going to take it easy on you like this”, I added with a smirk as I began to collect my stuff and leave for work. I was thinking that it may have gone too quickly. Thinking that she may not have been "stirred" as much as she needed. But once the cloud of tears lifted, her sun did not stop shining all day. She was in good spirits and stayed "stirred up" throughout the day and well into the evening.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"'Element X': The Irreconcilable Difference"

Sometimes “this thing we do” makes me feel like we’re mad scientists in a laboratory of marriage. One day Sugar put a smidgen of her submission into a test tube laced with trust (the butt of which is placed over a Bunsen burner) – and both grew exponentially. I stirred a monocotyledonous portion of my dominance into a Petri dish smeared with respect – and both went into “Breck mitosis”. We poured both containers in to a dormant cauldron of stale communication and the thing began to bubble up with effervescence that continues to emit a wonderful fragrance that fills the entire laboratory.

But it ain’t always all pretty. Sometimes our laboratory is on high alert; the situation becomes volatile; bad chemistry can have the whole shebang on the verge of blowing up. I was reminded of that recently when “Element X” reared its ugly head again.

“Element X” is not like wondering: “Why does the male of the species even lift up the toilet seat if all he’s going to do is piss all over the bathroom floor?! (Hey! At least he puts the seat back down). “Element X” is not like being grossed out by the sight of used “feminine products” in the trash can or irritated about all that cosmetic crap that’s left all over the bathroom counter. And it’s not whether the toothpaste tube is being squeezed at the bottom, the middle or the top. As irritating as all of these things can be, when you drop ‘em into a bubbling cauldron of communication you still get a sweet fragrance in the lab.

What is “Element X” you ask? Well, when a reasonable expectation that an emotional and/or physical need will be met within a relationship is faced with a bona fide reason that that need cannot be met, you have “Element X”. It is not preference. It is 100 per cent pure unadulterated irreconcilable difference.

When “Element X” is not dealt with, it smells like an elephant fired off a “missile” onto the floor of the marital laboratory. You can’t help but smell it but you act like you don’t. You might even step in the shit and have it contaminate every other experiment being conducted in the laboratory. Some couples, after stomping around for a while with turned up noses, actually let the laboratory blow up just to get away from the stench. This is marital suicide.

I’m reminded of that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine, who is staunchly pro-choice, walks out of a restaurant mid-meal because the owner is pro-life. Later, she falls in love with a handsome moving man – the apparent man of her dreams. Jerry, ever the instigator (oh that Jerry!), casually asks her what her new fella’s stance is on abortion. When Elaine finds out the guy is pro-life she breaks down in tears and is forced to break up with him. For Elaine the man’s stance on abortion is an irreconcilable difference – “Element X”.

“Element X” is a recurring menace in our relationship (it’s not always all well and good over here people!). It robs one of emotional fulfillment, closeness and physical satisfaction, while burdening the other with emotional dissatisfaction, distance and physical discomfort. The accompanying stink of resentment and guilt tends to invade the other experiments, everything comes to a stop and there’s about as much people activity in the laboratory as there is at Madam Tussads’ wax museum.

Like all good scientists Sugar and I continue to hypothesize and theorize about what will work to resolve – or even dissolve – “Element X”. We continue to experiment (which doesn’t always go well) and examine the results (which are sometimes disastrous).

Here’s what we’ve learned so far: “Element X” can’t be negotiated, traded for, or met by compromise. It can’t be “Dom’d” in or “Dom’d” out; “sub’d out or “sub’d” in”; spanked up or spanked down. And it can’t be set aside forever or it will start to stink like month old ground beef cooking over coals of sulphur. It is not preference. And there is not a lack of desire to reconcile it. It is just 100 per cent pure unadulterated irreconcilable difference.

It used to come up twice a month and the smell would linger for two weeks. But it’s only come up twice this year and didn’t linger at all. Yeah, it stank. The feelings are real. The pain is real. The guilt is real. And all unavoidable. There is great wisdom in recognizing that a problem within your relationship cannot be solved. But, unfortunately, that doesn’t make the situation any less frustrating.

Do you have an “Element X”? Maybe it has something to do with political worldviews, religious beliefs, sexual needs, moral standards or philosophical positions. And, more importantly, how do you handle it? Do you over engage it? Under engage it? Or act like it doesn't exist? As a scientist, I'm truly curious.

Sugar and I know that when “Element X” comes up (and it will) we will go from harmony, to horror, to hell on earth as quick as a hiccup. But as mad scientists in the marital laboratory we have found out that, when it does come up, we can go back to honky dory in lickety split, smelling sweet as a rose, if we just drop that shit into that bubbling cauldron of communication that is fueled and inspired by that other wonderful concoction: “this thing we do”.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"You and Me"

As you can tell from SugarAnne's rambling post over here, (and all the wonderful comments she's received) that it's been a great year of connection, growth, love and, well, correction for us.

I was looking back over my pages and pages of notes and thoughts for potential posts (is writer's block contagious?), and came across the lyric to a sappy little love song (and I mean sappy, which is why I never posted it). It a simple song that speaks volumes about appreciating the simple things, staying focused and, I think, remaining humble. 

I don't wanna get all touchy-feely on y'all or nut'n (I mean, I AM a "beast" right?) but here's a portion of the lyric (full lyric here, listen here)

You and me ain't no superstars
What we are is what we are
We share a bed some popcorn and t.v. yeah.

And that's enough for a workin' man
What I am is what I am
And I tell you babe
Well that's enough for me.

When I got home from work
I wanna wrap myself around you
I like to hold you and squeeze you
'till the passion starts to rise.

If I could take you to heaven
That would make my day complete

But you and me ain't movie stars
What we are is what we are
And I tell you babe
Well that's enough for me.
            - Alice Cooper, “You and Me”, Album, "Lace and Whiskey"

I think I'm most thankful that early on, with the help of y'all in the community, that I was able to understand that "this thing we do" is unique to every couple. And that all we had to do was simply be ourselves with ourselves and simply be just "You and Me" and no one else.

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Candy Rapping"

I’m a panties man. Bikini. She knows this. "Reg-a-layshun panniz" I call 'em. So when she bent over in boy shorts I knew there’d be trouble. She looked too damned good!

“Today you’re gonna be spanked with every implement in the house”, I said right out the midnight blue that matched her shorts. The white crisscross stitch at the seam had disappeared into the valley that separates her delectable roundness.

“Uh-Uhhhhh”, came her sing-song protest. “Why?!!” She snapped to attention and turned to face me.
“Because those boy shorts look too damn good on you girl. And besides, you need it.”

Believe it or not, being the “beast” that I am, it’d been over a week since SugarAnne had felt the sting of a paddle. That’s because she’d been a real good girl (“I’m always a real good girl” she would say); and partly because the pain in her hips had prevented me from rewarding her with the “slap and tickle” she deserved. But now she was up and about and going out.

“I DON'T need it!” She spat. Riiiiiight, like she’d admit it if she did.
“Yeah y’do” I grabbed her arm, pulled her to me and let my free hand slip down and around. I gave her ass a firm squeeze and then let my fingers search for the lost stitching between the mounds of her maturity.

She pulled away and leaned over the dresser fishing for something or other. I could see her look at me in the mirror. But I was focused on the candy wrapping. Voltage shot through me that would increase the electric bill. She would pay. I stepped up, gripped her hips in my hands and pulled her to me. Already dressed for the gym I pumped her like a junk yard dog humping. (Hey, what’s a “crack” addict to do?!)

But this would not be the moment. She had already planned “girlfriend” time over our regular Saturday morning gym excursion. (Hey, what are ya gonna do? She’s impetuous like that. It’s part of her charm). She wiggled her treasure into a snug pair of form-fitting jeans. (Shit! I hate it when the candy gets double-wrapped when I’m hungry for a piece).

If I didn’t know any better, methinks she dragged her feet in coming home. She came lugging her “looking good in those tight ass jeans” behind home some 6 ½ hours later talking about, “I feel like taking a nap.”

“Uhhh….no. First I want you to collect every implement you can think of” I commanded, “And line them up on the coffee table here.” She retrieved what she conveeeeeniently “remembered”: the ”tickler” (our very first paddle that does just that: tickles), the “weapon of ass destruction” (our most often used paddle), the unnamed paddle ball paddle I absconded from Best Buy’s promotion of Kodak products, and the “heatstroke” (a short handle bath brush).

I could see her memory was short so I retrieved “Ephipany” (a heavy dog leash made of synthetic cloth), the loopy Johnny (the “majority whip”?) and a just discovered hair brush with grooves on the “love side”. She immediately deemed the hairbrush “un-implementable”.

I faked adamancy on using the loopy. But she cried “RED!” (our safe word) so loud I’m sure people outside stopped, turned around, looked up and wondered where that echo came from. I tossed the loopy away (after all, this was “slap and tickle”). But that opened the avenue for every other implement.

Savoring my own anticipation I started candy rapping in the living room where I slow-cooked her bottom over those tight assed jeans. She wriggled. In the den I peeled back that top wrapper, turned up the heat and “roasted her rump” over those “violating” boy shorts. She jiggled. Next I peeled back those shorts and “fried her baloney” (the bath brush was featured). It did not tickle. Perhaps she cried. I don’t think so.

In the bedroom it was much less spanking and more or less thanking. I wanted this to be different than our usual late Saturday morning fornicatori-Olympics. And it was. I set the mood by cranking up a pre-arranged rhythm and blues love songs list from “back in the day” as they say. And after giving her a long oily, full body massage and getting swept up in the music, we made love; long, good, warm and tender love.

When we were done and lying there wonderfully spent and physically exhausted, she turned to me with mock irritation and said “Are ya happy now?!” Still sassy, it was clear that it was she who was happy.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"'Beast' or Famine"

Happy feelings. Everybody’s striving for happy feeeeelings (wiggling fingers sarcastically). I’m all for happy feelings. They’re fun. But they’re just a flash in the pan. Given a choice between a happy feeling now and long term happiNESS, I’d like to think I’d choose happiness – even if it means discomfort for a moment.

Happy feelings are a large part of my relationship with SugarAnne. I would say that it is the general tone of our relationship. And I’m thankful that we’re both contributors. Me, I’m the corny, dorky, silly sorta guy, and she, she’s the free spirit, blowing at the mercy of the wind, fun-loving gal. And the combo makes for a lot of happy feelings.

But when it comes to a spanking (unless it’s a “slap and tickle” or, an I’m “just sittin' here thinking” about spanking my girl), I am not concerned about happy feeeeelings. When SugarAnne is over my knee (or in some other vulnerable position) for punishment, I’m not in the happy feelings business. No, I-am-in-the-happi-NESS business.

In her post “Tuesday Chat”, SugarAnne surmised that yours truly may be viewed by some as "a strict disciplinarian with a permanent scowl on his face, a roar in his voice and a paddle glued to his hand". Whoa! What a picture! My first thought is that that scowl and that roar are probably a painful reaction to trying to scratch m’clackers with a damn paddle glued to my hand!

And, I have learned quiet as it’s kept, that in some chat circles (I don’t know who you are, but you certainly do) I am even referred to as the “beast”. No doubt a moniker playfully encouraged – if not lovingly perpetrated upon me by Her Royal Sweetness herself. But really, am I really a beast?

Here’s what RW (bless her heart) from The Renewed Wife, said in her comment to Sugar’s post:
“So far as how we see BabyMan”, she says, ”I can only speak for myself, but I don't see him as ‘a strict disciplinarian with a permanent scowl on his face, a roar in his voice and a paddle glued to his hand’ at all” (thanks RW). And then she adds with a gentle smirk, a raised eyebrow and a smidgen of reluctant but favorable betrayal, “(sorry, B'Man!)”.

Translation: “I know you wanna be ‘bad’ B’Man” (that’s bad as in “b-double a-d-bad” y’all) “but I can pretty much see through that. You’re actually a teddy bear. And oops, I apologize for letting your little secret out into the blogosphere”.

Hm. Beast? Teddy bear? “Teddy beast”? (shrug) I ain’t saying. This isn’t really an apologetic for either one. As a childhood friend used to say: “I’miz what I’miz; and I’ma’int what I’ma’int”. (Apologies to you grammar purists).

If there’s one thing I’miz: I am a MAN (insert beastly double fist pound to chiseled puffed out chest) who is operating on top of an underlying foundation of love; within the realm of “this thing we do”; under the over-arching consent of Her Royal Sweetness; for the benefit of our happiness. And that means that on occasion I am a man (pound-pound) who will FORsake momentary happy feelings, for THE sake of long-term happi-NESS. Obviously we would prefer to have both always, but sometimes it’s either/or.

Victor Hugo once said: "The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved” (okay, maybe I'm channeling Criminal Minds).

But I would rather SugarAnne know with absolute certainty that I love her deeply and am passionately concerned for our long-term happiness. We both agree that means "this-thing-we-do". Yep, I can make her feeeeeel happy for a moment by maybe letting her off the hook – hell, by letting me off the hook. Punishment is not a happy feeling for anybody over here. But I am persuaded that that would eventually lead to a famine in happiness. Go on call me a “beast” (el-o-el!) that’s okay.

But understand, it's either "beast" for famine.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"Going Nowhere Fast"

After nearly two years of blog silence (and lurking on Dd sites), it was one year ago today that I published my first official Dd post, “A Hypothetical Destination”. Yes, this is my de facto blogivesary!

To save you a click here is that short post in it's entirety:

“I wasn’t too surprised this morning when SugarAnne granted her “hypothetical” consent to a “hypothetical” domestic discipline style relationship (with a focus spanking). Even though a thick thread of submissiveness has been apparent over the 9 years we’ve been married, Sug’Anne is characterized by what I would call freedom of spirit. Not prone to “wildness” mind you – but to moving about life un-tethered by the “traditional” relational obligations of a telephone call during the day and a report about the day's happenings at night. So I have no idea how such a relationship will shape up over time. But the idea of folding her lovely shape over my knee time after time for "corrrection" is both intriguing, exhilarating and, well, exciting – for both of us.

The heavy – and heady – “hypothetical” responsibility does not escape me either. Of all the key considerations I’ve pondered (and I have pondered much), three very important elements of this "hypothetical" domestic disciplind relationship seem to rise to the top: 1) the need for clear and honest communication is critical; 2) the importance of being trusted is indispensible; and 3) continual growth of mutual respect for each other is invaluable. Those three noble, but fragile, ideals are constantly strived for in most relationships but, it seems, are never fully arrived at. Like playing golf, bowling and ballroom dancing – you rarely feel at the top of your game in these three. And you are always, always in need of improvement.

I wonder: Can I be the Dominant I desire to be? Can I be the "Top" that is screaming to break out? Can I be the Dominant that she would need me to be? Can I be the "Top" that she is silently screaming for? And, most importantly: Can I show sufficient appreciation for such a wonderful gift?”

Over the past year something has changed. Somewhere along the way we went from a “hypothetical” to an "actual" domestic discipline couple. And over the past year something has remained the same. For one, the questions haven't changed. I still constantly wrestle with them and I rarely feel like I’m walking in the fullness of my “Developing Domdentity”.

That’s not a bad thing at all. It always brings me back to something else that hasn't changed: the foundation of our journey. Namely those aforementioned three things:  1) the need for clear and honest communication; 2) the importance of being trusted; and 3) continual growth of mutual respect for each other. It's like I've walked a long and and yet, I'm still at the beginning. 

Is "this thing we do" a human hamster wheel that just goes 'round and 'round? If it is, that's okay. Because one thing's for sure: this past year has made my relationship "legs" stronger for this journey; it has made my body readier for any sacrifice; and, it has made my heart healthier for loving SugarAnne. Going nowhere fast is leading to everywhere I want to be. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Love Our Lurkers V"

Thanks to Bonnie over at My Bottom Smarts, bloggers in the spanking community are celebrating "Love Our Lurkers Day V". Yep, for the fifth straight year (this is our first) those of us who do "this thing we do" are reaching out to show our appreciation for all the folks that we KNOW are reading but have never commented. Both SugarAnne and I just want to thank all of you folks for all of those hits on our hit counters! And at the same time encourage you to make a comment today because comments are so encouraging to us bloggers. In fact... 

...our eyes are hungry to hear from you. Soooooo....


...If you're out there peeking in
Complain or praise it's not a sin.

Post your comment here or there,
Or send an email, we don't care.

B'Man wants you to express
What you're thinking more or less.

And SugarAnne is waiting for
Your brilliant comments to explore.

We told the story 'bout the day
We jumped into the Dd way.

We tell the stories, all are true,
'Bout how we do "this thing we do".

If you've seen me, then you've seen her,
So tell us which one you prefer.

If you've seen her, then you've seen me,
You've seen her draped across my knee.

So post your comment, tell us why
You stop to read and then go by.

You've never ever stopped to say
That we have made, or spoiled your day.

So tell us that you think we're cute,
Or that you think B'Man's a brute.

So mock and jeer and then poke fun,
(okay, we might delete that one).

We want to know if we amaze you,
If our essays even phase you,

If you think we're kind of weird,
Or if you've cried or laughed and cheered.

We want to know how high we rank.
We want to know who we should thank.

We want to know who's hand to shake,
For whom to bake our "thank you" cake.

For even though you've lurked around
And never made a freakin' sound,

And even if you comment late,
It's you that we appreciate!

Pssst...we know you're out there. Watching. It's okay to comment anonymously (and of course, regulars are welcome too).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"A Key to the Pity"

Sugar's had a string of bad luck with keys this year. A few months ago she accidentally locked them in the car. "Yours truly" had to hightail it home for lunch to let her in. It could happen to anybody. Circumstance.

One day the police came to our door. They had found her keys sticking out of the keyhole in the trunk and looked up her license plate number to return them.  Consequence.

Then, along with everything she owned, her keys were stolen from her locker at the gym. We replaced what we needed to replace and changed locks where locks needed to be change. Circumstance.

A couple of Sundays ago she, um, well, er, uh, she locked them in the car - AGAIN.  I raced out to her location. The old wire hanger trick didn't work (I'm a quarter of a century away from being criminally incli - er,  I mean skilled in that area). It just so happens that the friend she was with (whose keys were also in the car) called AAA and the keys were saved. But not until the next day. Um, Consequence.

Interestingly enough, the friend (who doesn't know about "this thing we do" but is aware that I helped Sugar quit smoking with spanking), would ask her, "Are you going to get spanked for this?" You think she might be a little suspicious?

Over the years I've teased SugarAnne every now and then that on her gravestone the epitaph would read:
"B'Man, where are my keys?"

If I had ten dollars for each time I've said (partly jokingly, largely suggesting), "Aren't they in the spot where you always keep your keys", we'd be sitting pretty damn good financially.

The other day Sugar called me at work. "I don't want you to be mad, 'k?" Long story short of it? She was out on the beach walking her mother's dog and...and...and... You guessed it: she had lost her keys.

Searched high and low said she.
Found not hide nor hair of key.
(Forgive the flash poetry)

Fortunately I didn't have to leave the office this time. She was able to get into the building. I saw her online just a little bit later:

[Chat log B'Man and SugarAnne, star date October 2010: the lost keys]
B'Man says:
You there? [several minutes pass]

Sugar says:
I'm here.

B'Man says:
oh...okay.

Sugar says:
I just got back from taking the socks to Scottie. [Scottie is one of our served and loved in need]

B'Man says:
Oh great. That was nice.

How was your workout?

Sugar says:
it was okay.
got through it.

B'Man says:
that's what's important.
good.

i want you to "girl up". i want to settle this key thing right away when i get home.
[she's to be in a skirt and regulation bikini panties which I will peel back like skin and "bake her potato"]

Sugar says:
ok 
[she knew the command would come sooner or later. I wanted the benefit of a few hours anticipation]

B'Man says:
do you have your replacement keys on a key ring yet? [she'd made copies after the AAA incident]

Sugar says:
yes. The hardware store gives you rings for free.

B'Man says:
ok

i will order the building key.  [an irreplaceable thirty-five dollar key that has to be ordered]
 


"Key Pete" magnetic key holder
 

Sugar says:
I'm sorry. [self pity]

B'Man says:
i know. we'll be fine. [It's good to have "a key to the pity".]




Needless to say, there was some "weeping and gnashing of teeth".

So far it looks like we may have re-written that epitaph:
"B'Man, where are my keys?"
"My keys? I know exactly where my keys are!"

Consequence.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"A Word: Praise"

I’m a big fan of ballroom dancing so I rarely miss “Dancing with the Stars”. But if Mark Ballas don’t stop kissing on Bristol (“The Pistol”) Palin I think I’ll have to stop watching. The cat is creepin’ me out! Every time I turn around he’s planting those “soup coolers” of his on the girl’s cheek, temple, shoulder, whatever. Geez, she’s not a frickin’ racehorse, or a show dog for heaven’s sake. And she sure the hell ain’t Jesus. She’s just a person – a person who’s learning to dance.

Check out this post inspiring quote from the book, “The Way of the Superior Man”, by David Deida:

“The masculine grows by challenge, but the feminine grows by praise. A man must be unabashed and expressed in his appreciation for his woman. Praise her freely.”

Yes I know, men grow by praise too (and women by challenge). But when I’m reading for the purpose of betterment of “self in relationship", I’m focused more on what I can do to make things better – not, what can be done for me. And to that end it is important for me to remember to praise Sugar (like they vote in some cities) early and often.

When it comes to “this thing we do” there’s always praise for obedience. Praise for obedience is a good thing (“good girl” – I love saying that) and should always be tendered – and “freely” at that. But I’m not talking about that. In a lot of ways that's (the obedience) just response to stimuli and pain avoidance. Is that real growth?

It would also be easy to attempt to fluff her up with false praise and insincere compliments. And equally easy to fall into the trap of just praising her for what I like about her body. In regard to the body, women can often be vulnerable and susceptible to the innocuous effervescence of empty compliments. Besides, Sugar is too smart for me to get away with telling her “lies…lies…sweet little lies”. She’s more than her body (which, by the way, fits my sexual grid of attraction to a capital “T” – can you say, “Scha-wiiing!!”).

I’m more interested in “loving her up” not pumping her up. Sugar is a strong and intelligent (mind), loving and compassionate (heart) woman of faith (spiritual). And it is the free praise and recognition of all of these aspects that spawns, encourages and contributes to growth of the whole well-rounded person. That's where I want to be in my praise.

I don’t know if Mark and Bristol are in relationship. Maybe Bristol’s thriving under this sort of praise. But if I see him kiss “The Pistol” more than once just one more time, I won’t be able to stop the puke that I’ve been swallowing from week to week from spilling out of my face! (Everybody now: “ee-yew”).

Mark's creepiness notwithstanding, praise is pretty important stuff - especially in a relationship.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"'Something Certain' and 'A Certain Something'"

“Find the pills, or, find the paddle”. I was direct but not stern. Channeling Ben Stein’s dry, matter of fact delivery (“Anybody?” “Buehler”), I let the words, rather than my tone of voice, carry the promise of the “consequences”.
Sugar searched for a moment but stopped to plead her case: “Sleepy…no pills left…I’ll find them tomorrow”. I didn’t feel the usual pang of anxiety that comes with anticipating her anger (I am often more concerned about that than I let on). And it’s not that I didn’t care – wait a minute. Yes it is. I really didn’t care if she got mad.

“Find the pills, or, find the paddle”, ole greasy-lipped Ben Stein deadpanned to her attempts to weasle out of looking. It’s not that I didn’t care. It’s just that I care too much about her to actually care if this would make her mad. I knew this was for her own good. It was good for her health. It was good for her joy and, ultimately, it was good for OUR joy.

She searched a bit more but the pills turned out to be like “a feather of the state bird”. Let me ask you: Why is it that a feather of the state bird is always the last thing you need from the list to win the scavenger hunt? And, does anyone ever find a feather of the state bird?

The paddle was easier to find.

She had no problem kneeling onto the pillow at my feet. I must say the flesh was strong (even if the spirit was still trying to weasel out of it). I had no qualms about scolding her. She offered no resistance in pulling down her panties. I felt no reservation about folding her over my knee. With her ass raised up in a deliciously vulnerable position, the paddle rained down, with escalating intensity, stroke upon stroke on just the right spot for maximum effect.

We didn’t talk about it afterward. She whimpered off to bed where she slept well. And when I woke up a football game was watching me. Other than her post (and this one of course) it hasn't really been necessary to (insert air quotes) “CommuuuuniCate” as they say. Not this time. This was one of those times when we knew everything we needed to know about the whole situation.

There was “something certain” about the whole thing, namely, that her pills need to always be available and, that her husband will always love her dearly. And there was “a certain something” about the whole thing, namely, her lovely and willful submission (the protest of tears notwithstanding) and, my willing and loving dominance. We both knew that this was both right AND the right time for this precious encounter. It was as if all the forces of the TTWD universe had conspired to heighten our personal resolves and bring us to the intersection where “something certain” meets “a certain something”.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Spankable Wit"

                                    
   B’Man: What’s it feel like to be married to a genius, huh?

 

                            Sugar: I don’t know. I was gonna ask you!


 Tell me, how can I not love (to spank) such wit.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Jump Start"

It’s fall. Well, almost. In a couple of days. I’m sure they call it fall for some reason (other than the fact that darkness drops like a hammer, sits like an anvil and lifts with the reluctance of a bronchial infection). Some good reason I’m sure. But I don’t know what that reason is. All I know is when I left the gym this morning it was still dark and I thought, “Hm…that’s rather sudden.”

The way it affects SugarAnne is even more sudden. I have to keep my eye on Her Royal Sweetness around this time of year. Stay on my dominant P’s and Q’s. The mornings are particularly tough for her. It’s SAD really: Seasonal Affective Disorder: the dragging around of the body, the sagging of the eyes, and the laborious sorrow in her voice. It’s not difficult to detect. I don’t share the affliction but I do share the pain (at least some of it) and also the affect that it can have our relationship.

When we began “this thing we do” it was well after fall started last year. So we haven’t crossed this dimly lit, change of season bridge until now. As a matter of fact, depression hasn’t been an issue for us at all over the past 10 months. I don’t know why. I’m not a psychologist. I’m just trying to avoid the potholes. But it’s hard to see in this dark. I can’t see where I'm going. I think she’s gonna need my help during this change of season. But I can’t see what's coming. I’m not a psychic.

One thing’s for sure, it was easy to see she needed help this morning. And that’s what I tried to give her: help. A jumpstart. A jumpstart to the season hopefully. A jumpstart to her day at least. The “weapon of ass destruction” (our standard leather paddle) massaged her misery with gentle, I should say gentle enough, “pat-pats”. And the “Angel Maker” (the loopy Johnny our friends gifted to us) connected, intermittently and appropriately, with an electrical current that brought to mind the starter cables that inspired the title of this post. Her lamentatious tears - the kind that you know are good – flowed and were met with my reassuring caresses and testimony of timeless commitment:

“I love you sweetie. We’re in this thing together. No matter what.”

I mounted her. She winced beneath me. We made love. A tender kinda love. She, tinged with desperation to be saved; me, desperate to save; and we, both knowing that neither had completely occurred. The battle would no doubt be revisted. It all seemed to lift her spirits a little bit though. But I don’t know. I mean, our thoughts are exclusively our own aren’t they. When it comes to knowing the thoughts of others, SugarAnne included, I’m not telepathic; just tele-pathetic.

But it’s obvious I’m doing something right. We’re doing something right. Because when she closed out our online chat later in the morning she typed:

“I love you. Thanks for this morning I actually feel better. But that loopy really hurts!”

Friday, September 17, 2010

"When the Prairie Dog Runs Free"

We had a visit from that Spanko Couple from the East. But even if you’re “the most interesting man (or woman) in the world” somewhere, somehow, at sometime I’m gonna to need to get away from you. Nothing personal. It ain’t you. It’s me. I’ll probably need to take a nap to rejuvenate. Or just get back to my own headspace for a bit. Simply put, I ain’t one of those “spend an entire day with you” kind of a guy.

If I had any concerns about spending the day with that Spanko Couple from the East, one would be that somewhere along the way I would need a break. I am not very friendly when I need my break and with our visitors - I didn’t get my break. Funny thing though, I didn’t need my break and, frankly, I didn’t want my break.

We met for lunch first. And the subject of spanking, other than an accidental pun, seemed held in check by its freedom. It rested, as the subject of spanking usually does when in the company of others, right beneath the surface. On occasion, a double entendre would cause it pop out of its hole like a prairie dog on alert, sniff at its new found freedom, take a nibble and then scurry back into its hole.

We stopped out our place after lunch. I popped the trunk to grab the case Bibles that Mr. and Mrs. Spanko Couple from the East had the heart to donate to the ministry. Mrs. Spanko also grabbed one of their bags and we all went inside. She opened her bag to what seemed like an arsenal (3 or 4 implements) of “shock and awe” “weapons of ass destruction” that would make the 101st Airborne Division envious! I was in awe. My preconceived names for not yet acquired implements came flooding to my mind. I began to mentally attach names to implements like they were children being born.

“Ahhh…”, I thought on seeing the loopy Johnny, “that’s the ‘Angel Maker’ right there.”

“Oh-aww!” I continued inside myself when I saw the next heart stopping implement, “That, that’s the ‘Frying Pan’ of love”.

And “Oooooh…awwwww! That’s gotta be ‘The Homerun!’” I was thinking (cuz it’ll knock the cover off the ball). I was actually tempted (“Lord, lead me not into this temptation”) to name that one “GEEEEEE-ZUSS!!” cuz that was my first thought (and no doubt who Sugar’d be praying to with every ever-loving stroke).

I was in awe. And Sugar was in shock when I teased her playfully with the “Angel Maker” (“Yowie! That thing hurts! Don’t leave that thing here! Take that thing home with you!”). We all laughed and it was clear that we had become fast friends. But the "prairie dog", out momentarily, scurried into its hole as we headed outside. 

From our place we took a short drive to the center of the city; a long walk; a speedboat tour on a river; a short walk; a short drive and a quick stop to check into their hotel; back to our place; and a ballroom dance lesson. Foxtrot. And to see the way Mrs. Spanko looked lovingly and submissively at Mr. Spanko as he led her in dancing (in the same way he led her to and opened every door throughout the day) – well, it was a quite a gift!

Throughout the day that “prairie dog” bobbed in an out of our conversations. A joke, a tease, a spank tinged pun here and there. And it even knew to stay in its hole when I lightly admonished SugarAnne for getting untimely “testosterony” on me.

By the time we sat down for dinner, nearly 12 incredible hours had rolled under time’s precious bridge. We ordered pizza and ate informally at the coffee table. And as the waves crashed gently against the shore outside, we talked. I don’t know exactly when it happened, it wasn’t a planned conversation, but the “prairie dog” was out of its hole and running around freer than Nelson Mandela. Joyfully free! We talked openly and honestly about “this thing we do” and about our “issues” relating to it. Four friends, just sittin’ and talkin’ without even a hint of a threat of a judgment. Only the aroma of hope, the taste of help when needed - and love. It was the best two hours of the best day with a couple we've had in a long time.

I am persuaded fully that we all came away with a better understanding of who we are and where we are - even if we didn’t come away with a complete understanding of “this thing we do”.

What special people are Mr. and Mrs. Spanko Couple from the East! There was something about them that constantly rejuvenated me throughout the day. Something refreshing. And what a special day it was too! A very special day when four people, two couples, came together, really got to know each other and, "as iron sharpens iron", sharpen each other too.

The "prairie dog" came out and ate well that night. But not so well that he didn't fit back into his hole - under cover-  where he belongs.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Anticipating a Dive"

I’m a bit thirsty for my diet of pixels. We had a “malicious computer virus” this weekend. Well, we thought it was malicious. Uh, we thought it was a virus too. I dismantled the entire network. But there was neither malice nor virus. It was just the failings of “big broth-“ – I mean Comcast. But for a moment it did look like the entire home network was affected and every program on every computer was completely obliterated. Said faux virus caused such tragedy of life it actually made it into Sunday’s handwritten (can you say Amish?) sermon: “Is a computer a computer if you can’t get the internet?” No. Just a calculator. And, “Is a believer a believer without good deeds?” No, just calculating.

Upon returning home (with very little Post Traumatic Sermon Syndrome I might add), I called the purveyors of  “xfinity”. It's no suprise that I spent an eternity spiraling downward into Dante-like levels of a fiery voicemail hell. It turned out that said life-giving home network was actually fine and dandy. Whew! It's now up and running and it is with great anticipation that I’ll be diving in to get my "pixfix". But for fear of diving in too deeply I should perhaps tether myself to a stationary object. Do they have mouse extension cords?

But my Olympic swan dive will have to wait until tomorrow because today we have spanko visitors from the east on the horizon – a first encounter for “yours truly”. But I am not as trepidatious about the whole thing as Her Royal Sweetness may feel. We’ll show them the area we live in, the “church” perhaps, and also grab a bite to eat. I’m looking a little bit forward to it actually. Not overly excited. Just “am” about it. It’s right. It fits. It’s good.

I suppose that Her Royal Sweetness is thirsty for her own diet of pixels. Yep, she’ll need to get her chat on. That could be a problem huh. You know how she gets: tunnel vision, highly focused (distracted?), “mainlining” chat and all. So, if you see a pair of boots sticking out of a computer screen somewhere just know that I sacrifically cut my own cord, dove in with paddle in hand to extract the needle out of her arm.