The last time I was spanked by either of my parents — like, I mean good and spanked — was in 1996. I was 15. And I will always remember exactly what happened.
I was lying on a couch in my bedroom (I asked my parents if I could have a couch for a bed because I was completely obnoxious) talking on the phone* to a girl. The girl that I was talking to, a moderately attractive female with impeccable teeth, was a sophomore.
There was music playing in the background (hopefully it was Outkast's “Elevators” or Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s “Get Money,” but it was probably a radio grab of Tag Team's “Whoomp! (There It Is)”) and I was in basketball shorts** and no shirt.
*I am exceptionally sad that my sons will never know what a house phone is. And I am exceptionally exceptionally sad that they will never sit at the kitchen table tethered to it while they sing R&B songs to girls while wife and I sit in the living room and pretend not to listen.
**Two pair, actually. True player shit.
I was doing my very best to sound like Wesley Snipes in White Men Can't Jump (desperately confident, slightly aloof) because it wasn't cool to be slightly weird and brainy until several years later. We were on the phone for, I'd guess, ten minutes, most of which were spent by me trying to get her to understand how good of an idea it was for her to let me see her boobs. And that's when my mom walked in. And she was steaming.
Now, if you know nothing else of Latino culture, please know this: An angry Mexican mom is probably the most devastating force that's ever been. An angry Mexican mom is like if you took that scene from Congo where all of those hippos started eating people and multiplied it by the part in Inglorious Basterds where the two guys are standing on that balcony firing into the crowd as the theater burns. That's what I had walk into my room.
She was shouting about a report card, of which I'd claimed hadn't been given to the students yet. She shouted about my sisters, saying they'd gotten theirs, so where was mine. To which I replied something like, “I don't know. I'm in high school. They're not. Maybe it's different.”
She shouted that she'd better not find out I'd received it already. To which I replied, “Mom, no, never. I make good grades. It'd make no sense for me to hide my report card.” Then she shouted that she was going to call the school the next morning, and if they had it she would torture and kill me, or something. To which I replied, “You know what? I remember getting it now. It's in my backpack. I think I might've failed biology.”
And that was that.
She came charging across the room (a scene best recreated in Avengers when Hulk is smashing through all those pipes in the ship's hull) and snatched me up. She grabbed me by my arm like I was toddler, stringing me up to my tip-toes. Somehow, she materialized a belt in her hand. And PIYAOW! and PIYAOW! and PIYAOW! and PIYAOW!
Again, I was already inching toward manhood, so the licks didn't really hurt that much, but that was no reason for me not to feign agony. I wasn't able to work up any immediate tears (my go-to move any time a physical threat is near), but I was plenty baby about the whole situation. The worst part, though: In all my panic, I'd neglected to hang the phone up. The girl on the other end — she and her teeth — heard everything. When I realized that she was still there I scooped up the phone. I put it to my ear. And it was just straight laughter on the other end.
She told all of her friends in the following days, and even several of mine. She never let me see her boobs. She never even called again.
I don't know why this was the first thing I thought about when I heard Drake's gorgeous new song, “Girls Love Beyonce',” after he set it free late the other day, I just know that it was.
I guess it's because Drake is the only thing who makes me wish I was able to grow up as a teenager again in this time period. Or I don't know. Whatever. I'd have sung the shit out of this to any girls and to all the girls though.
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