In times of austerity it's really important to exercise budgetary discipline, isn't it? Or at least that's what SO tells me when our monthly credit card bill arrives.
I'm busy working this morning and have had the radio on as usual. Music radio doesn't work for me, so it's talk all the time - although I only hear half of what's being said.
But I did tune brain and ears in a moment ago. The programme is a financial help thing - people phone in with their moans and the experts in the studio offer answers.
One of the callers phoned in to say she had messed up on her mortgage payment and it didn't go out of her bank account. She realised what she had done and sent a payment as quickly as she could, but it meant that the money turned up two days late.
When she checked her credit reference it turned out there was a now a note about the late payment. What could she do?
The financial suit told her that as she had been late with a payment the note on her ref has to stand, but he told her she does have the right to put something on her reference to explain what had happened.
And he said that that something goes by a "rather old-fashioned name" - it's called a Note of Correction...
For a moment she wasn't thinking at all. She had stopped being her altogether and had become no more or less than the burning white heat of her poor, poor bottom. Her poor caned bottom.
How long she remained in position over that desk she didn't know. The sensation of her cool , soothing palms pressed to her striped bum was all that she knew and time stood still.
The spell was only broken when he carefully placed the cane on the desk in front of her and discreetly cleared his throat. "Miss Wood...you may rise now," he said, his voice as measured and calm as it had been since their meeting had begun.
She straightened up a little, gasping at the new discomfort the movement brought with it. Her skirt slipped off her back and fell back into place.
Looking down through tear-misted eyes she saw that her panties had gathered around her ankles. The kicking and stamping that had come with each of the 12 strokes that she'd suffered had helped them on their way down.
As she bent down to pull them up she saw out of the corner of her eye that he was busy with a sheet of bank headed notepaper, which he slipped into an evelope. She eased her underwear back into place over swollen cheeks then, looking up, their eyes met.
Throughout the process he had maintained a serious demeanour, but now she detected just a hint of a smile. "There we are Miss Wood, all done," he said, handing her the envelope. "Your Note of Correction."