by David Galef

“Is this your first time doing this?”

“D’I look as if I come here often?”

“Noted. I assume you know what you’re in for?” “Yeah, I’ve been a bad boy. I need a spanking!” “Not exactly.”

“Whaddya mean by that?”

“You need correction.”

“Great. I’m gonna lay down here …”

“It’s lie, not lay.”

“What is?”

“A lot of people confuse lie with lay. You lie down. You lay a book on the table.”

“What’re you inferring?”

“No. You mean implying. Not inferring. You really do need correction!” “Look, what I came for is some S&M. Humiliation. Isn’t this Lady M’s House of Correction?”

“You don’t find this humiliating? I can certainly do more. Well?” “That would be a yes.”

“Is a yes. Not ‘would be.’ Don’t use the false conditional.”

“Stop! This isn’t what I came for.”

“Too bad. It’s what you’re going to get. You want to be used? I’m an expert in usage.”

“But your not—”

“Wrong. It’s ‘you’re’: y-o-u-apostrophe-r-e, not ‘your’: y-o-u-r.”

“Huh? How can you even hear the difference between ‘your’ and—and the other one?”

“I have a good ear.”

“That’s it. I’m gonna grab my coat and walk out of the door.”

“Walk out the door. You’re not inside the door.”

“Hah. Okay, that makes sense. Never thought of that.”

“Most people never think. And how they use their native tongue leaves something to be desired.”

“Speaking of tongues and desires….”

“No. A little cooperation, please!”

“You mean get my ass together.”



“Get your act together. Get your ass in gear. The metaphor’s off.” “Jesus. Whatcha do all day, correct people?”

“I’m paid for it. I provide a service. People need me.”

“Yeah, well, I’m not sure that’s what I want.”

“You have no idea how many men say that.”

“Well, how about some real action?”

“Do you have any more money?”

“Not on me.”

“Then you have half an hour left. Make the most of it.”

“And start this business all over again? Uh-uh.”

“‘Start again’ or ‘start over,’ but not both. Now turn around. Put on this blindfold.”

“That’s more like it. What’re we gonna do?”

“You’ve been a bad boy. Lie—lie, not lay—face-up on the bed.” “But—ow! Why’d you hit me on the head?”

“Do as you’re told. Your brain is the part that needs discipline.”

“C’mon, really? Hey—that really hurt! What was that, a book?” “Good guess. It’s Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition.” “This isn’t the kind of humiliation I wanted.”

“This handbook’s for seventh-graders. How much shame can you handle?”

“Not that! Ow!”

“Say, ‘Yes, ma’am.’ Or I’ll have to give you detention. Do you hear me?” “Yes, ma’am.”

“Good. We’ll start with common diction errors.”