The Joyride
By Amy
(dedicated to Steph)

Taylor sat nervously looking into the rear view mirror. He had pulled the car he was driving over to the side of the road as soon as he saw the flashing lights. “Oh man,” he thought, “I am so busted.”

The police officer finally got out of his patrol car and walked slowly up to Tay’s window. “License and registration,” he sighed in that world-weary voice only cops can muster. Tay, whose eyes had been carefully focused on his own hands wringing anxiously in his lap, forced himself to look up at the officer.

“Um, I… I don’t have a license,” he muttered.

It was only then that the officer really looked at the young boy in the driver’s seat. He realized that the kid looked familiar – like one of the boys in the poster hanging on the wall in his 13 year-old daughter’s bedroom. After a long moment he asked, “Are you that kid from that singing group?”

Taylor groaned. “Oh man,” he thought again, “Now I am really and truly busted.” “Yes,” he answered cautiously.

“Hanson, right?” the cop stated proudly.

Tay swallowed hard. “Yes sir. That’s right. I’m, ahhh …Taylor, Taylor Hanson.”

“So, Taylor Hanson,” the cop continued. “Mind telling me what you’re doing driving this car without a license, not to mention speeding?”

Taylor thought back through the earlier events of the day. What the hell had he been thinking? The day had started out so promising too. He and his friends had planned a whole slew of fun stuff for this Saturday since the guys were only in town for a few days. Then, stupidly, Tay had smart-mouthed his mother, and she had grounded him. He’d been so pissed that after the rest of the family took off in the van on a family excursion, he’d taken his Dad’s car keys and gone for a joyride. “Oh man,” he thought to himself. “I really did it this time.”

“Well?” the officer said, breaking Tay’s trance.

“I, um….” Tay struggled with his conscience, deciding whether he should just go with the truth, or not. “I, um, was mad about something so I took the car and went for a drive,” he blurted out.

“Without a license? How old are you?” the cop asked suspiciously.

“Oh god, this is going from bad to worse,” Tay thought. “Fifteen,” he mumbled.

“What!” the cop yelled. “So let me get this straight. You were not only speeding, but you are driving without a license, AND you are underage!”

Taylor cringed noticeably at this and that was all the answer the cop needed. “I see …. Well, what are we gonna do with you?” he pondered, shaking his head. “I could take you into the station and book you.”

“No, please,” Taylor begged, panic setting in. “I can’t … I just can’t ...”

“Well what do you suggest?” the cop asked him. “You have to pay for your crimes somehow. I can’t just let you off the hook. You have too many offenses on your list here to let you go without some punishment. Whose car is this you’re driving, anyway?”

Tay groaned and slid down in his seat, his head thrown back and his eyes closed. “My dad’s,” he sighed, knowing that was the information that would seal the lid on his coffin.

“I see. Well, why don’t we just call him and see what he has to say about all this?” the officer asked pointedly.

The color drained from Taylor’s face and the cop knew he had him. “That’s what I thought,” the officer smirked. “Why don’t you just come with me back to my car and let’s have a little talk. You’re certainly not going to be driving this car anywhere soon anyway.”

Taylor, head hanging and cheeks flaming hot with embarrassment and dread, unbuckled his seatbelt, got out and followed the officer back to his patrol car. He was silently praying that no one driving by would recognize him. That would be all he needed - a story in the Tulsa paper about the local golden boy pop star gone bad. Once in the cop’s car he waited, wondering what horrific thing was going to happen next.

“So, Taylor, why don’t you tell me what you think your father’s gonna do when he finds out his dear son has taken his car without his permission, driven it without a license, while underage, and been picked up for speeding.”

Taylor was on the verge of tears. “He’s gonna kill me,” he choked out, imagining the horrible scene that awaited him. He put his face in his hands and mustered all his strength to maintain some semblance of control. He was starting to tremble.

The officer noticed and took pity. “Okay now, son. C’mon,” he said kindly. “He’s not really gonna ‘kill’ you. I’m pretty sure of that. However, I get the feeling that your Dad’s pretty strict. Is that right?”

“Yes, sir,” Taylor answered shakily. “Strict. You could say that. He’s gonna punish me really hard for this.”

“Well, you deserve it, don’t you?”

“Yes, sir,” Taylor nodded feebly.

“Tell me what you think your dad’s gonna do. He’s not gonna beat you or anything, is he?” The officer was genuinely concerned and wanted to make sure Taylor wouldn’t be subjected to abuse.

“No sir!” Taylor looked up shocked. “No, no, nothing like that. He’s not gonna beat me. No. He’s just, um, gonna …, um …,” Taylor couldn’t seem to make his mouth form the words. He was too embarrassed. After all, he thought, he was fifteen, and a world famous rock star to boot. How many kids his age still got punished this way? “He’s gonna … spank me,” he finally blurted out. “Really hard” he added, almost to himself. “Maybe harder than he’s ever done before.”

Tay shuddered. He was thinking back to just last month when his dad had spanked Ike for a pretty serious offense. For the very first time ever, on any of them, he had used his belt. Ike had really sobbed and his bottom had been so sore for days he could barely sit down. Tay had an awful, sinking feeling that he might be facing that same treatment now. What he’d done was way worse than what Ike had done.

“So he’s more the old-fashioned kind of strict?” the officer asked, obviously searching for more details to clarify the picture. Tay nodded hesitantly. He didn’t like this line of questioning one bit. “Is he gonna take your pants down and put you over his knee to spank you on your bare bottom? That kind of ‘old-fashioned’?”

“Yes sir,” Taylor whimpered, tears welling up and threatening to spill over. He swallowed hard. This was just too much.

“Well, if you ask me, a good, old-fashioned, bare bottom spanking sounds like just the ticket. It’s certainly what I’d do if you were my son!” Tay shuddered again.

“Well, I think we’ve talked enough now, son. I have all the information I need. I had to know you would be punished appropriately and sufficiently at home before I was willing to let you off the hook legally. I think it’s now time to call your father and tell him what you’ve done.” He picked up his phone and looked at Tay expectantly. Tay could barely manage to squeak out the number to his dad’s cell phone.

“Hello,” Walker answered, sounding very concerned. He didn’t recognize the number on the caller ID.

“Hello, is this Mr. Hanson, Taylor Hanson’s father?” the officer asked.

“Yes,” Walker replied anxiously. He was used to constant vigilance about his beloved boys’ safety and was noticeably alarmed by this call.

“Now, I don’t want you to worry,” the cop quickly stated. “He’s okay. This is Police Officer Stephen Young. I have your son here. He was out for a ride in your car and I pulled him over for speeding.”

“You what?!” Tay heard his father exclaim. “Oh god,” Tay groaned, burying his face in his hands again and nearly doubling over with fear.

“Yes sir. You heard me correctly. Apparently, he decided to take your car out for a little joyride and I caught him speeding. Then, when I pulled him over, I discovered that not only didn’t he have a driver’s license, but that he is underage as well.”

“Oh, that’s not all he is, let me assure you,” Walker declared firmly, trying to remain calm so he could think clearly. “He was also grounded and supposed to be confined to the house all day doing the chores and extra homework assignments he was given. Oh my lord! He is in so much trouble, he has no idea!” Officer Young had been holding the phone ajar so Tay could hear his father but it was hardly necessary. Walker was speaking so loudly Tay could have heard him from outside the car.

“Yes, he told me that you were gonna punish him pretty hard for this, so I am willing to let it go, legally speaking, this time. I know you all don’t need the publicity. Since he’s clearly gonna be made to understand the consequences of his actions, I won’t take him down to the station or even write him a ticket,” Officer Young stated.

“Thank you very much, Officer. I can’t thank you enough. My wife and I really appreciate this. You can rest assured that after I get my hands on that boy, he will never, ever, do anything like this again. In fact, there are going to be many things he won’t be doing again for quite awhile – not the least of which is sitting comfortably!” Walker declared. Tay felt himself shrinking smaller and smaller with each passing second. He had never been in this much trouble before in his entire life. And his dad’s angry tone clearly reflected that.

“Yes,” Officer Young chuckled, now completely satisfied that Taylor was going to pay dearly for his wrongdoing. “Taylor did tell me what you would probably do to him. And I told him it was no more than what he deserved and exactly what I would do to him if he were my own son. So, I’m going to drive him to your home now. I’m afraid you will have to send someone else out to get your car later.”

“I’m so glad you agree with my intentions, Officer,” Walker said. “Yes, thank you. No problem. We are on our way home now and will be there in about 10 minutes. We’ll meet you there. And I hope you will stay to see for yourself that this is one boy who is going to learn a very harsh lesson. Can I speak to him?”

“Oh no!” Taylor screamed silently, his heart skipping a beat. He looked imploringly at Officer Young, but the cop only shrugged as if to say, “you made your bed, now deal!” and handed him the phone.

Tay took the phone with a trembling hand. “Um…, hey Dad,” he said, his voice quaking. His whole body cringed then, as his Dad laid into him. He got the tongue lashing of his life. And he’d had plenty in his fifteen years, so that was really saying something. By the end of the rampage Tay was sobbing hard, his whole body shaking. He couldn’t even answer his father at first when he demanded, “do you understand me, young man?” “Well,” his father said, “I’m waiting.” Tay gathered all his strength together and managed to offer a weak, barely audible, “yes, sir” before dissolving completely. Officer Young grabbed the phone as it slipped from Tay’s grasp and spoke quickly, finishing the conversation. “We’ll be there in 20 minutes. See you then. Yes. Goodbye.”

Tay cried softly for several more minutes until Officer Young reached over and patted his leg. “There, there, now son. You better save some of those tears for later. I think you may need them.” He was joking and somehow, despite it all, it made Tay smile, albeit ruefully. He nodded and decided he better pull himself together. He had gotten himself into this mess and now he was going to have to pay the price. There was nothing else to be done.

The ride home was torturously long in some ways, because each passing moment extended Tay’s agony; but torturously short in one way as well –because he knew that as soon as it was over he’d be facing his father’s wrath. After Taylor calmed down a bit, the two of them spent the time getting to know more about each other. Tay learned that Officer Young had an 11-year-old son as well as the daughter he’d mentioned earlier, and that both of his kids were fans. They had been to several local concerts as a family. He was very impressed with Tay and his brothers’ talent and hard-work ethic. He told Taylor that, despite the circumstances, it was an honor to meet him. Tay, in turn, told the officer about some of their experiences on tour, and also more about their family life. After all, Officer Young was about to meet the entire gang on a rather intimate and personal occasion.

Twenty either short or long minutes later, depending on how you looked at it, Tay found himself standing in the middle of their kitchen, surrounded by his entire family (minus Zoe and Mackie who, thankfully, were taking naps), and face to face with his very irate father. Tay was grateful for Officer Young’s comforting hands on his shoulders as he stood there. After introductions were made, his father turned back to Tay and cleared his throat. “Taylor, I don’t think I need to say anything more about why we are here and what is about to happen. That is quite clear to everyone in this room. You are now to go over to the counter and get the kitchen paddle.”

Tay winced. “Please, not the paddle,” he wanted to beg, but he clenched his jaw tight shut instead. He knew very well that it would only make matters worse to protest about anything at this point. The kitchen paddle was an instrument of discipline his mother had serendipitously discovered at a family-owned roadside diner/bakery they had stopped at last summer. It had been hanging on the wall in the restaurant beside other such items as a decoration. It was, in actuality, a real baking utensil, but it looked pretty much exactly like the backside of a hairbrush to the boys. Zac had been driving everyone nuts that particular day, so when his mother spotted the paddle she simply asked if she could borrow it, then hauled Zac off to the bathroom and spanked him soundly with it. She’d been so satisfied with its effect that she’d bought herself one. Although it stayed in the kitchen utensil canister, it was never used to bake anything, just to spank an errant child’s bottom whenever required. Tay had felt its sting only once before and had made himself a promise to avoid revisiting it at all cost. Now, here he was, once again faced with it.

“Now!” his father stated emphatically. Tay jumped, startled, and quickly moved to get the paddle. His father shocked them all with his next words. “You will give it to Officer Young and ask him to give you a spanking with it.” Tay froze, staring at his father, his mouth open and his eyes as wide as saucers. Everyone in the room was equally as stunned. He swallowed hard. He looked at his father, desperately hoping he had heard wrong, or that it was all some kind of joke, or something. His father simply raised his eyebrows in that way that meant, “don’t even think of arguing!” and Tay knew he was sunk.

He turned slowly, trembling from head to foot, his face hot and crimson, to face Officer Young. He held out the paddle to him, closing his eyes and hoping with all his might that that would be enough and he wouldn’t have to actually say the words. But his father said, “DO IT” in a tone so sharp Tay felt his fury like a smack on the back of his head.

“Will you give me a spanking, sir?” he managed to choke out somehow. It didn’t even sound like his own voice. “Please, please, please,” Taylor silently implored. “Let him say ‘no’!” Officer Young looked surprised and unsure, but then he took the paddle from Taylor and nodded, saying “I would be honored.” Taylor groaned.

“Taylor, get a chair for Officer Young and place it in the center of the room,” his father ordered. Tay turned and complied, barely able to comprehend how he could have gotten himself into this mess. “Then take your pants down.” “Oh god,” Taylor moaned internally. “He’s gonna make him spank me bare.” Taylor had never been spanked by anyone other than his parents or a very close family member before. This was unbelievable. But, he did as his father had ordered.

Officer Young took his seat and pulled Taylor toward him. He smiled kindly at Taylor then pulled him over his lap. He was bigger than their father and Tay felt like a little boy draped over his knees. He cringed as the officer pulled his underpants down, shifting him to get him placed for the best possible leverage. Then he clenched every muscle in his entire body in preparation for the awful pain and humiliation of what was about to happen.

He felt the upswing and waited. “OH!!!” he gasped as Officer Young smacked his bottom with the paddle. He was stunned by the pain. Before he could catch his breath, however, the next smack landed, then the next, and the next, and the next, until Taylor could only moan and struggle futilely against it. “Please let him go easy,” Tay silently begged. “Please let him stop soon.” Taylor had been in tears after only the first few spanks, so when Officer Young finally decided, after about 25 hard smacks, that the boy had had enough, Tay was nothing but a whimpering, quivering mess laying there.

Officer Young pulled Tay’s underwear back up and helped him to standing. He then pulled his pants up as well, since Taylor seemed unable to comprehend what to do next. He caught Taylor’s eye and nodded sympathetically at him. Tay could do little more than cry harder at this unexpected kindness.

“Taylor, come here now,” his father ordered and Tay meekly obeyed. But as he turned toward his father his knees nearly buckled at what he saw. His father was unfastening his belt and slipping it from the loops. Taylor felt his resolve crumble. He didn’t think he could even make his feet move. There was nothing to be done though, so he lowered his head and forced himself to walk. His father wasted no time. When Tay got within reach, his father angrily yanked his pants back down, and taking his seat, promptly turned his naughty son over his knee. He started in immediately. He spanked Taylor’s already bright red, burning bottom hard and long. He used his hand first, trying to use up the worst of his anger before applying the belt. After about a minute of painful, relentless hand spanks, during which Taylor desperately pleaded and apologized and promised to be good, he paused just long enough to pick up the belt, fold it in half and begin again. The sting of the belt was unbelievable – indescribable. Taylor was beside himself. This was by far the worst spanking he’d ever gotten. It was, in fact, the worst spanking his father had ever given any of them. As the severe spanking continued, he simply dissolved into complete misery.

His father wanted to make absolutely sure that his son would never forget this spanking, so he whaled away at Taylor’s flaming bottom for quite some time. When he finally decided his son had learned his lesson and stopped, Taylor didn’t even realize it. He just hung there limply over his father’s knees, sobbing. His father dropped the belt and rested his right hand on Taylor’s flaming bottom, while his left hand absentmindedly stroked his son’s trembling back as he tried to get his own breathing under control. After a moment, he pulled Taylor’s underwear up and stood him back on his feet. He helped Taylor pull his pants back up, then suddenly grabbed him into a fierce hug. Just as suddenly though, he spun Taylor back around and pushed him into the nearest corner. “You just stand there and think about what you’ve done, young man,” he ordered. “You got only what you deserved. I hope you know that. Don’t ever make me do that again. Do you understand?” Tay nodded. He couldn’t speak. He only hoped his father realized that was why he didn’t answer as he was supposed to.

Tay stood there, his forehead resting on the cool wall and both hands spread out on either side helping to steady him as the tears continued to flow. It was over now. He felt that wash of relief that only came after a spanking - that cleansing feeling of having paid dearly for his mistakes and then been forgiven. A fresh start of sorts. He heard his father speak.

“I’m so sorry you had to meet us this way, Officer Young. I wish it could have been under happier circumstances. Perhaps we could have you and your family over for dinner or something.”

“I would love that,” Officer Young said. “And I have two kids who are gonna think they died and went to heaven getting to meet their idols.” Everyone laughed. How had that happened so quickly? The tense energy of the room dissipated just like that, and the conversation readily turned to social events and young fans. His parents talked pleasantly with Officer Young for quite some time as Tay stood there facing the wall, doing his cornertime. After 20 minutes or so, his father called him out of the corner and had him apologize to the officer, who responded by hugging him powerfully, making Tay tear up again. His father told him he was grounded for 2 weeks and then sent him to his room with a final swat – but Tay knew all was forgiven. He also knew he would never pull a stunt like that again.