My brother-in-law Dick shared the following story in an e-mail update of his:
Jennifer had cooked a wonderful spaghetti supper but was thoughtless enough to make the fatal mistake of including green beans. Zack and I went to war. My last remark was to turn to the clock and say, "Zack, it is 6:15. At 6:20 I am going to give you one spanking for every bean that is left on your plate." Luke, ever the merciful brother, immediately bounced over to the clock and began watching the seconds tick by announcing 6:20 with something that suspiciously looked like glee.
Nine beans remained and so the negotiations began. It was the usual litany from my about-to-be-disciplined sons, "Your hand or the spoon? Pants up or pants down? Hard, Medium, or Soft? Can you have grace and give me a discount?" Thinking that nine smacks of the board of education to the seat of discipline would be a little excessive, Zack was able to negotiate me down to five. Then he began to cry before I spanked him, and so I asked, "Zack, why are you crying? I have not spanked you yet."
With a voice cute as a seraph and the eyes of a little lamb, he looked up at me and said, "I don't want to die!"
Poor little fellow. He thought that five spankings would be the end of him.