Mary hissed as she sat down, drawing questioning looks from her three friends. “Alright, I may as well ‘fess up, since I’m clearly not going to be able to keep this a secret. Brad found out about our little shopping spree and was less than impressed. Let’s just say he took his displeasure out on my bottom last night.”
“Count yourself lucky- at least your husband doesn’t use a cane like mine does whenever I do something like this.” Louise said, blushing as she realized she’d just outed herself as well.
Kelley shifted uncomfortably before adding her confession, “At least I’m not the only one. This is the first time I’ve been able to sit down since my husband gave me 10 swats with the paddle last night.”
“Only 10? My husband gave me 20!” Helen blurted out before realizing she, too had revealed her secret.
“I don’t know. Frank is such a softie, I doubt it hurt you that much.” Louise said wistfully. “Though I’m glad I’m not married to Thomas. No offense, but he scares me more than a little; I’d hate to cross him!”
“I don’t know,” Helen countered, “have you seem the size of the belt he wears? Believe me, it’s not just his hips he wears it on. At least I’m lucky he doesn’t spend half the time in the gym that Andrew does- I can only imagine how much more it would hurt if he did!”
“Hmph,” Mary snorted after Louise whispered something in her ear. “I don’t know what you’re complaining about. I think my husband was far harsher, but let’s put it to the group. What sounds worse to you- six with the cane or twelve with the slipper?”
As the group debated, Marry went back up to the counter to get a refill on her coffee. While offering her the pitcher of cream, the barista leaned over and whispered with a wink, “While I’m glad you all are getting along and have enjoyed sharing your secrets, you may wish to be a bit more discrete. I’ve overheard enough to deduce who gave each of you how many strokes with what.”
For those fortunate souls whose parents didn’t ruin their ability to have normal social lives by sending them to math camp, instructions for solving this kind of puzzle can be found here.