A few years ago, now, I happened to enter the living room while the girls were watching cartoons on TV, and I noticed that one of the cartoon characters was referring to "Grandma Spankenheimer." This made me laugh but I realized that the inside joke was missed by the girls. I immediately adopted for myself the sobriquet "The Spankenheimer," which was sometimes elongated to "The Spankenheimer Meister" -- The Master of Spanken.
The Spankenheimer was typically called up at bedtime, when a certain recalcitrant girl would be resisting the imperative to get into bed. The call would go out, "Spankenheimer! Laura won't get into bed." And then the Spankenheimer would begin his terrifying chant:
"Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum!
I want to spank some little girl's bum!
Be she in or out of bed,
I'll spank her bum until her face is red!"
And then would issue from the bedroom squeals of delighted terror. Sometimes followed by protestations that it was Mama's fault, "she should get a spankin'!"
Time has gone by, but I'm still the Spankenheimer, and still glad to be so. And I notice that on Laura's cell phone, my contact entry is named "Meister."
Thus are family traditions born.
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