Mike was feeling very satisfied with life. He had just had a wonderful first year at university enjoying the best parts of student life; the union, some rugby, exploring the clubs and pubs in a new city. At just a month short of his nineteenth birthday Mike felt himself to be king of his own world. And now, as the examinations ended in the second week of May, he could look forward to over four months of summer fun. Mike had planned a few weeks of hiking around France, to improve his spoken French of course, in the company of a couple of other lads from his year. But first there was the minor matter of convincing his Dad into shelling out generously towards expenses. That would mean heading home for a few days but first Mike intended to take a detour and spend a couple of nights crashing out on a friend's sofa in London. Southampton was alright as a student city, but nothing beats the Capital.
So it was that when Mike arrived at his childhood home on a gorgeous sunny day in May, life was just perfect. Well, it could always be a little bit more perfect. As Mike rang the doorbell he was thinking about how his Dad had always been very strict with him when he was a child. Dad had been a bit of a traditionalist when it came to parenting even if he was quite liberal in every other way. Mike had been sent to a local preparatory school until he had turned fourteen and then four years at a local, very minor, public school. Dad had constantly reminded Mike that this education was costing a huge sum and that he had better work hard and do well at his exams.
And Mike had worked hard. He had been the dutiful son heading off to school each morning looking neat and tidy, shoes shining, hair combed, and tie neatly knotted. All through his schooldays Dad had insisted on a daily morning inspection by the front door and Mike had learned early on to meet his Dad's high standards and avoid Dad's wrath. Mike had had to endure some teasing at school, for even though he had had his growth spurt early on, and even though he did quite well at games, he had acquired a reputation as a swot and a teachers' pet. But that was simply a survival strategy. Doing well at school meant that Dad's cane remained in its place on the bookcase and that was Mike's first priority in life. Some of the teasing had also come because of Mike's clothing at prep school. For while short trousers were mandatory until boys had reached double figures at ten years old and optional thereafter, Mike's Dad had insisted that Mike would wear shorts all the time until he moved to the senior school. So in the winter of his last year in prep school, when Mike was thirteen and the tallest lad in the school, he cut a very distinctive figure in his grey school shorts and kneesocks, the only boy in the top four year-groups who was so attired. Being ribbed by his class-mates was one thing, they had grown used to seeing Mike's knees, and some were quite sympathetic knowing that he only wore shorts because his strict father wouldn't buy him any longs. But having to endure the taunts of boys who were two or three years younger than him had made life at school quite miserable.
But all that changed at senior school. Long trousers were a required part of the school uniform and Mike had relished the sensation of pulling on his first pair on his first day at his new alma mater. There had been a scary moment at the uniform suppliers when Dad had insisted that Mike try on a pair of very short grey school shorts. These had been bought along with several new pairs of kneesocks (both the prep school and the senior school were part of the same foundation and shared the same uniform colours). Mike had been terrified at the thought that Dad was thinking of keeping him in shorts forever. Much to Mike's relief a pair of long trousers was also purchased. On the way home Dad explained to Mike that the longs were only for school and that he would have to change back into shorts as soon as he got home and would stay in shorts at the weekends. And that had been the routine for the next two years. Mike would come straight home from school and change into the humiliatingly juvenile short shorts before he sat down to do his homework and study.
Only two of his friends ever called round now as most were too embarrassed to be seen associating with a tamed teenager with his gartered socks and his tiny shorts. But Philip and Colin stood by him. Philip's parents weren't quite so strict as Mike's Dad but they still made Philip wear shorts in the summer months when he was not at school and Philip's Dad was also a firm believer in the cane and strict timetable's for his son's activities. Colin came from a more liberal family but he seemed to enjoy hanging around with the others and was always very interested to hear about their latest punishments. If he heard that one or other of his mates had been caned he would insist on seeing the results and they had grown used to lowering their pants and exhibiting the marks of discipline that had made them the submissive and obedient boys that they had become. Colin had even tried on a pair of Mike's school shorts when they were both fifteen. He said that he wanted to see if they felt the same as he remembered from when he was only nine years old and had last worn a pair. It was the feel of the white cotton lining and the cool air around one's thighs that was most distinctive about school shorts. For some reason they always felt more exposing that ordinary casual or sports shorts. The boys had concluded that that was mostly because adults always seemed to feel that the wearing of proper school shorts indicated that a sharp slap across the back of a boy's thighs was an appropriate response to even the most trivial misbehaviour. School shorts see