Vinnie’s dad pulls into ShowTown’s 40 screen theater’s parking lot. His dad glances at the digital time display on the car’s dashboard, 1:45. He winces, “I can’t do this, Vinnie. I’m going to drop you off at Saint Peter’s. Rehearsal is from 2 until 3. I’m going to do some Christmas shopping for Mom. I know exactly what she wants.”
“Dad, Dad, you promised to go to the movie with me,” pleads Vinnie.
“I didn’t promise. I said we’d go,” says Vinnie’s dad.
“That’s the same thing, Dad. I always believe everything you say. I never doubt you for a second. You’re the best dad in the whole world. I was thinking of getting you a t-shirt that says, “World’s #1 Dad. But, you’re better than that. Now, I have to think of something else,” says Vinnie.
Vinnie’s dad suppresses a chuckle, “I’ll have to find out a way to go on living without the t-shirt. Listen up, no monkey business at church. You listen to Sister Janet. Whatever role she gives you to play, you do your part. Give me your word.”
“Awe, Dad, not my word’s word,” begs Vinnie.
“Yes, give me your word’s word and while you give me your word’s word hold out your hands so I can see your fingers and toes crossed do not count if you’re wearing shoes,” says his Dad.
“Darn it, I give you my word’s word,” says Vinnie looking cross-eyed at his dad.
“That’s more like it,” says his dad fist bumping Vinnie. His dad adds, “What are you smiling about? I thought you didn’t want to go.”
“You made the right decision, Dad. Tell me you’re not going to the appliance store to buy Mom’s Christmas present, right?” says Vinnie.
Vinnie’s dad keeping one eye on the street as he drives, half twists his head to look at Vinnie, “How did you know?”
“Dad, bad move. It’s like the chocolates you bought her. She only ate three and tossed the rest away. You really don’t understand women, do you?” says Vinnie.
“And, you understand women?” laughs his dad.
“You can’t trust them, Dad. They’ll snitch on you. They’ll treat you unfairly and put you in time out for no reason. They’ll make you dress up in stupid costumes and pretend you’re an animal. Guys do not do these things to each other.”
“You have a point, Vinnie. Women have other good qualities that make up for the bad points,” says Vinnie’s dad.
“Like what, Dad?”
“Look, there’s an inflatable Santa,” says Vinnie’s dad pointing out the front window toward Vinnie’s side of the car hoping he can distract Vinnie.
Vinnie mind changes faster than Dexter snagging food that falls off the table. Vinnie says, “That’s cool, Dad. When do I get to talk to Santa? I don’t want to wait until the last minute. If we wait too long, Santa’s going to be tired and he probably won’t have any of the good stuff left to bring me. Can we go now? Sister Janet will understand. Huh, Dad?”
Vinnie’s dad shakes his head. He says, “You never quit, do you, son?”
“You always tell me, to never quit, never give up. Santa knows I don’t quit, right, Dad?” asks Vinnie.
“I’m sure he does. Here we are. They’re putting up the framework for the manager scene. There’s Sister Janet. Who’s the girl standing next to her?” asks his dad.
Vinnie stares out the window. He ducks down, “Take me home, Dad. I am not going. Mom didn’t tell me she’d be here.”
“Who is she, Vinnie?” asks his dad.
“It’s Sara Johnson. She hates me. She’ll probably tell Sister Janet a lot of lies about me and what happens in school. Sister Janet will believe her because they’re both girls. Then Sister Janet will probably make me a cow instead of a sheep. I didn’t thinks this day could get any worse, Dad. Now, it has. Please turn around.”
Vinnie’s Dad parks the car. He opens his door. He waves to Sister Janet, “Hi Sister. Hope we’re not late.”
Vinnie opens the door and gets out. He turns to his dad and says, “You’re going to have to do something good to make up for this one, Dad. Santa sees everything.”
“How about the three of us going to Cerelli’s for pizza tonight?” says his dad.
“Sounds good. See you at three, Dad,” says Vinnie. He turns toward Sister Janet and runs over. “Hi Sister Janet. Can I be the sheep this year?”