Vinnie Wants to Know Where He Came From


“What kind of question is that, Vincent?” asks his mom. It’s only ten in the morning and she knows it’s too early for a glass of wine.

“It’s an easy one, Mom. It’s not one of the hard, hard questions,” says Vinnie.

Vinnie’s mom fidgets, she runs her left hand through her hair, then she touches Vinnie’s dad’s arm and says, “Why don’t you take this one, Dear?”

“You can’t do that, Mom, unless your questions says you can pass on the bottom of it and this question doesn’t say that. You have to answer. If your answer is incomplete, I can tell you to keep answering until you get it totally right or totally wrong. I’m making up the rules as we go along. I only had time to write questions. I didn’t think about the rules.”

Vinnie’s mom says, “Do you know the answer?”

Vinnie says, “No. That’s why I asked the question.”

“If you don’t know the answer how will you know if I’m right or wrong?” asks Vinnie’s Mom.

“Rupert is the judge. He’ll whisper to me if you got it right or wrong or if you need to keep talking. If you talk to much, it’s a penalty. If you don’t talk enough, it’s a penalty. I just made up this rule, like it?”

Vinnie’s mom fights off vertigo. She says, “You were inside me. When it was time for you to be born, I went to the hospital and Doctor Sanchez delivered you. I know this is the perfect answer.”

Vinnie holds Rupert up to his ear. He nods his head three times. Vinnie says, “Rupert says you have to keep talking. He wants to know how I got in your belly and how I came out.”

“Oh, God. I warned you, Dear. You have to admit you were forewarned,” says Vinnie’s mom staring at Vinnie’s dad who’s staring at anything other than Vinnie’s mom.

Vinnie’s mom feels a distinct pink color rising from her chest and spreading up through her neck into her face. She tries to speak, but her lips can’t move. She forces the words. “Well, it will take a long time. Don’t you have categories like they do on Jeopardy? I’ll take cooking for six.” 

Vinnie says, “Sorry, Mom. We’re not playing Jeopardy. Don’t you know where I came from? Joey’s mom told him that she and his dad went to the hospital and they looked at all the babies and thought Joey was the cutest so they chose him. Is Joey right, Mom? Do you think I’m cuter than Joey? Gina said her mom told her she was an unexpected surprise. And, Larry said his mom told him she didn’t know because Larry was five years old when his mom and dad were married. You have to give me an answer, Mom or you get moved to the penalty round.”

“What’s the penalty round, Vinnie?” asks his mom.

“If you get moved to the penalty round, you get the next seven questions and Dad gets all the points for your correct answers.”

“That doesn’t seem fair, Vinnie. Can you change the rule? asks Vinnie’s mom.

“I wished I could change the rule, Mom, but I have a rule that says you can’t change a rule especially if your mom asks you to change a rule.”

“When did you make up this rule, Vincent?” says Vinnie’s Mom.

“Just now. The game is coming together. Will you video it so we can put it on YouTube. I bet it goes viral.”

“Did you help him?” Vinnie’s mom points an accusing finger at Vinnie’s dad.

Vinnie’s dad raises his hands as if he were being held at gunpoint. He says, “Honest, it’s all Vinnie’s creative work. Tell Vinnie what you know about where he came from so we can go on.” Vinnie’s dad quickly averts his eyes from Vinnie’s Mom.

Vinnie’s mom says, “Can I make up a rule for the game?”

Vinnie whispers in Rupert’s ear. He puts Rupert’s mouth to this ear. The back and forth goes on for a minute. Vinnie sets Rupert down and says, “What’s your rule? Rupert will make the final decision if it is a good rule.”

Vinnie’s mom says, “My rules is if you don’t have the right answer, another player in the game has to answer it.”

Vinnie turns toward Rupert. He picks him up and gives him a little shake that makes Rupert’s head nod yes.

“Rupert says it’s a good rule, Mom. Thanks for helping out.”

“No problem, Vinnie. I pass the question to the other player in the game, Dad.”

Vinnie’s dad eyes turn into moon pies. His Adam’s apple start bobbing, and a slight tic develops in his right eyelid. 

“You’re on, Dad. Where did I come from.”

Vinnie’s mom gives a smirk to Vinnie’s dad.


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