Vinnie’s dad swallows, rubs his eyes, stretches his arms over his head. Vinnie interrupts him, “Dad, you only have thirty seconds to answer and you’ve used up half of them.”
Vinnie’s dad takes a sip of soda and says, “I was putting my thoughts in order. There was a rule change, I wasn’t prepared. I think I’m ready.”
Vinnie’s mom perks up and twists a bit to catch Vinnie’s dad’s full profile. She crosses her arms over her chest.
“Let’s hear it, Dad. I’ve got sixty more questions and they get harder. This is an easy one. We’ll be lucky to finish by tomorrow night.”
Vinnie’s dad takes a deep breath that sounds more like the intact engine on a NASCAR racing car. He says, “You know how we take Dexter to the park sometimes?”
“Uh huh,” nods Vinnie.
Vinnie’s mom roles her eyes.
“Sometimes we let Dexter off the leash, right?” says Vinnie’s dad.
“Dexter loves it, Dad. You do it so you don’t have to pick up Dexter’s poop if we walk in the neighborhood, right?” asks Vinnie.
“You don’t pick up Dexter’s poop?” asks Vinnie’s mom.
“He doesn’t mom. He looks the other way. Sometimes he says, ‘It will disintegrate in time.’ I saw a kid step in one time. He skidded and fell down. It was one of the slippery kind Dexter does.”
“Enough,” says Vinnie dad. “Let me finish my answer. When Dexter runs loose, sometimes he jumps on a female dog from behind. That’s how babies are made. That’s how you got inside Mom.” Vinnie’s dad returns the smirk to Vinnie’s mom. He congratulates himself on handling a sensitive question.
Vinnie asks a two part question, “Is Dexter my real father? What are you doing here, Dad, if Dexter is my real father?”
Vinnie’s dad says, “Dexter’s neutered, remember when we took him to the veterinarian and had his private parts snipped?”
“I do, Dad. Are you neutered? If you’re neutered, how’d I get inside Mom’s belly?”
Vinnie’s mom covers her mouth and stifles a chuckle.
“I am not neutered. I have all my body parts, just like you,” says Vinnie’s dad a bit defensively.
“Let me get this straight, Dad. Your answer is that I got to be here because you and Mom act like dogs in the park when I am asleep?”
Vinnie’s mom cocks her head and raises her eyebrows waiting for Vinnie’s dad’s answer.
“More or less. It’s the way all children come to be, Vinnie.”
“That’s disgusting. The more I hear about being grown up makes me want to stay eight all my life even if I live to one-hundred,” says Vinnie.
“Well, did I answer it and do I get the points?” asks Vinnie’s dad.
“Wait a second, Dad. Rupert is scoring your answer. I’ll talk with him to find out your final score.”
Vinnie pulls Rupert close to him, he whispers in Rupert’s ear. He pushes Rupert away and waits for two seconds. He pulls Rupert close to him and puts Rupert’s mouth against his ear. Vinnie nods three times. He sets Rupert down.
Vinnie’s dad says, “What was Rupert’s decision?”
“Each answer is worth ten points. Since Mom passed it to you, Dad, you get seven points and Mom has three points deducted from her score. Mom, what is three from zero?”