Vinnie Asks, “What Could Go Wrong?”


“What is the challenge round, Vinnie?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

“You haven’t heard of the challenge round, Mom? I thought everyone knew about it. Rupert and Dexter knew about it,” says Vinnie.

“Vincent, you said you made up the game. It’s the first time all three of us have played it,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“That’s true, Mom, but moms and dad are supposed to know what their kids are thinking if they are in tune with them,” says Vinnie.

Vinnie’s dad takes his eyes off his iWatch and says, “Where’d you hear this? In school?”

Vinnie smiles and says, “No, Dad, I’m not allowed to go to PTA meetings. It’s just for adults. I heard it last week when I came home from school. Mom was watching Dr. Bob. Dr. Bob said it.”

“You watch Dr. Bob?” says Vinnie’s dad raising his eyebrows.

“I do not watch Dr. Bob. I was getting ready to do my yoga. I always practice yoga when Vinnie is doing his homework. I turned the TV on and it happened to be on the channel that broadcasts the Dr. Bob show,” says Vinnie’s mom folding her arms across her chest.

“Dr. Bob’s pretty smart, Dad. He’s a doctor. You’re not a doctor. Mom’s not a doctor,” says Vinnie.

“Can we get to the challenge round, please,” says Vinnie’s Mom. She adds, “Dear, can we get a sitter for tonight? I really, really, really need to go out.”

“Mom, can I go? If we don’t finish the game, we can continue at the restaurant. I’ll be at a disadvantage since Dexter can’t come. Can I take Rupert? Please, Mom. Please.”

Vinnie’s dad, often not the most sensitive male in the world, catches the urgency in Vinnie’s mom’s voice. He says, “Mom’s talking about her and me, Vinnie. We can get a sitter or I can call Gramma and Gramps. Do you have a preference?”

Vinnie’s mom says, “Thank you, Dear.”

“I don’t need a sitter. I got Rupert and Dexter. What could go wrong?” says Vinnie.

“Oh my God. Where do you want me to start?” says Vinnie’s mom.

“Let’s start the challenge round, Vinnie. We’ll figure out the sitter situation after the game,” Vinnie’s dad feels his world spinning around and threatening to crash.

“Okay, but I don’t want Heather, she smokes pot and has her boyfriend come over and all they do is kiss on the sofa,” says Vinnie happy with himself for constructing a no win situation for his parents since Heather is the only sitter who agrees to stay with him.

“I don’t believe you,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“She’s sneaky, Mom. She told me you are so easy to fool. She tells me how to fool you. It’s like she’s a brain when it comes to fooling adults.” Vinnie’s words spill out of him one after the other as if he is a sous chef at a five star restaurant making a gourmet meal.

“Okay. I’m going to call her parents right now. If I find you are not telling the truth, you are grounded for the rest of your life,” says Vinnie’s mom reaching for her iPhone. 

“Can we start the challenge round, please,” begs Vinnie’s dad.

“Mom, if you call Heather’s mom, she won’t know anything because Heather told me her mom and dad don’t have a clue,” Vinnie feels his stomach starting to do a backflip. Vinnie’s mind starts working on a reverse story plan. 

He blurts, “No need to call Mom. You passed my test.”

Vinnie’s mom puts her iPhone down, “What test?”

“I was making sure you loved me. I heard Dr. Bob say young kids always need to know their mom and dad love them.”

Vinnie’s mom stretches her arm across the table, “Of course we love you. You don’t have to test us. But we’re going out tonight and you are staying home. Case closed.”

“Darn. Okay, here’s the challenge round question.”


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