Vinnie and Rupert return to the dining room table. Rupert has a Hersey chocolate bar held between his paws with a rubber band. Vinnie sets Rupert against the lunch box. He turns to Rupert and says, “Yes, Rupert?”
Vinnie’s mom and dad turn toward each other. Vinnie’s mom rolls her eyes. Vinnie’s dad shrugs.
Vinnie pulls Rupert’s face close to his ear. He nods his head several times before putting Rupert back against the lunch box. He takes the rubber band off Rupert’s wrists releasing the Hersey bar. Vinnie picks up the Hersey bar and begins to open it.
“Hold on, young man. You are not going to eat a candy bar after a bowl of Fruit Loops. Where did you get the candy bar. You know we don’t buy candy,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Rupert saved it from Halloween. He said he forgot to put it in my Christmas stocking so he wanted me to have it now for energy to play our game,” says Vinnie continuing to peels the paper off the Hersey bar.
Vinnie’s mom shakes her head and extends her arm, her palm facing up, “Put it here, Vinnie. You are hyper enough without being filled with sugar.”
Vinnie takes a quick bite and places the rest of the Hersey Bar in his mom’s hand. He says, “Mom, I heard you telling Mrs. Foster chocolate was a healthy treat. How come it’s healthy for adults, but not for kids? This question is not part of the game, but it is a good one. I think I’ll add it when we play tomorrow.”
“Well, it’s, it’s dark chocolate,” stammers Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie says, “The Hersey bar looks dark, Mom. I have to give you minus points for the answer.”
“You said your question didn’t count so I can’t get minus points,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Dexter changed the rule, Mom. There’s nothing I can do about it, sorry,” says Vinnie. Dexter lifts his head and glance at Vinnie hoping a doggie treat or something close to edible falls off the table.
“Can we have the next question, Vinnie. Please,” his weary mom says.
Vinnie closes his eyes for a moment. He opens them, turns to Rupert, pulls Rupert’s ear close to his mouth and whispers something indistinguishable to his parents. He then sets Rupert on the floor next to Dexter. Dexter opens his eyes, sniffs for food, finding none, goes back to sleep.
“What are you doing, Vinnie?” asks his mom.
“I told Rupert the question. Rupert is telling Dexter the question.”
Vinnie’s dad says, “That’s a bit unfair, don’t you think? Rupert and Dexter are being told the question ahead of Mom and me.”
Vinnie’s mom looks at Vinnie’s dad as if he’s lost his mind.
Vinnie says, “Dad, you and Mom can’t speak the same language as Rupert and Dexter. They are higher forms of life.”
Vinnie’s mom touches Vinnie’s dad’s forearm, “Dear, let it go. Maybe we’ll get tossed out after this round.”
“Not a chance, Mom. If you’d don’t get it right, you qualify for the loser’s bracket,” says Vinnie.
“Does this game have an ending, Vinnie?” asks Vinnie’s mom.
“Eventually. Here’s the question, Mom and Dad. It has four parts. Rupert and Dexter already got a perfect score.”
Vinnie’s mom raises her hand, “There is no point in us answering the question if Rupert and Dexter earned a perfect score. I guess that’s it, game over.”
“Wrong, Mom. A perfect score is bad. Who wants to be perfect, right? Not me,” says Vinnie.
Vinnie’s mom is thinking, ‘that’s for sure.’ Instead, she says, “It’s something we all strive for. Do you think a one-hundred is better than a 60 on a math test?”
“Mom, you’re not allowed to ask questions. That’s not one of the four part questions. But, I think an 88 to a 93 is about the best scores I want right now. I purposely get some problems wrong.”
“Vincent! Don’t you ever do that.”
“Punked yah, Mom. Geez, you got to relax. What makes you tense, Mom, is it, Dad?”
Vinnie’s Dad looks up from his iPhone, “Huh? Did you ask me a question?”