Vinnie’s Mom Pleads, “What’s happening to me? Have I lost it?”


Vinnie’s mom smiles at Vinnie’s dad’s reassurance. Vinnie’s mom says, “I’m ready for the question Vinnie. You understand, I know my dad better than anyone here, so I have an unfair advantage over Rupert and Dexter.”

Vinnie glances over at a dozing Dexter. He looks at the ever smiling, ever black glass eyes wide open alert Rupert, “Rupert and Dexter got this, Mom. Rupert says you’re going down.”

“We’ll see about that, Vinnie. Tell Rupert and Dexter, ‘Game on.'”

Vinnie’s dad touches Vinnie’s mom’s shoulder, “Don’t push this one too hard, Dear. You know I love your dad, but he’s only human.”

Vinnie’s mom turns toward Vinnie’s dad, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Vinnie’s dad puts his hands up in mock surrender, “All I meant to say was you and I love everything about your dad. Sometimes other people see things a little different from how we see them.”

Vinnie’s mom shoots a couple of eye darts toward Vinnie’s dad and turns back to Vinnie. What’s the question, Vinnie? If I get it right, do Dad and I win and the game’s over?”

“Let me talk with the rules committee, Mom,” says Vinnie. Vinnie takes hold of Rupert, scoots off his chair and squats down on the floor next to Dexter. Vinnie sets Rupert next to him facing Dexter.

Vinnie’s mom whispers to Vinnie’s dad, “I can’t see him. What’s he doing?”

“He’s talking to the rules committee. Evidently, the chair of the committee is a stuffed grizzly bear and the associate chair is an overweight beagle who can’t say no to food.”

Vinnie’s mom says, “What are they saying to him?”

“Get a grip, Dear,” says Vinnie’s dad to Vinnie’s mom.

“What’s happening to me? Have I lost it? Why do I think a stuffed grizzly bear and an overweight beagle can make up game rules,” says Vinnie’s mom looking at Vinnie’s dad, her eyes pleading for understanding.

Before Vinnie’s dad responds, Vinnie is back on his seat. Rupert is sitting against the lunch box, and Dexter is in a semi-conscious state alert for the potential of late morning snack or full course meal.

Vinnie says, “I talked the rules committee, Mom. They said sure, it’s winner take all but don’t feel bad when you lose.” 

“We’ll see, Vincent,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“Mom, the question has a couple of parts. You have to answer all the parts, but it doesn’t matter the order.”

“Okay, what are the questions, Vinnie? Please. I really need a break,” says Vinnie’s mom.

Vinnie says, “When Gramps visits in the summer and sits on the deck swing with me, lots of times he kind of lifts one leg and farts. Then he says, “Did you hear Dexter fart? First part, Mom, why does Gramps fart in front of me and then laugh like it’s funny? The second part, why does he blame Dexter when Dexter didn’t fart? And the third part, does Gramps have to go to confession with Father Mike and confess he wrongly blamed Dexter?”

Vinnie’s mom turns four shade of red, her eyes squint nearly shut, and she starts rubbing her temples.

“Well, Mom? You have ten seconds to start answering, 10 … 9 … 8 … 7 …”

“Alright, alright. It was Dexter, not Gramps who farted. That’s why he laughed. Since he was telling the truth, he has nothing to confess. I win, game over.”

“Mom? Wrong. Wrong. And, wrong.”

“How do you know I’m wrong?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

“Simple, Mom. Gramps lifted his leg and the sound of a drum rolled out from underneath him. And, Dexter’s …”

“Let’s not discuss this any more. The whole question is disgusting,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“I agree, Mom. And, it smells bad, too,” says Vinnie.

Vinnie’s dad starts laughing. “That’s pretty good, Vinnie. Did you think of that yourself?”

“No. I was telling Larry about it and his mom overheard us and she said it.”

“I don’t dare show my face ever again outside this house,” says Vinnie’s mom. 

“Game’s over, Mom. I’m bored. Thanks for playing,” says Vinnie.

Fifteen minutes later, Vinnie’s mom quietly opens the door to Vinnie’s room. She sees him lying on his bed, asleep, his arm around Rupert. Dexter is lying on the floor next to Vinnie’s bed. Vinnie’s mom quietly walks into the kitchen and motions Vinnie’s dad to follow her. They both peer in on him. Vinnie’s mom says, “It looks like we wore him out. He looks so peaceful and innocent while he’s asleep.”

“I wish we could bottle it and give it to him to drink,” says Vinnie’s dad sliding his arm around Vinnie’s mom’s waist.

“I’ll make some coffee and we’ll have a few free moments before I wake him for lunch,” says Vinnie’s mom. She closes the door. Vinnie’s mom and dad head toward the kitchen.

Vinnie peeks over his shoulder, “They’re finally gone, Rupert. Let’s play Mind Craft. Don’t worry, Dexter. Here’s a tofu hot dog for you.”


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