Vinnie’s Mom Can Use a Little Help


On the road, somewhere in Texas heading west.

“Don’t talk to me. I’m going to sleep until we come back for Dexter. I don’t care if it’s forever,” says Vinnie from somewhere in deep recesses of the SUV.

“Vincent, come up her and get buckled into your seat,” says Vinnie’s mom.


“Vincent, I’m warning you. Unless you come into your seat this moment, no tablet privileges for one year,” threatens Vinnie’s mom.

An eight-year old boy’s voice rises from the rear of the SUV, “I can’t Mom, Rupert won’t let me.”

Vinnie’s mom turns toward Vinnie’s dad, “I could use a little help here.”

“What, Dear? I was setting our GPS,” says Vinnie’s dad. Vinnie’s dad takes his eye off the GPS screen and takes a quick glimpse toward Vinnie’s mom. He’s only seen this look twice before and both times it didn’t turn out well for him. He says, “I’ll take care of it.” 

Vinnie’s dad pulls over to the breakdown lane, puts the SUV in park, opens his door, walks around to the rear of the SUV and opens the hatch. He starts moving suitcases around. He doesn’t see Vinnie or Rupert. He unpacks the SUV. His temperature rising with each suitcase he lifts out. Three suitcases are out when he says, “Vincent, if you’re hiding in the wheel well, Rupert is going to ride up front with Mom and me for the whole trip.”

From the seat behind Vinnie’s Mom, “Whatcha talking about, Dad. I’m buckled in and ready to go on vacation. Why are you unpacking the car? Did you change your mind about going on vacation? If you changed your mind, can we get Dexter? Hi, Mom. Did you know I was right behind you the whole time? I was only kidding about sleeping until we come home. Are we going to stop for breakfast. I’m starving. What’s taking Dad so long?

Five minutes later, Vinnie’s dad is buckled in the driver’s seat. He half turns and says, “Is everyone ready? We’re going to have a great time.”

Vinnie’s mom says, “We’re off to a great start.”

Vinnie’s dad understands Vinnie’s mom is not being sincere. It’s a female subtlety that most men never learn to interpret. Vinnie illustrates the male lack of understanding females gene, “That’s how I feel, Mom. Can I use your iPhone to call Dexter, please?”

Vinnie’s mom says, “Vincent, we only pulled out of the Doggie Palace parking lot fifteen minutes ago. Besides, Dexter doesn’t have a cell phone so you can’t call him.”

Vinnie says, “Yes he does, Mom. I wanted to see if he’d answer it. Dexter might be the smartest beagle alive.”

Vinnie’s mom turns her head back toward Vinnie, “Explain to me how Dexter has a cell phone. You’re making this up, right?” Vinnie’s mom instinctively reaches into her handbag and fishes for her iPhone. She has a jolt of of relief when her fingers wrap around the iPhone.

Vinnie says, “I gave Dexter Dad’s iPhone.”

Vinnie’s dad says, “What?”

“Thanks, Dad. When we took Dexter inside and you asked me to hold your iPhone while you signed papers, I walked back to say goodbye to Dexter. I put your iPhone next to Dexter’s bowl of water.”

“Oh, no,” says Vinnie’s dad, putting the car in drive, signaling to pull out and making a U Turn. Ten minutes later, Vinnie’s dad runs toward the front door of Doggie Palace.


Author: Ray Calabrese

I am an optimistic, can do, and never quit guy. The spirit of hope indelibly marks my DNA. My research at The Ohio State University helped people discover the best in themselves and change their personal lives, public organizations, and whole communities. I bring the same spirit and enthusiasm to my blog to help those who grieve who find themselves suddenly alone, navigate their grieving. Join my more than 24,300Twitter (@alwaysgoodstuff). I promise my tweets are always good stuff. Please feel free to email me at

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