Vinnie’s Dad Learns You Get What You Pay For


Vinnie’s dad pulls into the parking space designated for new registrants. Vinnie’s mom looks around and says, “Do you think it is safe?”

Vinnie’s dad turns and scans the parking lot. He says, “It seems quiet, besides they offer free continental breakfast in the morning.”

“If you think I’m eating in this place, keep on thinking, it’s not going to happen. Did you ask if they check daily for bed bugs or roaches?”

Before Vinnie’s dad can answer, Vinnie says, “Can we go to the pool?”

Vinnie’s mom and dad glance at the small pool enclosed by a six foot metal pole fence. A large sign says, Use at Your Own Risk, No Life Guard. Inside the enclosed area are three large, beer-bellied, bearded, long haired, tattooed men drinking beer. Clinging on to the arm of each man is a bikini clad women also drinking beer.

“No!” says Vinnie mom. 

“Why, Mom? I can swim. Dexter can do the doggie paddle. I want to teach Rupert the backstroke.”

Vinnie’s mom says, “Dear, I really think we should find a different place. I’m not comfortable staying here.”

“My butt’s sore from riding all day, Dad. Can I go over and check out the pool?” asks Vinnie.

“No! No! No!” says Vinnie’s mom.

“I paid in advance with a credit card, Dear. They seem like nice people. They’re just different from us,” says Vinnie’s dad.

“Hey, Dad. Look. Two guys are swinging the girl. One guy is holding her feet and the other her arms. Wow, they let go she’s going into the pool. They’re all laughing. Do you think they’ll do that for me? Can I ask them?” Can I, Dad? Can I?”

Vinnie’s mom quickly says, “No, Vincent. Don’t ask again.”

Vinnie’s dad is out of the SUV and heading into the motel office before Vinnie’s mom can say anything. Vinnie’s mom pushes the button that automatically locks all the doors. She holds her remote fob with her thumb resting on the red alarm button. Her other hand holds her cell phone and her forefinger is set to press 9 1 1. 

Vinnie hollers, “They just threw another girl in, Mom. Can ask them if we can join their party? They’ll probably throw you in. Please, Mom.”

“For God’s sake, Vincent, no! How many times do I have to tell you no?” says Vinnie’s mom.

“You only told me about four times, Mom,” says Vinnie. 

Vinnie’s face is next to Rupert’s face and both are pressing against the window. “They just threw the third girl in, Mom. Now the guys are doing a cannon ball while they’re holding their beer. That is so cool. To your question, Mom. About ten times.”

Vinnie’s dad opens the car door, he hands the room keys to Vinnie’s mom. She looks at them, “These are keys.”

“I know, Dear,” says Vinnie’s dad.

“They are not the computerized coded cards any half way decent motel uses. I am not staying here.”

“It only costs forty-five dollars,” says Vinnie’s dad.

“Hey, Dad, look. Five motorcycles are pulling in. Wow. This place is great. Can we stay here our whole vacation?” asks Vinnie.

“No!” says Vinnie’s mom.

“Where are we going, Dad? I thought you got us a room? Wasn’t it neat how the motorcycles pulled in next to us? Can you whistle like they do, Dad? Why were they looking at Mom when they whistled? Will the next motel be as cool as this one, Dad?”

“Lord, it’s supposed to be a vacation, help us,” pleads Vinnie’s mom.

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