Vinnie’s dad tosses a glance at Vinnie’s mom and says, “We can do this. We can beat Dexter and Rupert.”
“I don’t think so, Dad. Did you know Rupert’s IQ is higher than a genius. It’s even higher than Einstein’s IQ.”
Vinnie’s mom says, “I am not going to let a stuffed animal and beagle beat me. What is Rupert’s IQ. I’m a Mensa member.”
Vinnie’s dad slowly counts to ten, he has a feeling the Mensa member next to him is not going to like the answer.
Vinnie’s mom is not to be bested by a stuffed grizzly bear. She says, “Well, for Rupert’s information, Mensa is the oldest society in the world for high IQ people. You have to have a very high IQ to be included in Mensa. If Rupert’s IQ is so high he would be in Mensa with me.”
Vinnie’s dad is wondering why Vinnie’s mom is sparring with an eight-year-old and a stuffed grizzly bear. He decides not ask.
Vinnie puts Rupert next to his ear. He gently shakes Rupert causing Rupert’s head to bounce. Vinnie nods his head while he’s shaking Rupert. He sets Rupert on his lap and says, “Mom, Rupert told me he is too smart to be in Mensa. He has an IQ of one-thousand twenty-five. He thinks it’s higher but the IQ test can’t go any higher. What is Mensa anyway?”
Vinnie’s mom rolls her eyes and says, “Never mind. Rupert, would I recognize whatever this thing is if I saw it? And, you can’t make up something Dad and I don’t know.”
Rupert says, “Of course, Mom. Everybody in the world knows the answer. It’s obvious.”
“I am not your mother, Rupert. I am only Vinnie’s mother,” says Vinnie’s mom.
Rupert answers in a sad falsetto voice, “But, you’re the only mom I know.”
“Please, Mom. Will you be Rupert’s mom. He’s starting to cry. Everybody needs a mom and you’re the second best mom I know,” says Vinnie. He adds, “You’d be the best mom I know if I could eat unhealthy snacks once in a while. Joey’s mom lets Joey eat anything he wants and stay up as late as he wants and …”
“I don’t care what Joey’s mom does with Joey. I only care about you. Everything I do for you is for your good.”
“That’s what Mrs. Navis says all the time when she corrects me. Did she tell you to say that to me at one of your conferences?” asks Vinnie.
Vinnie’s dad says softly, “Just tell him you want to be Rupert’s mom so we can go ahead with the game.”
“Do you know what you just asked me to do?” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Uh huh. It’s the only way through, Dear.”
“Rupert, I am your mom. Do you feel better? That does not count as a question,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Thank you, Mom. Does this make Vinnie and me brothers?” asks Rupert in his falsetto voice. “BTW, Mom, you’re down to fourteen questions.”
Vinnie’s dad interrupts the conversation, “Does the answer begin with a vowel?”
Rupert says, “Once in a while, but most of the time, no?”
“What kind of answer is that, Rupert?” asks Vinnie’s mom. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Vinnie raises his hand, “Oooh. Oooh. Oooh. I know. I know.”
Vinnie turns Rupert to face him. Rupert speaks to Vinnie, “It’s Mom’s turn. Do you mind if I call you Bro sometimes, since we’re brothers?”
Vinnie’s dad covers his mouth to stop from laughing. Vinnie’s mom is deciding whether to be angry or to laugh. She’s walking a tightrope high above the ground with gusty winds swirling around her. She makes a mental note to find a different child psychologist.
“You can be my Bro, Rupert.”
“Thanks, Bro. Fist bump,” says Rupert. Vinnie raises Rupert’s paw and fists bumps. He turns Rupert around to face Vinnie’s mom.
Rupert says, “Mom, do you have any more questions or do you want to guess. If you don’t, it’s Vinnie’s turn and I’m sure he will win.”
“Is this thing imaginary or real?” asks Vinnie’s mom.
“It’s real,” answers Rupert.
“You said it wasn’t grass. Does it have anything to do with a volcano? Sometimes volcanos come to life and most of the time they are quiet.”
“It could and then it couldn’t, Mom,” says Rupert.
“I can’t take anymore. What is the answer?”
“I can’t tell you, Mom. It’s Vinnie’s turn,” says Rupert as Vinnie turns Rupert around to face him.
“I can’t wait,” says Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie and Rupert look at each other. Rupert says, “Bro, do you want to ask me a question before you answer?”
Vinnie’s dad can’t hold back, he starts laughing.
“Don’t encourage him, Dear,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“I don’t need to ask a question, Bro. Can I give you the answer?” asks Vinnie.
Vinnie shakes Rupert’s head. Rupert says, “Un huh.”
“Is it a Zombie?”
“Bing, buzz, ding ding, we have a winner,” says Rupert.
“A Zombie? A Zombie? says Vinnie’s mom. “It does not begin with a vowel.”
“Sometimes they are known as the undead, mom. All the kids know about zombies. How come you don’t know about zombies, Mom? I thought you were smart. Rupert knows all about zombies. Now you know he has a higher IQ than you.”
“Are we almost there?” asks Vinnie’s mom.