Vinnie’s dad holds up his hand and turns toward Vinnie’s mom, “Let’s let Vinnie explain his idea. He might be onto something. We don’t want stymie scientific creativity.”
“Thanks, Dad,” says Vinnie.
Vinnie’s mom slowly shakes her head, “Don’t take this wrong way, Dear. You’re clueless.”
Vinnie jumps in, “Did you change jobs, Dad. Are you a detective? What’s the crime you’re investigating. Dexter’s smarter than a bloodhound, he sniffs better than the bomb and drug sniffing dogs at the airport, and he’s a good judge of people, right, Dexter?”
Dexter looks up from his lying position at Vinnie’s feet, wondering if he’s suppose to shake or roll over to get some food. He remains lying down awaiting further instructions or a direct food sighting.
“No, Vinnie. I’m still a lawyer. Tell Mom and me what you plan to do with the two-hundred night crawlers.”
Vinnie says, “I was watching a YouTube video on what creeps people out. It was really very cool. One of the things was snakes. Nobody really likes snakes, it doesn’t matter if they are poisonous or not. I personally like snakes, I was thinking of asking you and Mom to get me a pet rattlesnake for my birthday. It would be so cool to take him to school for show and tell.”
“You are not getting a pet rattlesnake, cobra, viper, boa constrictor, alligator, crocodile, tarantula, or snapping turtle for your birthday,” interjects Vinnie’s mom.
“That’s not fair, Mom. You took away all the pets Rupert said were his favorites. He also likes a buffalo or a scorpion.”
“No and no, Vincent,” says Vinnie’s mom wondering if this will ever end.
Vinnie’s dad tries to redirect the conversation back to the science project, “How do night crawlers fit into a science project, Vinnie? What science question are you trying solve?”
Vinnie’s dad gives Vinnie’s mom a look that says, ‘See how easy this is.’ Vinnie’s mom rolls her eyes.
Vinnie says, “Mrs. Navis says we have to have a question we’re trying to solve just like you said, Dad.”
Vinnie’s dad puffs up a bit, his male peacock DNA wanting to strut. Vinnie’s mom patiently sits knowing what’s coming but not letting on as if she knows what is coming.
Vinnie says, “The creep video gave me an idea. I don’t want to creep anybody out, so I’m not going to gross out anyone. If I did, Mrs. Navis will send me to the office and Mrs. Nokowski will give me a Tootsie Pop and a small Snicker’s bar. . . .”
“She doesn’t?” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Not all the time, Mom. Sometimes she gives me hard candy or chewing gum. I have to spit the chewing gum out before I get to go back to class.”
“How many times a day does this happen?” says Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie grabs Rupert, puts Rupert in front of his face and speaks in a falsetto voice, “Vinnie told me it’s only about three or four times a day. But it’s only to give Mrs. Navis a break from all the questions he asks her. He’s not being bad.”
“Oh, dear God,” says Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie’s dad holds up his hand redirecting the conversation, “Exactly what are you going to do with the night crawlers, Vinnie?”
“I think my science project will be the best in the whole school, Dad. Please don’t tell anyone. And, Mom, don’t tell Sara’s mom or Mary’s mom. It’s okay if you tell Joey’s mom because Joey won’t blab to anyone and his mom doesn’t care.”
Vinnie’s mom wonders why she feels exhausted and it’s only six-thirty. She was looking forward to watching Dancing with the Stars. She feels like she needs to go to bed.
“Go on, Vinnie,” encourages Vinnie’s dad.
“There are twenty-two kids, not counting me and Rupert in my class. It’s almost even between boys and girls. I am going to tell Mrs. Navis I plan to solve world hunger. You’ll really like it, Mom because your on a committee at church with Sister Janet to raise money to feed the poor.”
“Stop, Vincent,” says Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie’s dad, still clueless, says, “Why? Vinnie has a good premise. He might have a good idea for Sister Janet and you.”