Vinnie’s mom touches Vinnie’s dad’s forearm and says, “I already know what Vinnie is going to say. Don’t tell me later that I didn’t warn you.”
Vinnie says, “Did Rupert tell you my idea, Mom. He’s the only one I told. Wait a minute, Dexter was in the room when I told Rupert.”
Vinnie glances down at the floor at Dexter. Dexter looks up expectantly at Vinnie. Vinnie says, “Dexter, did you tell Mom about my science fair project?”
Dexter thinks Vinnie is asking him if he wants a snack. Since he can’t see or smell the snack he remains on the floor and lets out a half-heart woof.
Vinnie says, “Dexter says you asked him, but he didn’t tell. So, I don’t think you know what I’m going to say, Mom.”
Vinnie’s mom says, “Would you like to make a little wager? I will write down what you are going to say. If I am right, for one week you read a book I choose for you instead of playing the game you love on your tablet.”
“If I win, Mom, will you buy me a new iPad and let me have cookies for my snack when I come home from school?”
“No to both requests. You’re not going to win,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“I might, Mom. What if I win? Can I stay up one hour later for a week?” negotiates Vinnie looking at his dad.
Vinnie’s dad says, “That sounds like a fair compromise.”
Vinnie’s mom says, “No backing out, Vinnie. Shake hands.”
Vinnie and his mom shake hands. Vinnie’s mom gets up and walks to the breakfast bar. She takes a pen and notepaper and writes on it. She folds the paper in half and returns to the dining room table. She says, “I wrote what you are going to say on this piece of paper. It may not be word for word, but I will be close.”
Vinnie’s dad says, “Can I get in on this bet? I don’t think you know. He only told Rupert and Dexter.”
Vinnie interrupts, “Dad can I get in on the bet with you?”
“You already made a bet with Mom, Vinnie. You can’t double your bet with her,” says Vinnie’s dad.
Vinnie’s mom already knows where Vinnie is going with this conversation. She folds her hands on the table and waits for Vinnie to speak.
“But, Dad. I want to bet against you. I want to bet Mom knows,” says Vinnie.
“You can’t bet against yourself, Vinnie,” says his dad.
“Why, Dad? Is there a rule you can’t make two bets?” asks Vinnie.
Vinnie’s mom can’t help herself. “Vinnie’s right, there is no rule against making two bets.”
“I never heard of such a thing,” says Vinnie’s dad.
“I do it all the time at school,” says Vinnie.
“You bet at school? What are you betting?” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Nothing really, Mom.”
“We bet deserts. Everybody wins. Because if I win, I get the desert from the my friend and I give him mine. If my friend wins, he gets my desert and I get his.”
“This isn’t betting. It’s trading deserts. Are you giving away your healthy deserts? Do you know how much a honey crisp apple costs? What kind of desert are getting for your apple?”
Vinnie looks up at his mom, “Usually, it’s a cupcake, Joey’s mom makes it with real chocolate.”
Vinnie’s dad interrupts, “All bets are off. We’ll see if Mom’s right. What is your idea for your science project, Vinnie.”
Vinnie’s mom says, “We’re not through talking about the honey crisp apple.”
“It’s too late, Mom. Joey already ate the apples you gave me this week. Here’s my great idea. I’m going to blindfold all the kids in class and Mrs. Navis. I’m going to give them a taste test. I’ll put peanut butter on some of the night crawlers, ketchup on others, and mustard on the rest. I’ll ask them to decide which one tastes the best. I think they’ll vote for the night crawlers with ketchup. It’s a great idea, right?”
“Where do I begin?” says Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie’s dad’s jaw is hanging open.
What did you write, Mom?