Vinnie’s dad says, “I’m going for a ten mile run. When I come back, we are going to talk about your detective agency, Vincent.”
Vinnie tilts his head a bit sideways and says, “Something bothering you, Dad? You usually only run three miles. Me and Joey can check out the mob if they’re bothering you.”
Vinnie’s mom pulls the throw pillow back over her face and a muffled sound that is a cross between a heavy metal band and hyaena filter through the cushion.
“Why, why, why did I say it was okay to watch the Bogart movies? Somebody tell me why,” says Vinnie’s dad to no one.
“Dad, is this one of those questions you don’t want me to answer? If it isn’t I can tell you why? Dexter and Rupert were with me when you said we could watch them. You must be real old, Dad, because all the films are in black and white. Was that like a hundred years ago?”
More sound effects from behind the throw pillow.
“Oh, dear God, help me before I say something I regret,” mutters Vinnie’s dad.
“Mom usually prays to Mary. You want her to pray you’ll say the right things in court on Monday to protect the mob?” says Vinnie.
The throw pillow comes off Vinnie’s mom’s face and she stretches out on the sofa holding her belly, taking in large gulps of air, and tears streaking down her face.
“It’s not funny,” says Vinnie’s dad.
“What, Dad? Why is Mom laughing?” asks Vinnie.
Vinnie’s dad looks at Vinnie, then he glances at Vinnie’s mom laughing hysterically barely staying on the sofa. He says, “I’ve got to run and run and run. He hurries to the front door, opens it, hollering over his shoulder, “I’ll be back when I finish my run.”
Vinnie’s dad closes the door behind him and takes off as if he is running in finals for the Olympic 100 meter dash.
Vinnie’s mom regains control of herself. She says, “Vinnie, Dad’s going to come home with blisters on his feet, his good pants will need to go to the cleaners, and every muscle in his body will ache.”
“I know what we can do, Mom,” says Vinnie.
“I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to fill a pan with hot water and Epson Salts to soak his feet. I’ll chill a beer for him. I don’t know what else to do.”
“I do, Mom,” says Vinnie.
Vinnie’s mom wonders if Vinnie wants to talk to the mob for his dad. The thought is a spark trying to ignite her laughter button. She takes a chance, “What is your idea, Vinnie?”
“Let’s follow Dad in the SUV. He’ll be exhausted by the time he reaches 8th Avenue. We can give him a ride home and his feet won’t hurt much. He’d feel better if we stopped at Double Scoop for an ice cream, what do you think, Mom?”
Five minutes later a dark SUV pulls along side a tall, slender man with one hand holding onto a telephone pole. He’s bending over, gasping for breath. His shirt is wet with sweat.
Vinnie’s mom lower’s the window, “Hey, Champ. I think you set the record for the 100 meters in dress shoes and suit pants.”
Vinnie’s dad twists his head toward the SUV. He takes in a deep breath and says, “You think so?”
Vinnie lowers his window from the rear seat, “Hurry in, Dad. We’re going to Double Scoop for ice cream. Does the mob own it?”
Vinnie’s mom lays her head against the steering wheel and starts laughing.
Vinnie’s dad walks around the SUV to the passenger side door and opens it and slides in.
Vinnie’s mom straightens up and says, “Do you finally understand?”
Vinnie’s dad gives Vinnie’s mom a quizzical look.
From the rear seat, “Understand what, Mom?”