Joey and Larry went home. Vinnie’s remains in his room talking election strategy with Rupert and Dexter. Vinnie’s mom and Vinnie’s dad are sitting on the sofa. Vinnie’s dad is holding the remote in his left hand, the arm and hand furthest away from Vinnie’s mom. Vinnie’s mom stares blankly at at large screen TV with men in shorts running back and forth with a small ball. Sometimes they bounce it, sometimes they pass it to another man, and other times they throw the ball in the air at a piece of wire with netting hanging down from it.
Vinnie’s mom says, “When are we going to talk?”
“You’re avoiding a difficult conversation,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“About what?” says Vinnie’s dad staring at the basketball game.
“Dear God, we need to talk about Vinnie. You know, he’s our son,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Look at this play. Here’s the rerun. Watch how Davis goes to the hoop,” says Vinnie’s dad.
From the bedroom, “Hey, Dad?”
“Can I use your credit card to buy TV time. Okay?” asks Vinnie.
Vinnie’s mom jumps up and grabs the remote out of Vinnie’s dad’s hand. She points it at the TV and turns the TV off.
“What’d you do that for? Is it time to eat?” says Vinnie’s dad.
“Do you know what you allowed Vinnie to do?”
“Did he ask me if he could go to Joey’s for a half hour?” asks Vinnie’s dad.
“No, he asked you if he could use your credit card to buy TV time to run for fourth grade grade class president.”
“He wouldn’t?” asks Vinnie’s dad.
“From the bedroom, “Is it okay if I call WGBT TV and ask them to send a team to talk to me and Joey and Larry and Rupert and Dexter after school on Monday?”
“Whose phone are you using, Vinnie?”
“Your phone, Dad. Why?”
Vinnie’s mom and dad are off the sofa and racing toward Vinnie’s bedroom. Vinnie’s dad twists the door nob and pushes the door. “The door seems stuck,” says Vinnie’s dad to Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie’s mom says, “Vincent, get away from the door or you are in the biggest trouble ever.”
“Do I have to, Mom?” asks Vinnie.
Vinnie says, “First, should I press 1 to report a crime, 2 to hear the weather, 3 to connect to the newsroom? Three’s a good choice, right, Mom?”
“Three, two, . . .” Vinnie’s mom’s countdown to big trouble ends when Vinnie moves away from the door.
Vinnie’s dad opens the door. Vinnie’s mom and dad stare into Vinnie’s room. Sheets of paper are strewn over the bed, over the floor, and stuck to the wall with tape. Dexter has a paper wrap around his body. The wrap reads on one side, VOTE. On the other side, VINNIE.
“Vincent, where is Dad’s credit card?” asks Vinnie’s mom.
“Which one, Mom?”