Vinnie has his notebook lying flat on the table. He glances down at the paragraph he wrote. He looks up at his parents. He says, “Mom, I promised Rupert he could read it. He said it is the best paragraph ever written, even better than his all time favorite book, The Cat In The Hat.”
Vinnie’s mom glances over at Vinnie’s dad who seems to be someplace other than the dining room table. She says, “Dear, do you mind if Rupert reads Vinnie’s paragraph?” Vinnie’s mom puts her tongue between her teeth so she won’t laugh.
Vinnie’s dad glances up at Vinnie and says, “Will he talk in grizzly bear or English?”
Vinnie says, “Do you understand grizzly bear, Dad? Me and Dexter do. Rupert say something to Dad in grizzly bear.”
Vinnie picks Rupert up and holds him in front of his face. He turns Rupert slightly to face Vinnie’s dad. Vinnie, using his falsetto voice for Rupert, says, “Grrr. Grrr grrr grrrrrr. Grrrrr.”
“What did he say, Dad? Dexter and me know what he said,” says Vinnie.
Vinnie’s mom says, “Yes, Dear. What did Rupert say?”
Vinnie’s dad tries to come up with something that makes sense. His mind is struggling to interpret grizzly bear language. Vinnie’s dad wonders if it is anything like Italian, Spanish, or French. He can get by in all three languages. He says, “I totally agree with you, Rupert. That makes a lot of sense.”
Vinnie shakes Rupert’s head and has Rupert answer in English, “You just agreed that vegetarian chili is boring and we should go out for pizza tonight.”
Vinnie quickly turns Rupert to face his mom, “Mom, it’s four to one against you. We have to go out for pizza.”
Vinnie’s mom looks at Rupert and says, “Sorry, Rupert, we’re eating home tonight. Vinnie will love my vegetarian chili once he tries it. I know Dexter will love it too. And, because you are so brave and smart, I’m going to give you a tofu hot dog.” Vinnie’s mom makes a mental note to tell her support group she’s having conversations with a stuffed grizzly bear and a beagle. She wonders if this is normal or if she is nuts.
Vinnie shakes Rupert and Rupert says, “Thanks, Mom. Can I share my tofu dog with Dexter?”
Vinnie’s dad is into the conversation between Vinnie’s mom and Rupert. He says, “While you’re making Rupert a tofu hot dog, will you make me two of them if I promise to eat my vegetarian chili?”
Vinnie’s mom rolls her eyes, takes a deep breath, and says, “I really need to go to the spa. There is too much male energy in this house.”
“That’s good, right, Mom? Do you want me to read my paragraph before you go to the spa or when you come home? If you go to the spa can Dad and me order pizza?” asks Vinnie.
“It was only a matter of speech, Vinnie. I am not going to the spa. We are going to eat my vegetarian chili and you and Dad are going to like it. Please read your paragraph,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“I’ll eat it, Mom. But, do I have to like it?” asks Vinnie.
“Does it ever end? Does it ever end?” asks Vinnie’s mom not expecting an answer.
But, she gets one, “Apparently not, Dear.”
Vinnie’s mom and dad turn and look at him. Together they say, “Rupert read the paragraph.”
Vinnie extends his arms so that he is holding Rupert out beyond his notebook. Vinnie has the notebook open. A salt shaker holds down one side of the notebook. The pepper shaker holds down the other side of the notebook.
Rupert begins reading. The country of Nadir is having an election for it’s first president. Before, the country was ruled by an evil queen, Mrs. Mapis, who cut of the heads of the smart kids. The smartest kid, Vinnie, this is another Vinnie, not me, drove the evil queen into the barbecue pit and roasted her until she was burned to a crisp.
“Stop, Vincent. You promised you were not writing about Mrs. Navis,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“I’m, Mom. I’m talking about Mrs. Mapis.”
Vinnie’s mom turns to Vinnie’s dad, “Well, say something.”
“It think I can catch the final five minutes of the game.”