Vinnie Made It Until 9:30 Before Being Put in Timeout


Vinnie’s mom stands on the sidewalk waiting for the school bus to stop at the end of the street. She’s holding Dexter’s leash. Dexter is sniffing on Sara’s parent’s lawn. Vinnie’s mom checks her iWatch, she thinks, it’s 3:30. She’s thinking, I didn’t get a call from the school. I didn’t get an email, at least not yet. I’ve got to go to daily mass more often. 

The yellow school bus stops at the corner of Mulberry and State Street. The flashing red lights start blinking. The stop sign swings out warning drivers in either direction to stop. The school bus door opens. Vinnie leaps out and turns a perfect one-hundred-eighty turn landing perfectly upright with his arms outstretched.

Vinnie yells, “Who you gonna vote for?”

The kids on the bus scream, “Vinnie.”

Vinnie yells, “Who you gonna vote for?”

The kids on the bus scream, “Vinnie.”

Vinnie yells, “Who you gonna vote for?”

The kids on the bus scream, “Vinnie. Vinnie. Vinnie.”

Vinnie makes an exaggerated bow, waves, and takes off as if he is a jet plane on a takeoff run. He screams at the top of his lungs, “Mom. Mom. Mom, you gotta hear this, it’s the best news ever.”

The three moms twenty feet in front of Vinnie’s mom glance back at Vinnie’s mom and start talking and pointing, pointing at Vinnie. 

Dexter’s howling, pulling on the leash. Vinnie’s mom wonders if it is a sin if she lets Dexter go and knock over the three women. She decides against it. Vinnie might try it.

Vinnie leaps over the Masterson’s rose bush. He swings his backpack at the Tolbert’s mailbox leaving a small dent in the side. He spins around and sticks his arm out. As he reaches his mom he dives head first toward Dexter. Vinnie screams, “Vinnie scores. It’s another win.” 

Vinnie stands up, grass stains streak his school pants. This doesn’t bother Vinnie’s mom because it’s an everyday occurrence. What bothers her is the gouge Vinnie took out of the Johnson’s perfect lawn when he dived toward Dexter. She looks right. She looks left. She looks at the Johnson’s window. The coast is clear. She says, “Quick Vinnie, give me a hug and let’s hurry home.”

Vinnie’s bending over hugging Dexter. He looks up, “Why, Mom. I want to give Dexter his snack.”

“What is it this time?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

“Larry and me made a bet. I bet I could make it past nine-thirty before being put in time out.”

“You know I don’t like you to bet. School starts at 8:30. Larry didn’t think you could make an hour before being put in time out?”

“Un huh. I usually get put in time out before school starts.”


“Nothing to worry about, Mom. It’s only for five minutes until after the announcements. Every time Doctor Cashman says an announcement, I say, “Thank you, Doctor Cashman. For some reason, Mrs. Mavis doesn’t like me being polite to the principal.”

Vinnie’s mom glances up and sees the three moms greeting their well behaved children, turn and begin walking up the sidewalk toward Vinnie and her. She says, “You can give Dexter his treat on the porch. What is it?”

“It’s Larry’s hotdog. I bet my whole lunch against his hotdog he bought at hot lunch.”

“How long did you make it before you were put in time out?” ask Vinnie’s mom.

“I’m not sure. It was a little after 9:30 because that’s when we begin science class.”

“Oh, dear God.”

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