Vinnie rushes past his mom and dad, Dexter trails behind him at a slower pace. Vinnie and Rupert and Dexter go into Vinnie’s room. Vinnie closes the door. He hollers from behind the door, “Hi Dad. Hi Mom. Don’t bother us, we’re busy. Mom, can you leave a piece of microwaved pizza outside my door? I’ll know when it’s there because Dexter will scratch at the door.”
“We are going to eat in thirty minutes. No pizza, no snacks, no treats.”
“We’re having one of your very favorite foods, tofu and vegetables,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Do I have to eat it, Mom. Even peanut butter is better. Anyway, I’m not hungry. Joey’s mom fed us good food all afternoon. We had chips and queso. We had brownies and ice cream. We had Hot Pockets. We had . . .”
“How much did you eat?” says Vinnie’s alarmed mom.
“I ate enough to make up for the great meals you cooked last week, Mom. You’re the best cook. Dad ever tell you that? I can’t talk anymore. I’m going to make us so rich you can hire a good cook, Mom,” says Vinnie.
Vinnie’s dad sees it coming. He quickly says, “I think I’ll go for a three mile run before dinner. I can’t wait for tofu and vegetables.”
Vinnie’s mom stands with her arms akimbo staring at Vinnie’s dad. “You better not run by the taco food truck. If I smell taco on you or see salsa on your shirt, you are in trouble.”
Vinnie’s dad stretches his hands out, palms up, “What if they’re giving free samples? I’m only teasing. LOL.”
“Go. We need to find out what Vinnie’s get rich quick scheme is before he gets us all in trouble,” says Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie’s dad tosses Vinnie’s mom a boyish smile and says, “Seriously, think about it. Vinnie, Joey, and Larry? I promise, it’s nothing.”
“You are forgetting the smartest person in the world?” says Vinnie’s mom.
“I am?” Vinnie’s dad figures he’ll earn a few points. He says, “Are you going to help them?”
Vinnie’s mom says, “Nice try. I’m second smartest to Rupert.”
“Rupert? You’re second smartest? Where does that leave me?” asks Vinnie’s dad.
“Go for your run. You’re trailing the pack. I don’t want to bruise your fragile male ego,” says Vinnie’s mom.
In the man cave, AKA Vinnie’s room, Vinnie sits at his desk. Rupert sits on Vinnie’s desk next to the paper Vinnie is working on. Dexter lies on the floor next to Vinnie’s feet. Dexter ate all afternoon. Joey’s mom loves Dexter and Dexter loves Joey’s mom. Dexter’s occasionally considered running away from Vinnie and Rupert and the family and joining Joey’s family because the food perks are excellent and non stop. Unfortunately, the beagle family loyalty gene barely edges the beagle food gene. Dexter burps.
Vinnie glances down at Dexter, “Buddy, that stinks. Oh, man does that stink. Do you have to go outside?”
Dexter is so full, he can barely move. Yet, somehow he’d manage to summon up what little strength he has left if food were offered to him. Since food is not being offered to him, he puts his head on his paws closes his eyes and feigns sleep.
Vinnie takes hold of Rupert and holds him in front of him. He says, “Take a look, Rupert. I think it’s perfect. What do you think?”
Vinnie uses a falsetto voice for Rupert. Rupert says, “I think it’s perfect. How did you figure it out?”
“Simple math, Rupert. I was the best in math in the whole class. I used what I know to figure it all out. I don’t think it can fail. What do you think, Buddy?”
Vinnie tilts Rupert down so Rupert can study Vinnie’s paper. He pulls Rupert back up and turns him around to face himself. He says, “Give it up, Rupert. Do you see anything I missed?”
“I think you’ve got it. Maybe we’ll live at Disney World when we get rich.”
“Yah, Rupert and maybe I’ll never see Mrs. Mavis again.”