Vinnie’s mom and dad stand side by side looking out the kitchen window toward the backyard. Vinnie’s dad has an ice cream bar in his hand. Vinnie’s mom is sipping cucumber, ginger, and lemon water from an infuser bottle.
She glances over at Vinnie’s dad as he sinks his teeth into the ice cream bar. “You know how many calories are in that bar?”
Vinnie’s dad turns a bit toward Vinnie’s mom and smiles, nodding his head no.
Vinnie’s mom says, “At least two-hundred-fifty. Do you want love handles?”
Vinnie’s dad says, “I have fast metabolism. I think Vinnie gets it from me. BTW, check out Vinnie and his friends their tossing a frisbee and talking. They don’t have a care in the world.”
Vinnie’s mom takes the ice cream bar from Vinnie’s dad and takes a bite. “I saved you thirty calories. Vinnie’s up to something, I promise you, he’s up to something.” Vinnie’s mom turns from the window and walks lazily toward the fridge.
“Have a little faith in our son, Marti. He’s with Joey, Larry, and Sara and they’re tossing a frisbee. Vinnie’s pretty good at tossing it. Oh oh, he sailed it into the Zeller’s yard. Larry and Joey are giving him ten fingers. He’s over the fence. Is this the week the Zeller’s go to the beach?”
“I think Vinnie’s tossing ripe peaches from the Zeller’s peach tree over the fence. One, two, three, four, five, six. Larry is tossing a rope over the fence to Vinnie. Vinnie’s like one of the commandos we see in in a movie, he’s using the rope to scale the fence. He’s back in the yard.”
Vinnie’s mom is next to Vinnie’s dad, “Al, do something. Vinnie’s turning in a thief.”
“Can I wait until his friends go home?”
“I think I’m part of the problem.”
“Dear God, you’re both going to be sharing a cell,” says Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie’s mom and dad stand side by side watching Vinnie and his friends eat ripe peaches from the Zeller’s peach tree. Vinnie’s mom shakes her head. She says, “Al, what story did you tell Vinnie?”
“Remember last week, when you left me alone with Vinnie?”
“Hold on, don’t pin Vinnie’s peach caper on me,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“But Marti, you’re so much better with Vinnie than me. I don’t make a connection between what I tell him and how Vinnie interprets what I say,” says Vinnie’s dad.
“That’s true, Al. Tell me you didn’t tell him another story of Mike and you when you were growing up.”
“We went out to Sonic and . . .”
“You went to Sonic! You know what I think about their food.”
“Vinnie convinced me it was the right choice,” pleads Vinnie’s dad.
“Al, he’s an eight-year-old.
“He’s going to be nine soon. It was the night you decided we needed to detox our systems and we had cabbage soup.”
Before Vinnie’s mom responds, Vinnie comes busting in through the deck door, “Mom, Dad I’ve got some ripe peaches for you. They’re the best peaches ever.”
“Vincent. You know stealing is wrong. You’re going to have to tell Mr. Zeller you stole his peaches and ask him what chores you can to do to pay him back,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“But, Mom,” Vinnie pleads.
“Don’t but, Mom, me, Vincent. You know you were wrong.”
“Mr. Zeller called over the fence and said he had too many peaches and asked us if we wanted some. When the frisbee went over the fence, it was the perfect time get the frisbee and the peaches. Mr. Zeller handed me the peaches when I threw them over the fence.”
Vinnie’s dad says, “Did you tell Mr. Zeller thank you?”
“Un huh. Am I in trouble?”
Vinnie mom says, “I jumped to conclusions, Vinnie. I apologize.”
“No problem, Mom. Will you call Del’s and order a take out pizza for my friends and me?” asks Vinnie as he heads out the door.
Vinnie hollers to his friends, “My Mom is going to order pizza for us.”
Joey, Larry, and Sara begin chanting, “Vinnie, Vinnie, Vinnie.”
“Does it ever end, Al,” says Vinnie’s mom wearily.
“Afraid not. Okay if I order two pizzas with pepperoni?”
“Sweet Mother of God, this is the longest summer ever. I’m desperate, I need inspiration.”
Vinnie’s dad glances over at Vinnie’s mom. He says, “Be careful what you pray for. Your prayers might be answered.”