Vinnie and Joey are sitting in the office waiting to see either Dr. Cashman, principal, or Mark Doolittle, assistant principal. Vinnie stands up and walks to the counter. “Mrs. N, why are Joey and me in trouble? Mrs. Mavis didn’t tell us, she just called out our names and said to the office. Did she want us to get office supplies and bring them back?”
Mrs. Nokowski glances up at Vinnie, smiles, then looks at her computer screen. She turns back to Vinnie, “Mrs. Mavis sent an email saying Joey swallowed a note instead of giving it to her and you said, ‘nice move Joey.’ Is that all true?”
“Most of it,” says Vinnie. The part that wasn’t true was Joey swallowing the note. Show Mrs. N the note Joey,” says Vinnie.
Joey flicks his tongue around between his gums and his cheek. He opens his mouth and sticks his tongue out. A wet rolled up piece of paper sits proudly on the tip of Joey’s tongue.”
Vinnie says, “Mrs. N, do you think we can get off on a technicality? My dad is always getting Uncle Mike and his friends off on technicalities.”
Mrs. Nokowski stifles a laugh, twists her chair around and silently mouths, ‘I hope so.’
Mark Doolittle walks into the office. He stops and looks at Vinnie and Joey. He turns to Mrs. Nokowski and says, “Mrs. Mavis?”
Mrs. Nokowski nods and says, “Can we send them back to class with time served?”
Mark Doolittle puts his hand on his chin as if he is thinking it over. He turns to Vinnie and Joey, “Will you boys promise to behave in class if I send you back?”
Vinnie says, “Oh sure, Mr. Doolittle. But we were behaving.”
Joey jumps in, “Vinnie’s right. Mrs. Mavis wouldn’t have seen me if Mia didn’t say nothing.”
Vinnie interrupts Joey,’ Mia was only trying to help. She thought you were having a stroke.”
“Do you feel okay, Joey? Mrs. Nokowski, call the school nurse and 911,” shouts Mark Doolittle.
Dr. Cashman comes out of her office, “What’s going on? Why are we calling 911? What happened?
Mark Doolittle points an index finger at Joey, “He’s having a stroke.”
Joey and Vinnie look at each other. Mrs. Nokowski shakes her head no.
Joey speaks out, “Spit always comes out the bottom of my mouth when I lay my head sideways on my desk.”
“Joey’s right, Mr. Doolittle. It doesn’t matter which way he lays his head. You want to see him drool?” asks Vinnie.
Dr. Cashman rolls her eyes, and returns to her office, closing the door behind her.
Mark Doolittle says, “Better not to take chances. Okay, go back to class.”
Meanwhile back at the gym . . .
“Is your phone vibrating,” says Jennifer Curtis-Smith.
“What I’m saying to you, Jennifer, I say as a friend. I only want the best for you. Have you had your hearing checked recently? I know an excellent audiologist who works wonders with hearing loss,” says Vinnie’s mom silently questioning herself about lying to Jennifer Curtis-Smith and yet enjoying it.
“I hear perfectly well. You should check your phone it’s probably about Vincent. I’ve got to go, ciao,” says Jennifer Curtis-Smith.
Vinnie’s mom quickly slips her iPhone onto the top shelf of her locker. She calls out, “Oh, here’s my iPhone, right where I said I left it. Oh, I’ve got a voicemail from the national Mensa office.”
Jennifer Curtis-Smith slightly turns, “Did you forget to pay your dues?”
Vinnie’s mom suppresses the desire to fling her iPhone at Jennifer Curtis-Smith. Then speculates if Vinnie’s dad could get her off on a technicality.