Vinnie’s The Center of Attention

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Three-thirty, Monday afternoon. Vinnie’s mom stands alone on the sidewalk in front of the Johnson’s home on Mulberry Street holding Dexter’s leash. The Johnsons are next door neighbors. Three chatting moms stand together on the sidewalk twenty feet in further up the sidewalk. Dexter’s sniffing the grass on the Johnson’s lawn next to her. Vinnie’s mom is hoping Dexter doesn’t go poop while anyone is looking at her because she didn’t bring a poop bag to scoop the poop. 

Vinnie’s mom is facing State Street. That’s the corner where the school bus will stop and Vinnie will come leaping out of the bus, not touching the steps, land on the ground, throw his arms over his head in the air, and shout, ‘I stuck the landing, 10.0, 1o.o, 10.). Vinnie will turn around and face the students waiting to get off the bus, hold up his hands and say, No applause please.’ He’ll turn an race toward home as if he were being chased by a heat seeking missal.  Vinnie will be screaming, waving his arms, and leaping over bushes and flowerbeds. He’ll pays no attention to the cute little signs some neighbors put in the yard, Keep off the Grass, Pick up after your Dog. Flowers have feelings too. Vinnie’s mom thinks this is the reason none of the other moms want to stand next to her

The yellow school bus comes into view. The bus slows down, flashing orange lights. It stops, the stop sign on the driver’s side sticks out, the red flashing lights flash on and off. The school bus door opens.

Vinnie leaps out of the bus, his backpack slung over his back, his arms raised in a victory sign over his head. He lands. He turns around toward the bus door, “I stuck the landing, perfect scores again from all the judges.”

Vinnie holds up his arms and shouts, “Applause please if you want me to move out of the way.”

Joey and Larry, Vinnie’s friends, start chanting from inside the bus, “Vinnie, Vinnie, Vinnie.” The other four students, girls, clap their hands because they know Vinnie will not move until he gets his applause.

Vinnie bows, straightens up and says, “Thank you.” He turns and begins racing down Mulberry Street toward his mom and Dexter. He yells at the top of his lungs, “I broke out of prison. I’m free. I’m free. I’m free. They won’t take me alive.”

The three mothers standing together turn and stare at Vinnie’s mom. Vinnie’s mom smiles and waves at Vinnie. Vinnie’s racing toward her as if he is carrying a football. Dexter’s straining at the leash howling in a beagle soprano voice, which is something akin to three first year trumpet players trying to sound louder than each other. 

Vinnie leaps over a rose bush, looks over his shoulder and says, “Missed me.” 

Vinnie’s mom bends over with her arms outstretched thinking Vinnie is going to run into her arms and give her a hug. She’s mistaken. Vinnie races across the Johnson’s lawn and dives head first onto the grass. As he is soaring through the air, he hollers, “Touchdown.”

Vinnie’s mom lets go of the leash and Dexter is all over Vinnie. Vinnie gets up to his knees, he hugs Dexter’s head and says, “I got past you and scored, Buddy. You got to be quicker if you’re going stop me.”

Dexter doesn’t know what Vinnie said. His beagle instincts tell him to sniff Vinnie’s backpack. 

Vinnie says, “You’re such a smart dog. I got a treat from for you.” Vinnie slips off his backpack, opens it and sticks his arm inside. He pulls out a half sandwich. He says, “Joey gave me half of his hot dog sandwich his mom made him. How come you don’t make me good sandwiches like Joey’s mom makes for Joey?”

“Your tunafish sandwich is a healthier choice, that’s why. Why did Joey give you the half of sandwich?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

“Because he bought his lunch. He ate his other half of sandwich, then he saw they were having macaroni and cheese and he loves it. So he bought lunch. His mom gives him five dollars a week allowance. How come I don’t have an allowance, Mom? I’d probably buy lunch every day.”

Before Vinnie’s mom can answer, Vinnie says, “Dexter sit.” 

Dexter sits.

“Dexter, shake.”

Dexter shakes.

Vinnie gives Dexter the half of sandwich. 

Dexter consumes the sandwich in two bites and a personal record of two point one seconds.

Vinnie turns toward his mom, “What, Mom?”

“Vinnie, I want a hug.”

“But, Mom, the guys will see you hugging me. It’s bad form for the next fourth grade president.”

“Vincent.”

“Yes, Mom.” Vinnie trudges over and hugs his mom.

“Was that so hard?”

“Yes, Mom.”

“Vinnie and his mom turn and walk back toward their home. Vinnie’s mom says, “What happened at school today?”

“Wait till you hear, Mom. You won’t believe it.”

Oh my God, Vinnie’s mom thinks. It’s worse than I imagined.

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Vinnie: “Did Mrs. Mavis Tell You How Good I Was at School?” LOL

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Vinnie runs ahead of his mom up the sidewalk, leaping over three steps onto the porch and swinging the door open. Vinnie’s mom winces as she hears the door crash against the wall. Dexter, barking and howling in a combo hip hop and reggae rhythm chases Vinnie. 

From inside the house, Vinnie’s mom hears Vinnie screaming as if he has his volume turned up as high as it can go, “Rupert, Buddy, I’m home. I’m home. I’m free. I escaped from Mrs. Mavis.”

Vinnie’s mom, now halfway up the sidewalk to the house, looks around to see if anyone else hears him. She sees the three other mothers staring at her and shaking their heads. The mothers look at their children walking politely in front of them and smugly smile. Vinnie’s mom thinks, “I live in a totally different world. But, I wouldn’t trade it, sisters.”

Rupert remains faithful to where Vinnie placed him when he left, in the center of the bed facing the door. Vinnie slams open the door to his bedroom, he shouts, “Rupert’s trying to score. Vinnie stands between him and the goal line.”

Vinnie shucks his backpack at the door, dropping it on the floor. He takes three running steps and dives arms outstretched onto the bed wrapping his arms around Rupert. “I stopped you, Buddy.You almost made it. Better luck next time.”

Rupert never loses his composure or smile. Vinnie rolls onto his back and puts Rupert on his belly. Vinnie holds onto Rupert with his two hands. Vinnie says, “Buddy, you want me to tell you all about my day?”

Vinnie speaks in his falsetto voice for Rupert, “You know it, Bro. First tell me how you escaped from the clutches of the evil Mrs. Mavis.”

Vinnie says, “I only got put in time out four times today.”

Rupert says, “You were on your best behavior.”

“I tried, Buddy. I thought she was going to send me to the office after lunch when I was in line coming back from lunch.”

“What happened, Vinnie?” asks Rupert.

“Buddy, I hope she doesn’t email, Mom. Mom let me buy the school lunch today because it’s taco salad Monday. When lunch was over we had to go back to our classroom and line up outside the door.”

“Did you line up, Bro?” asks Rupert.

“I was first in line. I couldn’t wait to get in class to read my opening paragraph to my fiction story.”

“Oh, oh,” says Rupert.

“Mrs. Mavis was late, Buddy. I took charge and started making burps. I can make really long burps. I didn’t see Mrs. Mavis coming up behind me. Joey was pointing, but I was to busy going for my record. Larry was counting the seconds. I got off a five second burp.”

“That might be a world record,” says Rupert.

From the kitchen, “Vincent. We need to talk, now.”

“Opps, Buddy. I think Mom read an email from Mrs. Mavis.”

Vinnie let go of Rupert and sets him on his pillow. Vinnie rolls up and sits on the edge of his bed. He looks down into the adoring eyes of Dexter. Dexter sits on his haunches thinking his affectionate beagle look earns a treat.

Vinnie slides off the bed, bends over and hugs Dexter. He says, “Wish me luck, Dexter. If I don’t get stuck in my room for burping in school, I’ll sneak you a treat.”

Dexter understands the word treat. He barks. Vinnie heads out of his room, down the hallway and into the kitchen area. Vinnie’s mom is standing by the breakfast bar, a hand on each hip. 

Vinnie says, “Did Mrs. Mavis tell you how good I was today?”

Vinnie Returns Tomorrow

Does Vinnie walk, run, hop, skip, and jump to his own drummer? You bet he does. Join the fun.

Vinnie Returns on Tomorrow, June 24th

Vinnie Returns Monday

Vinnie believes he had a good day school, he was only in time out four times. LOL.

Vinnie Returns on Monday, June 24th

Vinnie’s Embarrassed by His Mom’s Hug

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Three-thirty, Monday afternoon. Vinnie’s mom stands alone on the sidewalk in front of the Johnson’s home on Mulberry Street holding Dexter’s leash. The Johnsons are next door neighbors. Three chatting moms stand together on the sidewalk twenty feet in further up the sidewalk. Dexter’s sniffing the grass on the Johnson’s lawn next to her. Vinnie’s mom is hoping Dexter doesn’t go poop while anyone is looking at her because she didn’t bring a poop bag to scoop the poop. 

Vinnie’s mom is facing State Street. That’s the corner where the school bus will stop and Vinnie will come leaping out of the bus, not touching the steps, land on the ground, throw his arms over his head in the air, and shout, ‘I stuck the landing, 10.0, 1o.o, 10.). Vinnie will turn around and face the students waiting to get off the bus, hold up his hands and say, No applause please.’ He’ll turn an race toward home as if he were being chased by a heat seeking missal.  Vinnie will be screaming, waving his arms, and leaping over bushes and flowerbeds. He’ll pays no attention to the cute little signs some neighbors put in the yard, Keep off the Grass, Pick up after your Dog. Flowers have feelings too. Vinnie’s mom thinks this is the reason none of the other moms want to stand next to her

The yellow school bus comes into view. The bus slows down, flashing orange lights. It stops, the stop sign on the driver’s side sticks out, the red flashing lights flash on and off. The school bus door opens.

Vinnie leaps out of the bus, his backpack slung over his back, his arms raised in a victory sign over his head. He lands. He turns around toward the bus door, “I stuck the landing, perfect scores again from all the judges.”

Vinnie holds up his arms and shouts, “Applause please if you want me to move out of the way.”

Joey and Larry, Vinnie’s friends, start chanting from inside the bus, “Vinnie, Vinnie, Vinnie.” The other four students, girls, clap their hands because they know Vinnie will not move until he gets his applause.

Vinnie bows, straightens up and says, “Thank you.” He turns and begins racing down Mulberry Street toward his mom and Dexter. He yells at the top of his lungs, “I broke out of prison. I’m free. I’m free. I’m free. They won’t take me alive.”

The three mothers standing together turn and stare at Vinnie’s mom. Vinnie’s mom smiles and waves at Vinnie. Vinnie’s racing toward her as if he is carrying a football. Dexter’s straining at the leash howling in a beagle soprano voice, which is something akin to three first year trumpet players trying to sound louder than each other. 

Vinnie leaps over a rose bush, looks over his shoulder and says, “Missed me.” 

Vinnie’s mom bends over with her arms outstretched thinking Vinnie is going to run into her arms and give her a hug. She’s mistaken. Vinnie races across the Johnson’s lawn and dives head first onto the grass. As he is soaring through the air, he hollers, “Touchdown.”

Vinnie’s mom lets go of the leash and Dexter is all over Vinnie. Vinnie gets up to his knees, he hugs Dexter’s head and says, “I got past you and scored, Buddy. You got to be quicker if you’re going stop me.”

Dexter doesn’t know what Vinnie said. His beagle instincts tell him to sniff Vinnie’s backpack. 

Vinnie says, “You’re such a smart dog. I got a treat from for you.” Vinnie slips off his backpack, opens it and sticks his arm inside. He pulls out a half sandwich. He says, “Joey gave me half of his hot dog sandwich his mom made him. How come you don’t make me good sandwiches like Joey’s mom makes for Joey?”

“Your tunafish sandwich is a healthier choice, that’s why. Why did Joey give you the half of sandwich?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

“Because he bought his lunch. He ate his other half of sandwich, then he saw they were having macaroni and cheese and he loves it. So he bought lunch. His mom gives him five dollars a week allowance. How come I don’t have an allowance, Mom? I’d probably buy lunch every day.”

Before Vinnie’s mom can answer, Vinnie says, “Dexter sit.” 

Dexter sits.

“Dexter, shake.”

Dexter shakes.

Vinnie gives Dexter the half of sandwich. 

Dexter consumes the sandwich in two bites and a personal record of two point one seconds.

Vinnie turns toward his mom, “What, Mom?”

“Vinnie, I want a hug.”

“But, Mom, the guys will see you hugging me. It’s bad form for the next fourth grade president.”

“Vincent.”

“Yes, Mom.” Vinnie trudges over and hugs his mom.

“Was that so hard?”

“Yes, Mom.”

“Vinnie and his mom turn and walk back toward their home. Vinnie’s mom says, “What happened at school today?”

“Wait till you hear, Mom. You won’t believe it.”

Oh my God, Vinnie’s mom thinks. It’s worse than I imagined.

Vinnie’s Mom Takes Rupert With Her to See the Psychologist – LOL

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Vinnie’s mom sits in a comfortable, leather covered chair in Doctor Samatha Samuels office. She picks a stack of magazines off the table next to her chair. She runs through them, People, Glamour, Cosmo, Elle, Vogue, and Woman’s Day. She shows the magazines to the person sitting next to her and says, “Rupert, do you want to look at a magazine?”

Vinnie’s mom tries to speak in Vinnie’s falsetto voice for Rupert, “No thanks, Mom. I’m meditating.”

The receptionist watches the verbal interaction between Vinnie’s mom and Vinnie’s stuffed grizzly bear, Rupert. She picks up her phone, presses a button, and says, “You need to see this.”

A moment later, a short, grey haired, grandmotherly woman opens the door. Dr. Samuels steps into the reception room and follows the receptionists arm and pointed finger toward Vinnie’s mom. She sees Vinnie’s mom holding Rupert on her lap and reading Cosmo to him.

Doctor Samuel clears her throat, “Excuse me. Mrs. Ricci, may I call you by your first name?”

Vinnie’s mom looks up from Cosmo, a red flush covers her face. She stands up holding Rupert against her side with her right hand. Vinnie’s mom says, “You can call me, Marti, it’s short for Martina.”

Vinnie’s mom glances at Rupert and turns her attention back to Doctor Samuel, “This is Rupert. You asked me to bring him to our session. I don’t believe he’s real. I was only having fun pretending I was Vinnie.” Vinnie’s mom takes a quick glance at Rupert to see if Rupert approves her answer. Rupert smiles. Then again, Rupert is always smiling. 

Doctor Samuel walks over and shakes Vinnie’s mom’s hand. She glances at Rupert and says, “Rupert, I’m Doctor Samuel. It’s a pleasure to know you.” Doctor Samuel shakes Rupert’s paw.

Vinnie’s mom answers for Rupert, “Thank you. It’s a pleasure to know you. Mom is not nuts.”

A moment later, Vinnie’s mom sinks into a cushy chair and feels as if she is sitting on the floor. Doctor Samuel’s sits in an equally cushy chair facing her. 

Doctor Samuel says, “What seems to be the problem other than believing Rupert is real?”

“That’s just it Doctor Samuel, Vinnie, my son, expects me to talk to Rupert and Dexter, his beagle, as if they are real people. My husband does it too.”

“Call me Sam, please.”

“Vinnie’s teacher is emailing me every day telling me Vinnie is disruptive and she wants him to be normal like everyone else.”

“Ah,” says Doctor Samuel, “And, Vinnie is not like every one else, right?”

“No, he isn’t. He’s always questioning. He’s always pushing Al and me to the edge. It’s like we have to listen to every word or he makes his own interpretation of what we mean.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“With what?”

“With everything?”

“I’m going nuts, that’s what’s wrong, Sam.”

Doctor Samuel leans forward and closer to Vinnie’s mom, “Vinnie sounds like an intelligent, inquisitive, eight year old. If you listen to the teacher, you’ll do him a large disservice.”

“But he gets sent to the office and put in time out at least four or five times a day.”

“Ha, it’s better than six times a day, right Rupert?”

Vinnie’s Mom stares at Rupert and hears Doctor Samuel try to imitate the voice Vinnie’s mom was using, “Right, Doctor Samuel. Vinnie’s my best friend. He tells me everything.”

Vinnie’s mom starts to wonder if Doctor Samuel is nuts. Vinnie’s mom says, I’m paying for the hour, not Rupert. He’s normal for a stuffed grizzly bear.” 

Doctor Samuel turns her attention away from Rupert to Vinnie’s mom. “No, Rupert is not normal. He’s much smarter than the average stuffed grizzly bear. Believe me, I know.”

Vinnie’s mom decides not to bring Dexter, the family overweight beagle and Vinnie second best friend into the conversation.

Vinnie’s mom tries to change the conversation. She says, “You should hear the beginning of Vinnie’s fiction story. He’s doing a fiction story about running for class president of the fourth grade. It’s not fiction, he really is running for class president. He’s only making the names and places different. It’s obvious he’s using Mrs. Mavis, his teacher, in the story and it’s not complimentary. They do not get along. He calls her Mrs. Mapis.”

Doctor Samuel starts laughing, “That’s rich. I like it. I didn’t like my third grade teacher. I had this crush on Lester and I wanted to pass him notes with hearts on it. But, my third grade teacher caught me passing notes and made a production out of it.”

“Is this my session or yours?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

“I have problems too and by sharing them we help each other,” says Doctor Samuel.

“I’m paying two-hundred dollars and hour for help. Can I get a refund?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

“Sorry, they taught us in graduate school, never to give refunds, it sets a bad example. Now, I was saying about Lester … Marti? Marti? Where are you going? You still have twenty minutes. Please don’t take Rupert we were enjoying each other.”

Fifteen minutes later Vinnie’s mom is driving home, she speed dials Vinnie’s dad. He answers.Vinnie’s mom blurts, “You’re not going to believe this.”

“I’ll Eat Mom, But Do I Have to Like It?” LOL

Vinnie’s dad is in to 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.”

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