Vinnie’s Mom Tells Vinnie It’s for His Own Good


Vinnie’s dad tosses a glance at Vinnie’s mom and says, “We can do this. We can beat Dexter and Rupert.”

“I don’t think so, Dad. Did you know Rupert’s IQ is higher than a genius. It’s even higher than Einstein’s IQ.”

Vinnie’s mom says, “I am not going to let a stuffed animal and beagle beat me. What is Rupert’s IQ. I’m a Mensa member.”

Vinnie’s dad slowly counts to ten, he has a feeling the Mensa member next to him is not going to like the answer.

Vinnie’s mom is not to be bested by a stuffed grizzly bear. She says, “Well, for Rupert’s information, Mensa is the oldest society in the world for high IQ people. You have to have a very high IQ to be included in Mensa. If Rupert’s IQ is so high he would be in Mensa with me.”

Vinnie’s dad is wondering why Vinnie’s mom is sparring with an eight-year-old and a stuffed grizzly bear. He decides not ask.

Vinnie puts Rupert next to his ear. He gently shakes Rupert causing Rupert’s head to bounce. Vinnie nods his head while he’s shaking Rupert. He sets Rupert on his lap and says, “Mom, Rupert told me he is too smart to be in Mensa. He has an IQ of one-thousand twenty-five. He thinks it’s higher but the IQ test can’t go any higher. What is Mensa anyway?”

Vinnie’s mom rolls her eyes and says, “Never mind. Rupert, would I recognize whatever this thing is if I saw it? And, you can’t make up something Dad and I don’t know.” 

Rupert says, “Of course, Mom. Everybody in the world knows the answer. It’s obvious.”

“I am not your mother, Rupert. I am only Vinnie’s mother,” says Vinnie’s mom.

Rupert answers in a sad falsetto voice, “But, you’re the only mom I know.”

“Please, Mom. Will you be Rupert’s mom. He’s starting to cry. Everybody needs a mom and you’re the second best mom I know,” says Vinnie. He adds, “You’d be the best mom I know if I could eat unhealthy snacks once in a while. Joey’s mom lets Joey eat anything he wants and stay up as late as he wants and …”

“I don’t care what Joey’s mom does with Joey. I only care about you. Everything I do for you is for your good.”

“That’s what Mrs. Navis says all the time when she corrects me. Did she tell you to say that to me at one of your conferences?” asks Vinnie.

Vinnie’s dad says softly, “Just tell him you want to be Rupert’s mom so we can go ahead with the game.”

“Do you know what you just asked me to do?” says Vinnie’s mom.

“Uh huh. It’s the only way through, Dear.”

“Rupert, I am your mom. Do you feel better? That does not count as a question,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“Thank you, Mom. Does this make Vinnie and me brothers?” asks Rupert in his falsetto voice. “BTW, Mom, you’re down to fourteen questions.”

Vinnie’s dad interrupts the conversation, “Does the answer begin with a vowel?”

Rupert says, “Once in a while, but most of the time, no?”

“What kind of answer is that, Rupert?” asks Vinnie’s mom. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Vinnie raises his hand, “Oooh. Oooh. Oooh. I know. I know.”

Vinnie turns Rupert to face him. Rupert speaks to Vinnie, “It’s Mom’s turn. Do you mind if I call you Bro sometimes, since we’re brothers?”

Vinnie’s dad covers his mouth to stop from laughing. Vinnie’s mom is deciding whether to be angry or to laugh. She’s walking a tightrope high above the ground with gusty winds swirling around her. She makes a mental note to find a different child psychologist.

“You can be my Bro, Rupert.”

“Thanks, Bro. Fist bump,” says Rupert. Vinnie raises Rupert’s paw and fists bumps. He turns Rupert around to face Vinnie’s mom.

Rupert says, “Mom, do you have any more questions or do you want to guess. If you don’t, it’s Vinnie’s turn and I’m sure he will win.”

“Is this thing imaginary or real?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

“It’s real,” answers Rupert. 

“You said it wasn’t grass. Does it have anything to do with a volcano? Sometimes volcanos come to life and most of the time they are quiet.”

“It could and then it couldn’t, Mom,” says Rupert.

“I can’t take anymore. What is the answer?”

“I can’t tell you, Mom. It’s Vinnie’s turn,” says Rupert as Vinnie turns Rupert around to face him.

“I can’t wait,” says Vinnie’s mom.

Vinnie and Rupert look at each other. Rupert says, “Bro, do you want to ask me a question before you answer?”

Vinnie’s dad can’t hold back, he starts laughing.

“Don’t encourage him, Dear,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“I don’t need to ask a question, Bro. Can I give you the answer?” asks Vinnie.

Vinnie shakes Rupert’s head. Rupert says, “Un huh.”

“Is it a Zombie?”

“Bing, buzz, ding ding, we have a winner,” says Rupert.

“A Zombie? A Zombie? says Vinnie’s mom. “It does not begin with a vowel.”

“Sometimes they are known as the undead, mom. All the kids know about zombies. How come you don’t know about zombies, Mom? I thought you were smart. Rupert knows all about zombies. Now you know he has a higher IQ than you.”

“Are we almost there?” asks Vinnie’s mom.


Writer’s Wisdom ~ Isaac Asimov on Rejection

Rejections don’t really hurt after you stop bleeding, and even a rejection serves to introduce the writer’s name to an editor, particularly if a rejected story is competently written. ~ Isaac Asimov

Writer’s Wisdom ~ Robert Benchley

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.
– Robert Benchley

Writer’s Wisdom ~ Kurt Vonnegut #3 of 3

Write to be Understood: If I broke all the rules of punctuation, had words mean whatever I wanted them to mean, and strung them together higgledly-piggledy, I would simply not be understood. So you, too, had better avoid Picasso-style or jazz-style writing if you have something worth saying and wish to be understood. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Vinnie Returns Monday

Vinnie his mom his stuffed grizzly bear, Rupert, has a higher IQ than she does. (It’s not going to be pretty, but it will be fun).

The Psychologist Said, “Vinnie is Going Through a Stage”


In the infinite space between the beginning of 20 Questions and awareness the game started, Vinnie’s mom recalls her family singing songs they all knew and how they laughed when they made up words. She wonders for a millisecond if it might work with Vinnie and decides against it. Vinnie will either sing in Rupert’s falsetto voice or howl like a dog and tell her it’s Dexter. Singing is out. 

What are you thinking, Dear? asks Vinnie’s dad.

“Oh, uh, what I will do when it’s my turn. You know I’m going to win,” says Vinnie’s mom careful not to bring the singing thought up in case Vinnie wants to go with it. 

Vinnie jumps in, “Don’t be too sure, Mom. Rupert and Dexter want to play.”

Vinnie’s mom turns toward the rear seat, “Vincent, Rupert and Dexter can watch, they cannot play this game.”

Vinnie’s dad grabs hold of the steering wheel with both hands. He takes a deep breath and releases it slowly hoping it will stem an anxiety he feels rising within him.

Vinnie says, “That’s not fair, Mom. You’re jealous of Rupert because he’s smarter than you.”

Vinnie’s mom feels the overwhelming urge to say, “Rupert is a stuffed grizzly bear. He cannot think. He cannot talk. He’s made of cotton, glass eyes, and plastic toenails.” The psychologist told her that it’s appropriate and healthy for Vinnie to fantasize, assuring her Vinnie will outgrow the stage. Following the psychologist’s advice, Vinnie’s mom says, “I admit Rupert is a genius. It won’t be fair to have him in the game. He’ll win each round.”

Vinnie’s mom feels a sense of pride in how well she handled this delicate situation. 

Vinnie’s says, “It’s too late, Mom. I already passed my turn to Rupert. He’s going first. Right, Rupert?”

Vinnie holds Rupert up to face him. He shakes Rupert’s head affirmatively and answers in Rupert’s falsetto voice, “I’m ready to play.” 

Vinnie turns Rupert around to face front. Vinnie’s Mom says, “Dear, say something. Help me here.”

Vinnie’s dad says, “Rupert are you thinking of something living?”

Vinnie’s mom says, “I’ll show Rupert who’s the smartest.”

Vinnie’s dad says, “It’s only a game.”

Rupert says, “Game on. It could be living and it could be dead.”

Vinnie’s dad says, “Oh, oh.”

Vinnie’s mom says, “Vincent, something is either living or it’s not living. Now, which is it?” 

Rupert answers, “Mom, it’s my question, not Vinnie’s question.”

“I am not your mother, you dumb grizzly bear,” the thought rushes quickly through Vinnie’s mother’s mind. She says, “Excuse me, Rupert. Can you explain what you mean when you say ‘it could be living or it could be dead?’

Vinnie turns Rupert around to face him. Vinnie’s mouth moves but no sounds come from it. Periodically, Rupert shakes his head. Vinnie turns Rupert around to face front. Rupert says, “It’s living most of the time, but sometimes it’s dead. That’s one question. You only have nineteen more.”

Vinnie’s dad says, “Is it grass?”

“No, eighteen questions.”

“Dear, no wild guesses. Let’s ask more questions,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“I thought it was a good guess,” says Vinnie’s dad.

“It was the worse guess ever, Dad,” says Vinnie.

“Why was it the worse guess ever?” asks Vinnie’s dad.

“Seventeen questions,” says Rupert.

“How much further to the hotel, Dear,” says Vinnie’s mom.

From the rear seat in a falsetto voice, “Sixteen questions.”