Vinnie Returns on Monday

Vinnie’s at it again. He has to come up with a science project for the upcoming science fair. His poor teacher. His poor mother. His dad doesn’t have a clue. LOL Vinnie Returns on Monday.


Wellness Tip

4 Wellness Tips

  1. Learn ways to say “no” when something occurs that you do not want to do or be involved with.
  2. Have fun (go on a trip with someone you love, go shopping, go fishing; do not let vacation time slip away).
  3. Let yourself be pleased with your achievements, both big and small (develop contentment).
  4. Have a network of friends; those with strong social support systems lead healthier lives. SOURCE

Vinnie’s Mom Pleads, “What’s happening to me? Have I lost it?”


Vinnie’s mom smiles at Vinnie’s dad’s reassurance. Vinnie’s mom says, “I’m ready for the question Vinnie. You understand, I know my dad better than anyone here, so I have an unfair advantage over Rupert and Dexter.”

Vinnie glances over at a dozing Dexter. He looks at the ever smiling, ever black glass eyes wide open alert Rupert, “Rupert and Dexter got this, Mom. Rupert says you’re going down.”

“We’ll see about that, Vinnie. Tell Rupert and Dexter, ‘Game on.'”

Vinnie’s dad touches Vinnie’s mom’s shoulder, “Don’t push this one too hard, Dear. You know I love your dad, but he’s only human.”

Vinnie’s mom turns toward Vinnie’s dad, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Vinnie’s dad puts his hands up in mock surrender, “All I meant to say was you and I love everything about your dad. Sometimes other people see things a little different from how we see them.”

Vinnie’s mom shoots a couple of eye darts toward Vinnie’s dad and turns back to Vinnie. What’s the question, Vinnie? If I get it right, do Dad and I win and the game’s over?”

“Let me talk with the rules committee, Mom,” says Vinnie. Vinnie takes hold of Rupert, scoots off his chair and squats down on the floor next to Dexter. Vinnie sets Rupert next to him facing Dexter.

Vinnie’s mom whispers to Vinnie’s dad, “I can’t see him. What’s he doing?”

“He’s talking to the rules committee. Evidently, the chair of the committee is a stuffed grizzly bear and the associate chair is an overweight beagle who can’t say no to food.”

Vinnie’s mom says, “What are they saying to him?”

“Get a grip, Dear,” says Vinnie’s dad to Vinnie’s mom.

“What’s happening to me? Have I lost it? Why do I think a stuffed grizzly bear and an overweight beagle can make up game rules,” says Vinnie’s mom looking at Vinnie’s dad, her eyes pleading for understanding.

Before Vinnie’s dad responds, Vinnie is back on his seat. Rupert is sitting against the lunch box, and Dexter is in a semi-conscious state alert for the potential of late morning snack or full course meal.

Vinnie says, “I talked the rules committee, Mom. They said sure, it’s winner take all but don’t feel bad when you lose.” 

“We’ll see, Vincent,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“Mom, the question has a couple of parts. You have to answer all the parts, but it doesn’t matter the order.”

“Okay, what are the questions, Vinnie? Please. I really need a break,” says Vinnie’s mom.

Vinnie says, “When Gramps visits in the summer and sits on the deck swing with me, lots of times he kind of lifts one leg and farts. Then he says, “Did you hear Dexter fart? First part, Mom, why does Gramps fart in front of me and then laugh like it’s funny? The second part, why does he blame Dexter when Dexter didn’t fart? And the third part, does Gramps have to go to confession with Father Mike and confess he wrongly blamed Dexter?”

Vinnie’s mom turns four shade of red, her eyes squint nearly shut, and she starts rubbing her temples.

“Well, Mom? You have ten seconds to start answering, 10 … 9 … 8 … 7 …”

“Alright, alright. It was Dexter, not Gramps who farted. That’s why he laughed. Since he was telling the truth, he has nothing to confess. I win, game over.”

“Mom? Wrong. Wrong. And, wrong.”

“How do you know I’m wrong?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

“Simple, Mom. Gramps lifted his leg and the sound of a drum rolled out from underneath him. And, Dexter’s …”

“Let’s not discuss this any more. The whole question is disgusting,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“I agree, Mom. And, it smells bad, too,” says Vinnie.

Vinnie’s dad starts laughing. “That’s pretty good, Vinnie. Did you think of that yourself?”

“No. I was telling Larry about it and his mom overheard us and she said it.”

“I don’t dare show my face ever again outside this house,” says Vinnie’s mom. 

“Game’s over, Mom. I’m bored. Thanks for playing,” says Vinnie.

Fifteen minutes later, Vinnie’s mom quietly opens the door to Vinnie’s room. She sees him lying on his bed, asleep, his arm around Rupert. Dexter is lying on the floor next to Vinnie’s bed. Vinnie’s mom quietly walks into the kitchen and motions Vinnie’s dad to follow her. They both peer in on him. Vinnie’s mom says, “It looks like we wore him out. He looks so peaceful and innocent while he’s asleep.”

“I wish we could bottle it and give it to him to drink,” says Vinnie’s dad sliding his arm around Vinnie’s mom’s waist.

“I’ll make some coffee and we’ll have a few free moments before I wake him for lunch,” says Vinnie’s mom. She closes the door. Vinnie’s mom and dad head toward the kitchen.

Vinnie peeks over his shoulder, “They’re finally gone, Rupert. Let’s play Mind Craft. Don’t worry, Dexter. Here’s a tofu hot dog for you.”


Please Check on Vinnie


Vinnie’s dad continues to massage Vinnie’s mom’s shoulders. An eery quiet comes from the kitchen, then a beep and another beep, then the sound of the microwave. “Vinnie’s making popcorn.”

“Vinnie’s mom twists her head and looks up at Vinnie’s dad, “Go check on him. I don’t trust him.”

Vinnie’s dad gives a small chuckle, “What could go wrong with making a bag of microwave popcorn. You worry too much.”

The sound of the popcorn popping grows louder, faster, and with the furious beat of an angry rapper. “I don’t like the sound of the popcorn in the microwave, Dear. Please check on Vinnie.”

Vinnie’s dad says, “Listen to the popping, it’s almost …”

An explosion of sorts, the slamming of the microwave door against the cabinets, and Vinnie’s voice, “Wow! This is great. There’s popcorn everywhere. You should see this dad.”

Vinnie’s mom is out of the chair like a rocket taking off for the International Space Station. Vinnie’s dad follows a safe distance behind prepared for a series of ‘I told you so.’

Vinnie’s mom stands in the entryway into the kitchen, arms akimbo, “My God, what happen? There’s popcorn everywhere. What happened to the microwave? Popcorn and popcorn bags are sticking to the sides and tops. What did you do, Vincent.” 

“Nothing, Mom. Honest. I asked Rupert if I could pop three bags of popcorn together on high and he thought it was a good idea. He really likes the game and wanted to get back to play it.”

“You asked Rupert what you should do?” says Vinnie’s Mom.

“Yes, Mom. You always told me when I’m not sure of something, to ask someone smarter than me. Rupert is the smartest person I know.”

Vinnie’s mom turns to Vinnie’s dad, “Don’t say anything. Hold me. I need to get centered. 

Vinnie’s dad holds Vinnie’s mom in his arms. Vinnie’s mom lays her head on Vinnie’s dad’s shoulder and whispers, “Does this make Rupert smarter than you and me?”

Vinnie’s dad isn’t sure what to say. Instead, he strokes Vinnie’s mom’s hair and says, “You have to admit, life around here isn’t boring.” 

Vinnie calls over, “Mom, no need to worry about clean up, Dexter’s almost done. Can I lift him up and stick his head inside the microwave?”

Vinnie’s mom breaks loose from Vinnie’s dad. She looks at Vinnie’s dad and says, “I told you so. No, Vincent, don’t stick Dexter’s head in the microwave.”

“What did you tell, Dad, Mom? Did he remember? I bet he wasn’t listening to you. Is this true, Dad?”

“Let me help Dexter clean up,” says Vinnie’s dad. Vinnie’s mom starts laughing.

Ten minutes later the family is sitting at the kitchen table. Rupert is sitting on the table, his back braced against the lunchbox. Dexter is lying on the floor sleeping off three bags of popcorn.

Vinnie’s mom says, “Vincent, I am really trying to be patient with you. My patience meter is running on empty. I want this game to end quickly so I can soak in the tub undisturbed by any male in the house.”

Vinnie smiles, “Awe, Mom. Why don’t you take your bath now. We can play when you finish.”

“No, we’ll finish it now.”

Vinnie’s dad sits stoically staring at a photo of the three of them at Six Flags. His first thought was the happy time they all had, then he remembered what Vinnie did on the water slide. He decided not to bring it up.

Vinnie’s says, “Since you didn’t answer the question about Gramma’s teeth, I’ll ask you one about Grampa since he has most of his teeth. Is it okay?”

Vinnie’s Mom says, “Promise it’s not about Grampa’s teeth.”

“I promise, Mom,” says Vinnie.

Vinnie’s dad interrupts, “Perhaps we should narrow his choices down a bit more, Dear.”

Vinnie’s mom looks at Vinnie’s dad and says, “What could he ask that would embarrass me?”

Vinnie’s dad can think of seventy-three things, but smiles and nods.

Vinnie says, “Mom, when Gramma and Grampa visit us and have dinner with us, Grampa sits on sofa and wants me to sit next to him. I don’t want to sit next to him and Dexter doesn’t like lying on the floor near him. And, Rupert doesn’t want to sit on the sofa with him. Why can’t Dad sit next to him and me and Dexter and Rupert play in my room until dinner?”

“That’s terrible, Vincent. You love, Grampa, right?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

“Sure, Mom. I love Grampa. That’s not the reason I don’t want to sit with him.”

“Well, Vincent. What is the reason you don’t want to sit next to Grampa? says Vinnie’s mom.

“I wouldn’t go there, Dear,” says Vinnie’s dad.

“Where, Dad?” says Vinnie.

“Yes, where?” says Vinnie’s mom.”

Vinnie’s dad glances at Vinnie. He says, “Vinnie, I think Dexter has to go outside after all the popcorn. Do you mind taking him into the backyard? We’ll be ready to play when you come back. Here’s a dollar if you do it without saying a word.”

Vinnie grabs the dollar and head toward the kitchen, Dexter follows believing he’s getting more food.

Vinnie’s mom says, “That was so wrong to reward him to do what he’s supposed to do.”

“I needed to get Vinnie off the game before he asked you the question,” says Vinnie’s dad.

“Dad is the most gentle soul. Vinnie loves him. They’re best buds when he visits. What question could he ask that might bother me?” asks Vinnie’s mom.

Vinnie’s dad thinks about it for a moment. He weighs the pros and cons of answering this question forthrightly and honestly. Then he says, “I can’t think of a single question Vinnie could ask that will bother you.”


Vinnie Returns Monday Testing His Mom’s Limits

Vinnie can’t help himself, he’s an 8-year old boy with a vivid imagination. He returns on Monday.

Vinnie Helps His Mom Out


Vinnie sticks Rupert’s hand into his lunch box. He moves Rupert’s hand around, first this way and then that way. “Pick out an easy one for Mom, Rupert. She’s in last place. I always thought boys are smarter than girls.”

Vinnie’s mom puts two fingers to her lips and lets go with a shrill whistle, “Hold on, Buster. Boys are not smarter than girls.”

“No need to get upset, Mom. I’m trying to help you out,” says Vinnie.

“I don’t want an easy question. I want the hardest question you have in the lunch box. I’ll prove girls are just as smart as boys.”

“That’s the spirit, Mom. Already, my game is more exciting than Clue, don’tcha think?” asked Vinnie.

“Vinnie’s dad glances at Vinnie’s mom, “Vinnie’s makes a point. Vinnie, I have a question about the game.”

“Sure, Dad. If I can’t answer it, either Rupert or Dexter can answer it. They helped me with the questions,” says Vinnie.

“When does the game end?” asks Vinnie’s dad.

“End? It doesn’t ever end. That’s what makes my game great, Dad. It never ends so there is no official loser. Problem is there is no official winner. Rupert is still working on the last part.”

Vinnie’s mom interrupts, “Vinnie, this doesn’t make sense. A game has to end. All games have winners and losers. Let’s play to ten points. The first person to get ten points is the winner. I think we can all agree to that.”

Vinnie shakes his head, “Mom, you’re thinking like an adult. You have to start thinking like a kid. If kids ruled the world we wouldn’t have wars or bad stuff going on. All that stuff comes from adults.”

“That’s pretty good, Vinnie,” says Vinnie’s dad.

“Quit taking Vincent’s side,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“I wasn’t taking Vinnie’s side. You have to admit he’s got a point, Dear,” says Vinnie’s dad.

Vinnie’s mom’s face turns a tad red, she turns to face Vinnie’s dad. She says, “I’ll grant you, Vinnie has a point. But who has been in charge? It’s boys who grew up to be men. I’d like to see woman rule the world for a change.”

Vinnie becomes bored with the conversation and slips away from the table and heads to the refrigerator. While he is away, Rupert keeps an eye on the players. Dexter follows Vinnie to the refrigerator. Vinnie opens the refrigerator door and stands in front of the open refrigerator staring at all the choices. There’s nothing he sees that he likes. If Dexter were taking a multiple choice test, he’d circle all the above. Vinnie removes a plate with two pieces of left over grilled chicken breast and tips the plate letting the chicken drop on the floor. He puts the empty plate back in the refrigerator. Closes the door and heads back to the table. Dexter stays behind eating his gourmet snack. 

Vinnie climbs into his chair, “Where were we when the game got interrupted?”

Vinnie’s dad is happy to get out of a conservation where he was losing ground faster than a bob sled going downhill. “Uh, I’ll think about what you said, Dear. You make a good point. Vinnie, I asked you how we would know when the game ends.”

“Right, Dad. I told you it never ends. You just had a memory fail, Dad. Never mind, I’ll pick a hard question for Mom. If it’s too hard, Mom, I’ll put it back and keep pulling one out until you think you can answer it,” says Vinnie giving his mom his best helpful look. 

Vinnie’s mom rolls her eyes and watches Vinnie stick his hand in his lunch box and squirrel it around. Vinnie pulls out a folded piece of paper. He carefully unfolds it and shows it to Rupert, “Do you think this is a good question for Mom, Rupert?”

Vinnie shakes Rupert so Rupert’s head moves. Vinnie’s mom silently prays, “Lord, we’d try for another child, but what if she was a he and he was a Vinnie clone? It is too much for any human to bear.”