Vinnie’s mom prepares a healthy snack for the Grizzlies, AKA, Vinnie, Joey, Larry, and Sara. She carries a tray with a plate of apple slices covered with peanut butter, multigrain crackers and hummus, celery sticks loaded with cream cheese, and four snack sized boxes of raisons to the Grizzlies. Vinnie’s mom stops next to the group and says, ”It’s time for a break. I made some healthy snacks for you.”
Dexter is on it. He hears one of the ten important beagle vocabulary words, snack. He rises to his haunches and barks.
Vinnie’s mom says, “None for you, Dexter. You’re on a diet.”
Diet is not a word in the beagle vocabulary. He hears his name and that is good enough for him to anticipate food.
Vinnie looks at the tray and says, “Mom, can we go to Joey’s house for a snack?”
Vinnie’s mom rolls her eyes and says, “These snacks will give you the energy you need for your group.”
Sara picks an apple slice off the tray and says, “Thank you, Mrs. Ricci. I love to eat healthy snacks.”
Vinnie, Larry, and Joey look at each other. Vinnie bends over close to Joey and whispers something in his ear.
Vinnie’s mom says, “Vinnie, what did you say to Joey?”
“I was talking to Joey about healthy food, Mom. Why?”
Vinnie’s mom tries to give Vinnie a look, but Vinnie takes a hold of Rupert and puts Rupert in front of his face so Rupert is looking at Vinnie’s mom. Rupert says, “I’ll watch Vinnie for you, Mom. You got nothing to worry about.”
“Thank you, Rupert. I know I can count on you,” says Vinnie’s mom as she turns around returns to the house.
“Your mom talks to Rupert?” asked Sara.
“Yah. At first she was upset because she’s in Mensa and Rupert is smarter than anyone in Mensa. But, she got used to it. When she needs advice she talks to Rupert.”
“Can I hold Rupert,” asks Sara.
“No. Only people who go through the secret initiation can hold Rupert,” says Vinnie.
Larry and Joey look at each other. Joey says, “Can I go through the secret initiation, Vinnie?”
Vinnie answers, “Did you text your Mom about the snacks we need?”
“Yah. She is going to hand me a bag over the fence. Don’t get mad, but this stuff your mom made makes me wanna puke.”
“Me too,” says Larry.
Sara takes another slice of apple. She looks at Joey and Larry, “You two are disgusting.”
Vinnie takes the hummus and sets it on the deck. Dexter is on it quicker than a mosquito on human skin at twilight in the middle of summer. Vinnie says, “Let’s tune our instruments.”
“What instruments? I don’t see any,” says Sara.
Vinnie looks at Sara, “It was Rupert’s idea. He came up with another brilliant one. He told me we should all play air instruments.”
“That is the dumbest idea I ever heard in my life,” says Sara.
“What’s dumber, wasting a whole summer taking music lessons learning to play some instrument or playing air instruments. Let’s vote. All in favor of taking lessons as being the dumbest idea ever raise hands.”
Joey, Larry, and Vinnie raise hands. Vinnie raises Rupert’s right paw. He says, “Shake, Dexter.” Dexter raises his right paw. Vinnie gives Dexter all of the celery sticks with cream cheese. Dexter isn’t quite sure what happened, but he thinks he hit the beagle mother load.
“How are you voting, Sara?” asks Vinnie.
“First, it’s not fair, you bribed Dexter. I’m not voting. This is stupid,” says Sara.
“Is too fair. Dexter, shake if you think it’s fair,” says Vinnie.
Joey pulls a half eaten Slim Jim beef jerky stick out of his pocket and tosses it to Vinnie. Vinnie catches it with his right hand, holds it out for Dexter. Dexter who already consumed all of the celery sticks, drops to his haunches and lifts his left paw. In case you didn’t know, beagles are ambidextrous. Dexter the Slim Jim. Dexter is much on chewing, he swallows the Slim Jim whole.
“That’s gross,” says Sara.
“What instrument you gonna play,” asks Joey,
Vinnie holds Rupert in front of his face. Rupert is smiling at Sara. Rupert says, “I think you could play a great air piano or air fiddle.”
Sara puts her hand to her jaw, purses her lips, turns back to Rupert and says, “If I play air piano, Rupert, can I have a solo?”