Vinnie’s Game ~ Vinnie Makes Up His Own Rules


There is no such thing as global warming. There is no such thing as global warming. There is no such thing as global warming, Vinnie’s dad repeats over and over again. Vinnie’s dad stands staring out the window as the rain shows no signs of relenting. Five days straight and it pours and pours and pours. 

“You’re not going to make it stop raining, dear, by standing at the window and chanting,” hollers Vinnie’s mom from the study.

“It can’t hurt,” Vinnie’s dad calls back.

“Dad’s right. In the book I’m reading, a wizard chanted and tossed a magic potion in the air and winter turned into summer,” yells Vinnie from his bedroom.

“Are you reading now, Vinnie?” asks his mom.

“No, mom. I’m drawing pictures of Mrs. Navis to give to my classmates on Monday.”

“Vincent, don’t you dare. Throw all those drawing away this instant,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“Why, Mom? Under each picture I’m writing, teacher of the year. I think she’ll be happy. And, she’s smiling in each drawing. Remember, you told me you thought I could be an artist?”

“Yes, I remember what I said, but some people, especially teachers can be very sensitive. She may take it the wrong way,” hollers Vinnie’s Mom from the study. “Promise me you’ll toss them away.”

“Why, Mom? What if I cross out the word, worse from before teacher of the year on each picture?” asks Vinnie sincerely.

“OMG,” screams Vinnie’s mom.

“What if we all play a board game,” suggests Vinnie’s dad. 

“I’m in. What are we going to play? Can we play Battleship?” hollers Vinnie.

Vinnie’s mom jumps in, “No. I can’t take the sound effects you make, Vincent.”

“I only make them when I sink your ship, Mom. Since Dad is going to play with us, I can make them when I sink his ships too.”

“No,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“No,” says Vinnie’s dad.

“How about Clue, Dad? I already know Colonel Mustard did it,” says Vinnie.

“How can you know Colonel Mustard did it when we have started playing?” says Vinnie’s mom with an edge to her voice.

“Dear, you’re getting upset over nothing,” says Vinnie’s dad.

Vinnie’s mom hollers from the study, “You know how family board games go. They always start out as a good idea, but they end up differently.”

“I love board games, Mom. We have lots of fun. Remember when we played Monopoly last week and I put six hotels on my property?” says Vinnie.

“That’s the whole point, you can’t put six hotels on your property. You’re only allowed to put one hotel on your property,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“But, Mom. That’s only right when you play by the rules. I like to make my own rules. Don’t you think my rules are better than the game rules? That’s what I told Mrs. Navis.”

“You didn’t!” shouted Vinnie’s mom.

“Vinnie has a point, Dear,” says Vinnie’s dad.

“Rupert, when I told Mrs. Navis I wanted to play by different rules than classroom rules, she sent me to the counselor. Don’t tell Mom,” says Vinnie to his stuffed grizzly bear.

“You’re always taking his side,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“Thanks, Dad. I’ll get the Clue game. 


Vinnie’s Mom Needs a Glass of Wine


“Mom, Mom, Mom!” asks Vinnie from the back seat.

Vinnie’s Mom twists her head to slightly toward the backseat of the car. “Yes, Vincent?”

“Want to hear my side of the story about practice?”

“I think I’ve heard enough from Sister Janet.”

“What did she say, Mom. I was really good. Everybody was staring at me I was so good. I played my part really, really well,” says Vinnie.

Vinnie’s mom turns toward back toward the front. Without looking at Vinnie’s dad, she says, “You know he takes after your side of the family. Don’t disagree with me, I’m not in the mood. I am so embarrassed, Sister Janet told me she doesn’t think Vincent understands how to play a donkey. How hard is it to play a donkey?”

“Dad, if you don’t know, I can help,” says Vinnie from the back seat.

Vinnie’s mom turns slightly toward the back seat, “Not another word. Not another word. We will discuss this when we get home.”

“Can I talk to Rupert? Please. I need to talk to somebody. You are always telling me it’s no good to hold it in. That’s what you said your psychologist told you.”

Vinnie’s dad spoke, “Sister Janet doesn’t understand children, especially boys.”

“That’s right, Dad,” calls Vinnie.

“Vincent! Not another word,” advises his mom.

“But, Mom. She doesn’t. She got mad when she had all of us singing Silent Night, I sang it like a donkey. It doesn’t make sense for a donkey to sing words, does it, Mom?”

“Vinnie’s got a point, dear,” says his Dad.

“Thanks, Dad. I bet Santa is going to be good to you,” says Vinnie.

“I’m not so sure about that,” says Vinnie’s mother. 

“I am, Mom. I know because I put in a good word with Santa for both of you. Can we hang stockings tonight, Mom, in case Santa comes early.”

“Christmas is four days away, Vincent. I promised Sister Janet you’d behave for the living nativity on Wednesday evening. You don’t want me to disappoint Sister Janet, right?”

“Mom, I don’t think any donkey in the world can lie still for forty-five minutes. Sister Janet got mad because I got up and walked around, but I walked around on all fours like a real donkey. I bet Mary and Joseph didn’t get mad when the donkey got up and walked around.”

Vinnie’s mom twists her head a bit toward Vinnie’s dad, “I’m surprised more women don’t become nuns.”

“Are you thinking of becoming a nun, Mom?”

“Dear, can you drive a little faster. I need a glass of wine,” says Vinnie’s mom. 

“Vinnie?” asks his dad.

“Yes, Dad?” 

“If you can play the donkey part exactly the way Sister Janet wants you to play the part, we’ll go to laser tag on Thursday morning. How’s that sound?” asks his dad.

“Don’t bribe him,” says Vinnie’s mom.

“It’s okay, Mom. Dad can bribe me.”

“I feel a migraine coming on. Are we almost home?” says Vinnie’s mom.

“Do you want Rupert to rub your neck, Mom? Rupert is really good at making you feel better.”

Vinnie’s Mom turns around and faces Vinnie, “I love you, Vinnie. I cannot stay upset with  you.”

Vinnie gives his mom a hug, then says, “I feel the same way about you, Mom. I can’t stay upset with you either.”