It’s a bit past midnight, Vinnie’s mom and dad are in bed. Vinnie’s mom stares at the digital clock on her bedside table. She reaches back and touches Vinnie’s Dad. She says, “Are you awake?”
Vinnie’s dad doesn’t respond.
Vinnie’s mom turns over and puts her mouth close to Vinnie’s dad’s ear and says a bit louder, “Are you awake?”
Vinnie’s dad struggles to open his eyes. He says, “Make me some coffee while I shower. I feel like I only slept a couple of hours.”
Vinnie’s moms says, “I haven’t slept. I’m worried. You have to help me.”
“What time is it? Do we need to talk about this now?”
Vinnie’s dad rolls onto his back, “Did I forget our anniversary? Maybe your birthday. I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you. Is it still yesterday or is it tomorrow. If it’s tomorrow, I’ll make it up to you today.”
“We need to talk about Vinnie. I won’t be able to sleep until we’ve settled everything.”
Vinnie’s dad struggles to sit up. He adjusts his pillow behind his back. He tries to remember what a sensitive male is supposed to do in these situations. He says, “Do you need a glass of wine?”
“What are you talking about? I want to talk about Vinnie,” whispers Vinnie’s mom.
“You mean, Blackbeard the pirate?” chuckles Vinnie’s dad.
“It’s not funny. We both know Vinnie doesn’t do anything half way. He’s either all in or he’s out. Recall his detective agency? He and Joey were following Sara and her mother was hysterical.”
“I do remember, but he made our neighborhood safe,” says Vinnie’s dad.
“You’re walking on egg shells. You need to be serious. I will keep you up all night,” says Vinnie’s mom indignantly.
“Help me, I’m confused,” pleads Vinnie’s dad.
“I want you to take Vinnie to work with you. Maybe he’ll start think about being a lawyer or he’ll get some other ideas. At least he won’t be near Joey’s mom.”
“Martha is a nice woman. Sure she’s a bit crude, doesn’t eat the right foods, let’s Joey do what he wants, but she has a good heart.”
“Don’t get me started on Martha. When are you going to tell Vinnie, he’s going to have Mrs. Mavis as his 4th grade teacher?” asks Vinnie’s mom.
“I thought that was your job,” says Vinnie’s dad.
“I had to take the phone call. Now, you have to deliver the message. Maybe tomorrow when you boys go to work together.”
“Can I tell Rupert and tell him to tell Vinnie?” asks Vinnie’s dad. Then he adds, “When I wake up can I check my calendar to see what I have scheduled for today. It is today, right? I might have to postpone talking to him until my calendar clears.”
Before Vinnie’s mom can respond the sound of bangs, and bongs and a howling beagle. Then the scream of an 8 year old boy, “Best one yet, Dexter. Let’s check the damage.”
Vinnie’s mom and dad are out of bed slipping on their robes. Vinnie’s mom reaches the bedroom door first. She peeks into the hallway. She looks toward Vinnie’s room. It’s quiet and dark. She looks toward the living room and kitchen, all the lights are on. Both parents hustle down the hallway, they walk into the living room. Every pan in the kitchen is stack on top of one another. Vinnie has a rope around the base. Rupert is sitting next to him. Dexter is lying on the floor on the other side of Vinnie.
Vinnie says, “Countdown to demolition, three, two, one.” He yanks the rope, the tower of pans falls sounding like a multi car pileup on the highway.
Vinnie turns around, “Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad. I changed my mind about being a pirate. I’m going to work with explosives. Is there a camp I can go to this summer?”
Vinnie’s mom turns to Vinnie’s dad, “I think I’ll have that glass of wine.”