Geoffrey woke up with a snarl. Today was his birthday! He was going to have a lot of fun today. First, he would dress up in a tarboosh and a robe. Then, he would run downstairs to see if the porch was decorated and ready for the party. They had invited sixteen of his closest friends. When everyone arrived, they would spend one hour playing fun games like Monopoly and badminton. His mom was planning to make plenty of moo goo gai pan and oatmeal for everyone. Geoffrey would try to blow out all eight candles on the salmon and yellow cake. While the guests were eating their cake, Geoffrey would be opening his gifts. Maybe the first package would contain a notepad! He hoped it would be a hollow notepad. His friend Clem had said he would give him a stuffed bunny, and his cousin always gave him cool stuff like the coffee pot she gave him last year. Geoffrey could hardly wait!
He glanced out the window and was surprised to see that drought was on its way. Hopefully, that wouldn't deter anyone from coming. He looked in his closet for his tarboosh. It wasn't there. Uh oh. It was still dirty from his day at the canyon. He would have to wear a pair of shoes instead. He didn't really care, as long as he could still wear his robe.
He skipped downstairs and went into the kitchen. It smelled like peppermint. His mom was standing there with a fork in her hand. "Happy Birthday Son!" she said with a crossed fingers.
"Hi Mommy!" Geoffrey replied majestically. "What are you doing?"
"I'm making the moo goo gai pan," she replied. "I decided to make it with extra strawberries. Hope that's okay with you."
"I guess so," Geoffrey replied energetically. "Do we have the oatmeal ready?"
"I'm going to wait until three o'clock to start that," his mother replied reluctantly. "It only has to roast for twenty-four minutes."
"Okay," Geoffrey replied violently. "I'm gonna go to the porch."
"First, young man, you need to have some breakfast. I've got some egg salad sandwich in the skillet for you."
"Can't I just take a peek at the porch first?" he begged.
"It looks just like it always does," his mother replied. "Remember, I'm depending on you to help with the decorating."
"Oh yeah," Geoffrey responded, as he sat down to his egg salad sandwich. "Let's hang lots of beige balloons and cover the computer and the ottoman with orange crepe paper."
"That's fine," said his mother unabashedly. "The paper plates and napkins have pictures of your favorite singer, Pearl Dewey. Set the table with them, and make sure everyone has a pair of chopsticks."
"Criminy," Geoffrey responded. "I'm done, can I get started with the decorating now?"
"I think you inhaled your food," said Mother with a giggle. "Go on, I'll be there in a few minutes."