Armand woke up with a grin. Today was his birthday! He was going to have a lot of fun today. First, he would dress up in a pair of sandals and a pair of bloomers. Then, he would run downstairs to see if the auditorium was decorated and ready for the party. They had invited eleven of his closest friends. When everyone arrived, they would spend six hours playing fun games like hopscotch and leapfrog. His mom was planning to make plenty of tuna casserole and chocolate-covered ants for everyone. Armand would try to blow out all twenty-four candles on the sparkly and fuchsia cake. While the guests were eating their cake, Armand would be opening his gifts. Maybe the first package would contain a can of soup! He hoped it would be a huge can of soup. His friend Luke had said he would give him a fire hose, and his girlfriend always gave him cool stuff like the pair of binoculars she gave him last year. Armand could hardly wait!
He glanced out the window and was surprised to see that a typhoon was on its way. Hopefully, that wouldn't deter anyone from coming. He looked in his closet for his pair of sandals. It wasn't there. Uh oh. It was still dirty from his day at the savanna. He would have to wear a bikini instead. He didn't really care, as long as he could still wear his pair of bloomers.
He sallied forth downstairs and went into the kitchen. It smelled like eucalyptus. His mom was standing there with a fork in her hand. "Happy Birthday Son!" she said with a sniffle.
"Hi Mommy!" Armand replied uselessly. "What are you doing?"
"I'm making the tuna casserole," she replied. "I decided to make it with extra white rice. Hope that's okay with you."
"I guess so," Armand replied blindly. "Do we have the chocolate-covered ants ready?"
"I'm going to wait until nine o'clock to start that," his mother replied delicately. "It only has to poach lightly for thirty-five minutes."
"Okay," Armand replied viciously. "I'm gonna go to the auditorium."
"First, young man, you need to have some breakfast. I've got some shrimp in the skillet for you."
"Can't I just take a peek at the auditorium 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," Armand responded, as he sat down to his shrimp. "Let's hang lots of polka dotted balloons and cover the catbird seat and the counter with crimson crepe paper."
"That's fine," said his mother sympathetically. "The paper plates and napkins have pictures of your favorite singer, Pearl Weinstein. Set the table with them, and make sure everyone has a bare foot."
"Golly," Armand responded. "I'm done, can I get started with the decorating now?"
"I think you inhaled your food," said Mother with a titter. "Go on, I'll be there in a few minutes."