Arnold woke up with a pucker. Today was his birthday! He was going to have a lot of fun today. First, he would dress up in a pair of overalls and a pair of earrings. Then, he would run downstairs to see if the library was decorated and ready for the party. They had invited fourteen of his closest friends. When everyone arrived, they would spend five hours playing fun games like blackjack and baseball. His mom was planning to make plenty of clam chowder and wienerschnitzel for everyone. Arnold would try to blow out all twenty-two candles on the golden and salmon cake. While the guests were eating their cake, Arnold would be opening his gifts. Maybe the first package would contain a protest sign! He hoped it would be a rigid protest sign. His friend Chuck had said he would give him a protest sign, and his mentor always gave him cool stuff like the diary she gave him last year. Arnold could hardly wait!
He glanced out the window and was surprised to see that a period of warm weather was on its way. Hopefully, that wouldn't deter anyone from coming. He looked in his closet for his pair of overalls. It wasn't there. Uh oh. It was still dirty from his day at the park. He would have to wear a pair of overalls instead. He didn't really care, as long as he could still wear his pair of earrings.
He ran downstairs and went into the kitchen. It smelled like Christian Dior. His mom was standing there with a potato masher in her hand. "Happy Birthday Son!" she said with a wink.
"Hi Mommy!" Arnold replied fiercely. "What are you doing?"
"I'm making the clam chowder," she replied. "I decided to make it with extra pitted cherries. Hope that's okay with you."
"I guess so," Arnold replied ingeniously. "Do we have the wienerschnitzel ready?"
"I'm going to wait until nine o'clock to start that," his mother replied unexpectedly. "It only has to deep fry for forty-nine minutes."
"Okay," Arnold replied deliberately. "I'm gonna go to the library."
"First, young man, you need to have some breakfast. I've got some pot roast in the skillet for you."
"Can't I just take a peek at the library 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," Arnold responded, as he sat down to his pot roast. "Let's hang lots of grey balloons and cover the stool and the couch with rose crepe paper."
"That's fine," said his mother pitifully. "The paper plates and napkins have pictures of your favorite Tv Star, Bernadette McGrath. Set the table with them, and make sure everyone has an egg cutter."
"Gawwwleeee," Arnold responded. "I'm done, can I get started with the decorating now?"
"I think you inhaled your food," said Mother with a raspberry. "Go on, I'll be there in a few minutes."