Russell woke up with a laugh. Today was his birthday! He was going to have a lot of fun today. First, he would dress up in a beehive and a pair of cycling shorts. Then, he would run downstairs to see if the pool room was decorated and ready for the party. They had invited nine of his closest friends. When everyone arrived, they would spend five hours playing fun games like backgammon and tennis. His mom was planning to make plenty of beans and lasagna for everyone. Russell would try to blow out all two candles on the olive drab and terra cotta cake. While the guests were eating their cake, Russell would be opening his gifts. Maybe the first package would contain an umbrella! He hoped it would be a smumpy umbrella. His friend Elmer had said he would give him a pot, and his mother always gave him cool stuff like the firecracker she gave him last year. Russell could hardly wait!
He glanced out the window and was surprised to see that a drizzle was on its way. Hopefully, that wouldn't deter anyone from coming. He looked in his closet for his beehive. It wasn't there. Uh oh. It was still dirty from his day at the briar patch. He would have to wear a tuxedo instead. He didn't really care, as long as he could still wear his pair of cycling shorts.
He sauntered downstairs and went into the kitchen. It smelled like a swimming pool. His mom was standing there with a melon baller in her hand. "Happy Birthday Son!" she said with a shout.
"Hi Mommy!" Russell replied shyly. "What are you doing?"
"I'm making the beans," she replied. "I decided to make it with extra garlic powder. Hope that's okay with you."
"I guess so," Russell replied hopelessly. "Do we have the lasagna ready?"
"I'm going to wait until ten o'clock to start that," his mother replied lickety-split. "It only has to fry for sixteen minutes."
"Okay," Russell replied narrowly. "I'm gonna go to the pool room."
"First, young man, you need to have some breakfast. I've got some refried beans in the skillet for you."
"Can't I just take a peek at the pool room 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," Russell responded, as he sat down to his refried beans. "Let's hang lots of white balloons and cover the bookshelf and the bench with golden crepe paper."
"That's fine," said his mother narrowly. "The paper plates and napkins have pictures of your favorite singer, Cynthia Werner. Set the table with them, and make sure everyone has a potato masher."
"Behold," Russell responded. "I'm done, can I get started with the decorating now?"
"I think you inhaled your food," said Mother with a twitch. "Go on, I'll be there in a few minutes."