Mary rolled up brand spanking new. And I mean that. Her first order on arrival was to whack me with her rear passenger door. I said Mary there's a time and a place for testing out new equipment, and the time is not now, and the place is not your Mom. She said sorry Mom, so we moved on. Mostly to L's house, but not before stocking up D's wagon with liberal amounts of newspaper clippings and magazines and random assorted paper. Also crackers. Graham looked on sadly. I said D-man, you as always have done a spectacular job on Mary's door hinge automation system thingumbob. Well, almost always, her first few times painting were pretty hairy. D said thanks, and we drove off. When we pulled up, I said now Mary you remember the job right? We've got the gift thingo on the driver seat, you unlock and open the rear passenger seat, make sure all others stay locked so she has to get in. Then you lock her in and follow us, right? She said right Mom I got it. I said good. Then I said to myself, I'm a responsible parent, right?

So the M pulled up on her front lawn and began serenading the neighborhood with her favorite song. The D-man and I watched from behind some bushes on the corner while the front door opened and the twelfth appeared. I said aha our plan is working! D said so far. L walked out onto the lawn, and said oh hi Mary how are you? Mary said oh I'm fine. L said what are you doing here Mary? Mary said I'm waiting for you. L said for me? What for? Mary said oh well we're going to take you to a bonfire on the hill where I learned to drive, and also Kingsley and Susan are going to be there. L said oh that sounds wonderful. You're very kind. Who's organizing all this? Mom is. Livi? L said. Where's she? Oh, just hiding in the bushes back there.

I looked at D. D said Livi you did tell her this was a secret and all, right? I said um well I guess I just kind of assumed she got the hint. Oh wow. I guess I assumed too much. Unless... I said. Unless what? D said. I said never mind, to the D-mobile! So we raced to get into his car, by which time he had it on and hit the gas, and we went around the block and waited from the other side of the street. We got out and peered around the corner there and watched for some time. I said to D, I don't see them anymore, and where's Mary? It was then we heard a honk from behind us, and it was Mary, and L waving at us in the rear passenger seat. Well, you did tell her to follow us, D said.

Anyway, we all headed down to the yellow fields, the L and I in the M, D driving his souped up wagon thing, and on the way L asked me, so what is this meant to be exactly? It's nice that you've thrown me a surprise and all, but why is this present an empty box? I said oh well, it's like a mouse and cheese thing. Um, nevermind.

But we got there, Susan and Kingsley were there also. When she got out, we all said HAPPY BIRTHDAY! and the La Cucaracha sounded again. L was really excited. She said Livi did you plan all this? I said I did, I hope you like it. L said I didn't expect to do anything today, but wow this is frubtastic. I said dynamiffic that you like it. Then we had smores courtesy of Susan, Kingsley, and Graham.

- Livi.