Brad has been nominated for the Library of Virginia People's Choice Award! Hurry! Voting ends Sunday.
The chattering of a hydraulic lift motor bounced off the facade of the offices of BradParksBooks.com.
A man in a chef's hat was leaning over the side of a basket, twelve feet in the air, holding the sixth and final layer of a roughly thousand-pound cake. It had "HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRAD" written on the side in eighteen-inch letters.
From the ground, Zach, the silly intern, was directing him.
"To the left," he shouted over the din of the motor. "No, the other left! My left!"
Hearing the noise, Sarah, the smart intern, walked outside, looking appropriately bewildered. She had just returned to the office after a well-earned vacation. Peter, the slothful intern, was still in Frankfurt, visiting Greta, the German intern, as part of the other half of the intern exchange.
That meant it had been just Zach and Maggie, the clueless intern, left to their own devices for a full week.
Which had ended in a half-ton of pastry.
"Okay, steady now," Zach hollered. "Steeeeeaaadddyyyy andddd. . . Perfect! Okay, I think that's a wrap!"
"Zach, what are you doing?" Sarah asked, as the motor cut out and silence—but not sanity—returned.
"The Guinness Book of World Records has listings for longest cake, tallest cake, largest diaper cake, largest dirt cake, largest rice cake, and even largest fruit cake," said Zach, shuddering at the thought of a 2,077-foot-long fruit cake. "But they do not have an entry for largest author birthday cake. It's Brad's 44th birthday on Friday. Let's make some memories."
"If they don't have an entry, couldn't you have done something. . . a little less elaborate?"
"Are you kidding?" Zach scoffed. "Patterson has, like, ninety interns working for him. You think I want to make it easy for them to top us? Not on your life."
"Zach, didn't you look at the calendar? Brad isn't even here for his birthday this year. He'll be at ThrillerFest, where he probably won't even tell people it's his special day."
Sarah then proceeded to rattle off three far better ways to celebrate Brad's birthday:
"We can still have a party," Sarah said. "Why don't you invite the Patterson interns over? We may actually have enough for all of them."
Happy Brad's Birthday To All,
The BradParksBooks.com Interns