I was unable to escape that veritable requirement of being a parent
nowadays: Surviving a birthday party at a Chuck E. Cheese establishment.Up to this time, I had managed to
evade and elude such events, even though Duckling1 (5-years-old) was already
voted “Most likely to crash a party” in her Kindergarten class, and is so well
liked by all, Princess Diana should be rolling in her grave.That is, Duckling1 was “Miss Popularity”,
being invited to EVERY kid’s party.
time around, the neighbors’ four-year-old, Bitsy, was having her party at
Chuck E. Cheese and the neighbors had invited BOTH Ducklings and both MrsDuck and yours truly to attend.Maybe if I pretended I had cooties and told MrsDuck that I couldn’t go?NoooOOOoooo.It’s really contagious,
Dear, look, I’m SWEATING!Nope.Couldn’t convince MrsDuck.Maybe if I dropped the bench grinder on my
foot or accidentally put the Aztek up on the
hydraulic jack and lowered it onto my foot or….
Nope.I HAD to go.No, if’s, and’s, or
I’ve got an Aztek on my foot”s about it.
arrive at Chuck E. Cheese, myself with the
anticipation equaling that of receiving a root canal or an IRS audit.We step in the front door,
the first thing we see is an ENORMOUS man. Disclaimer: It is usually not
politically correct to make fat jokes, but in this case I REALLY HAVE TO.This is because it was quite obvious that
this man was hired for one major asset.Or that is, remove the last two letters in the last word of the previous
sentence and you’ll know what I mean.
(3-years-old) pointed at the large man.D2 was absolutely correct this time, though.
this guy was big.He was somewhere in between the
size of “Fat Bastard” of Austin Powers fame and a Buick Park Avenue…with a Hummer H2 parked on it.His hind
end qualified as a weapon of mass destruction.He was SOOO big…well you get the idea.
stamped our hands with a special dye to identify ourselves as being of the same family, for security
reasons.No problem there.
I hadn’t been in a Chuck E. Cheese before, but I had heard of all the horror
parents arranged for an “early” party, one that started at , and there was no crowd.There
were enough small “sub-five-year-olds” there, though, to keep everyone
busy.There was the “party area” and
there was the “general public” and “game area”, and at this time, not very
crowded.That did NOT stop the CEC
management from having the PA system volume up somewhere between “biker
bar” and “747 at take-off”.It was
LOUD.Yup.Chuck E. Cheese was invented to prepare the
little ones to a life of spending time in noisy places like
school gymnasiums, school dances, cattle auctions, and the Democratic National
party started with the employees setting up a birthday cake at our party’s
table, followed by a musical medley of birthday music
and pop tunes, in which the two waitresses, the waiter, and some poor schlub who drew the short straw and had to get into the
Chuck E. costume had to dance (sort of) in front of the
table and exude some excitement for being there and
making Bitsy’s birthday more fun.Well, the kids enjoyed it, but most of us
parents were watching the employees and the Chuck E. costume victim basically
sleepwalk through the motions of the extremely bad choreography,
feeling more sorry for them than angry at them.At minimum-wage, would you wear a full-size
mouse suit and jump around…willingly?
and cake were served, and that was quite uneventful.Duckling2 had an enjoyable time figuring out how much
cake he could cram in his mouth without choking.All the other kids gave him the nickname of “Sticky”.
party gig at Chuck E. Cheese is a racket, you get a reserved long table for 90
minutes, 5 minutes of bad dancing by the employees, and then you can be
subjected to watching an extremely bad animatronic Chuck E., which was shown to have less life
than a Libertarian party debate on C-SPAN.
that part ended with no fatalities.We
stayed around to play games, the typical little kid arcade games that all operated on
tokens.Duckling1 and MrsDuck went off to play different games, while I had to play
with Duckling2 and keep him from destroying the place.(We flipped a token and I lost, I called
“tails”, forgetting that Chuck E. Cheese tokens have “heads” on BOTH sides…MrsDuck had remembered this from being
found a game that Duckling2 just LOVED, it was the old-fashioned Skee-ball game where you took hard
wooden balls and threw them up a ramp to land in one of six holes on the
target.D2, however, discovered a short
cut and decided to NOT use the ramp.With an overhand throw, easily qualifiable to
gain him a position as a relief pitcher for the Tigers, he just threw the ball
directly at the target, completely airborne…
“COW!”…THWACK!!!!...as the ball hit the target board, you
could easily hear the impact…well then again, you couldn’t, the place was so
noisy, you could probably run a jackhammer and not be
noticed.Anyway, D2 had garnered about
3540 points per game, but added about 400 points to the Skee-ball players to both sides of him as well.Not too accurate with that throwing arm, just
like the Tiger’s pitching staff....
MrsDuck and Duckling1 had managed to scam…er, win on several games, earning enough
reward tickets to buy a stuffed animal the size of Argentina.
really wasn’t all that bad, considering the time of day that we went to
Chuck E. Cheese, I imagine if we went during the “rush hour” for the parties,
which I had learned was any time after , the place would resemble Beirut.
we left, we encountered the large man again, he had to check us all out to make
sure our hand stamps all matched or he would SIT on one of us.
it’s a racket.Chuck E. Cheese has a
formula.Kids are entertained, they have
halfway decent pizza, and they employ gravity-challenged humans for security
the way, names were changed to protect the silly, would you name anyone of your family