Emotionally crippled by the sounds of crying, screaming, laughing, talking kids, ugh. Why me?!
We had to take Chooch to Chuck E. Cheese last weekend for a birthday party and it totally ruined my day. Originally, I was going to stay home and make Henry deal with it, but I was having a really clingy day and didn’t want to be home alone, god forbid. Plus, the party was for the neighbor kid (the one whose mom was on my side when another neighbor screamed in my face) so I felt like it would behoove me to go and pretend that I’m neighborly.
(I’m not neighborly.)
We were going to just leave Chooch there after a few minutes, but then the grandma was all, “You’re sticking around, right?” Ugh, grandma guilt! Just what I needed that day.
OMG that place was a screaming sea of anklebiters. There were approximately 87 parties going down in tandem, not including the moronic parents who thought it would be a great idea to bring their idiot children there ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON.
FOR NO REASON!
And the music! I heard Pharrell’s “Happy” twice in two hours, god help me.
There were two highlights though: when the other party kids discovered my holographic eyeball and obsessed over it for the first half hour, much to Chooch’s chagrin. He HATES that my purse gets attention.
The second was when the birthday boy’s father arrived and I realized that HE IS REALLY FUCKING HOT. I got overly giggly about it (not unusual) and later, after he came over to introduce himself, I whisper-cried in Henry’s ear, “REMEMBER WHEN I HELD HANDS WITH MARKIE’S DAD?!”
“That’s called a handshake, asshole,” Henry muttered.
When our ex-neighbor (the one who got in my face last summer because her son is a d-bag and Chooch kicked him in the nards) arrived with her brood, things went from bad to worse. I just get so angry at the mere sight of her cunt-face. Luckily, we were separated by an entire table so I at least didn’t have to hear her grating Yinzer-speak.
And then Chuck E. came out of a door and Henry frowned. “Chuck E. lost some weight.”
I turned around to look and got really angry because this looked nothing like the Chuck E. I knew and loved! Oh, this was just pathetic.
Hyperactive children aside, what I hate most about that place is how much it’s changed from when I was a kid in the 80s. Man, Chuck E. Cheese was THE SHIT then. I used to primarily go to the one in West Mifflin, and I have fond memories of it being dimly-lit with multiple rooms, which really seemed to keep the crowds at bay. There was a room to the right that had animatronic….Beagles? I can’t remember now exactly what kind of animals they were, but you could walk up and press a button to awaken them, at which point they would serenade the room with Beach Boys classics while everyone burnt the roof of their mouths on pizza.
(The pizza was also better back then. Even as a teenager, it was fun to go to Chuck E. Cheese because PIZZA.)
One of the game rooms had a ball pit, which are apparently outlawed now in all play areas. Children these days are so goddamn fragile!
The main party room was a cavernous multi-level room featuring a stage with Chuck E. and all of his friends, like that chicken lady thing and Pasquale the Italian pizza guy. There was some purple thing too, I think. (Munch!?)
The Chuck E. Cheese we went to last week didn’t have any animatronics! They used to though, as recently as when Chooch was a baby, circa 2007:
The pizza is some kind of bullshit now too.
The best/worst part about the Chuck E. Cheese from my childhood was the Cheese Factory. Please, somewhere out there has to know what I’m talking about. It was the traumatic, closed-off maze that was essentially built into a wall. Once you were in it, it was like Baby’s First Claustrophobic Experience. Its intention was to make you feel like you were climbing through a giant piece of swiss cheese, I guess, and you would have to hoist yourself up through carpeted holes while disorienting lights flashed and cosmic sounds played overhead. I have a vague recollection of a hallway where parents could stand and pray that they wouldn’t lose sight of where their children were inside this unintentional haunted house.
I associate it with real terror, tears, and the hysterical sensation of abandonment.
God, I wish it was still like that in there!
I feel bad for all of these millennium kids who will never get to experience the strange joys of being an 80s kid, like clothes-shopping at Kids R Us and playing Tic Tac Toe on one of the large electronic game walls that were located around the store in hopes of keeping children satiated while their parents piled the cart full of corduroy pants, leggings, neon socks, and sweatshirts with puffy paint-esque bears on it.
Anyway, by the time the party was over, my nerves were shot. I’m just thankful that Chooch is at an age where I didn’t have to follow him all around the game area, because I might have been arrested. (OK, probably just 302’d.)