What’s up, Chuck?

(pix courtesy of Perez Hilton)

What is the story with Chuck E. Cheese?

Lately all that is posted online about the 31 year-old establishment  is less about kids being kids and more about crazed customers going nuts.  There have been numerous internet reports for well over the last two years about customers fighting, being battered and robbed, some were arrested for drugs, some customers even beat up Chuck E. Cheese employees!  I think someone even killed a person!  The hell?

I went to Chuck E. Cheese once, one time, and I nearly had an aneurysm from the noises, the screaming kids, yelling parents and the demented stage puppets.  I did not get the point of that place, then again I don’t have kids.  But, what types of parents and their kids frequent such a hyper-kinetic mess of an establishment?  And the smell of the cheese, have you smelled Chuck E. Cheese’s cheese?  It’s like smelling Al Bundy’s fermented socks.  Worse, it smelled like the inside of a dead bear left in the sun for 6 months.  I’m talking rancid!  And people were walking around like they didn’t smell it?!  Well, granted most parents can’t help but to drown out “white noise” and smells, I mean they DO change diapers and they hear screaming kids.  I’ve seen parents on planes and in public places with their unhappy brats piercing everyone else’s ears, of course you know non-parents don’t have that gift of “blocking it out” like they do.

But, what really sucked for me at Chuck E. Cheese was that every five minutes or so these kooky, psychotic electrobotic puppets  performed on stage.  The curtain opened, the puppets were activated and the stage floor pushed them forward and the they sang… (animated music inserted here) “tinkly, tinkly, tinkly, tippy, tip…” or whatever the hell that sound was, for a few minutes straight.  Jesus, it made my kidneys nervous! Then the curtain closed and pandemonium continued to ensue because let’s face it, nobody’s kids were into those puppets. They were too busy throwing food, slipping on the floor and banging their heads, and helping their parents fight the people in the next table.

What’s wrong with a place where customers enter, sit down, act a fool then get arrested?  I’ll tell you what, it’s gotta be in the cheese.  I think Chuck E. Cheese’s cheese is tainted with PCP.   Or maybe Chuck’s middle initial stands for Evil and when you enter you morph into a demonic fist fighting, wallet grabbing, cheese throwing, creature.  Then again maybe Chuck E. Cheese is satan’s cousin, or he is the twisted half-brother of Chuky the doll from the film, Child’s Play.  Either way it goes, what’s up Chuck?

Granted some of the Chuck E. Cheese patrons seemed, well a little “hood,” “street,” “ghetto,” when I visited.  Then again why not?  Kids have free reign, why shouldn’t their beleaguered parents have one night out to not only watch their kids, but act like them as well?  Parents work hard to raise their brood, they feed them, they clothe them, they spoil the hell out of them, hell, some parents even they want to be their kids’ best friends!  Well, I say, “why not act a fool all up in Chuck E. Cheese and show your tiny terrors what being a kid really means?”

I have a tip for the troubled Chuck E. Cheese owners.  Sell the business to Disney, they’re so strict I guarantee no one would dare start anything!  My friend and I tried to sneak into Disneyland wearing hand-made costumes and we were stopped before we hit the gate!    Or, better yet Chuck E. Cheese should upgrade the quality of their food products, seriously.  No more processed, only fresh, organic salads and maybe a tofu pizza instead.  Well, no that is disgusting to me, but you get my point.  I have not heard about too many violent outbursts at Carl’s Junior, McDonald’s or Burger King and they sell processed foods.  What up?

Perhaps Chuck E. Cheese’s problems stem from a sign-o-the-times.  People have out grown fake sentiment, rancid processed cheese products and crappy games, toys and robotic puppet shows.   I think old Chuck should retire and people should go back to doing what I did when I was a kid.

We went to the local parks and rode Merry-go-rounds, we took walks to see the neighborhood around us.  Well, back then we lived in the projects, my mom was determined for my brother and me to see the rest of the city. But, there were no video games and internet and we tended to interact with each other.  And whatever toys we had we played with them by using our imaginations.  My brother and I used to play “Bus” ’cause he loved buses, using a cardboard box and a blanket.  He would sit in the box on top of a blanket and I would pull it down the hall and he would hum like a bus.  Sounds archaic, but it was so much fun!  And we had a bat phone and when we picked it up it said,“To the Bat cave, Robin!” And we would look out of our project apartment window and swear we saw Batman’s cave!  Ah, good times.  But olden times, of course.

Whether you are a “ghetto” parent or a “non-ghetto” parent, I think it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to stay at home and play with your kids and have pizza delivered while you put a silly hat on your dog or cat.  Why be cooped up angry and resentful and smelling of rotten cheese and hearing squeaking tin puppets sing off key in the House of Horrors?  Better yet, take the dog for a walk and the kids and get pizza at a regular pizza place where people just want to eat, chill, gossip drink and watch each other.  Just sayin.’

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