"Public service announcement to all parents of small children.... birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese's are NOT fun! Please... for the love of Pete... just say 'NO' to Chuckie! Thank you! :o)"
That was my status update on facebook this morning. So far the comments to that post are 100% in agreement! (10 comments... and counting). So here's a good question... If all parents HATE taking their kids to Chuck E. Cheese's, why on earth do they continue to punish fellow parents by hosting their precious child's birthday party there? It's twisted and just plain wrong!
If there are any parents out there who have yet to experience this cruel form of torture... otherwise known as "Chuck E. Hell"... let me set the scene for you.
Chuck E. Cheese's is the most obnoxious place ever created. I am at a loss to come up with anything even slightly as annoying. First of all, the pizza is NASTY. Most kids don't even like it. But the dumb games are even worse than the food. It's like one loud, blinking, kid-sized casino for pre-school children. It's the Vegas strip for school-aged kids, where lots of blinking lights beckon them to tempt their luck at some stupid game or another. If they are lucky they win... *gasp* TICKETS!!!! The more tickets the better. Even if you are a big huge loser, you get one or two tickets. Awesome, right? Every child is a winner. What could be wrong with that? Well.. for starters, tokens are not cheap. They are pretty much equivalent to .25 cents. (give or take a few pennies).
So what does a quarter buy? Well... it depends on which stupid game you select. It was our experience that roughly 8 of Matthew's 20 tokens were WASTED on games that did not work, but did not have an "out of order" sign. Poor guy has become really good a dealing with disappointment. So, for the sake of a good life-lesson, I can let that go. Among the WORKING games are stupid things like games that give you ONE TRY to stop a blinking light on a certain spot. All for a quarter. Of course, it's next to impossible ... but your child will get one ticket for trying... so that's good! After 1 hour of roaming from stupid game to stupid game, Huey earned a total of 27 tickets! WooHoo... 27 tickets! What did that buy him? A Tootsie Roll and a lollipop! I'm NOT making this up. Twenty tokens (or roughly $5.00) bought him 3 cents worth of candy. (oh yeah... and access 28 zillion germs. BONUS!)
Of course, Huey had the VERY BEST TIME OF HIS LIFE! (nice) and now wants to have his birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's. So I will spend the next 8 months hearing "I WANT MY BIRTHDAY PARTY AT CHUCK E. CHEESES!". It's a good thing those stupid non-working games of Chuckie's taught Huey how to deal with life's disappointments, because I vow this day to NEVER host a birthday party there. How ironic is that? Chuckie has taught my son how to deal with the disappointment of never being allowed to go there again! hahahaha! Genius!