Saturday, February 7, 2009

Daddy's Inferno

(Post by Evan)

Abandon all hope ye who enter here...

Famous words by Dante Alighieri. Those are the same words that coursed through my brain as I made my first appearance at Chuck E. Cheese's since my teen years in the early 80's. A lot was the same, but a lot had changed. It was a teen hangout when I went the first time. I spotted very few teens there this time around. Must be because of the requirement of parents to accompany minors.

All I can say is, "wow!" It was a complete assault of the visual and audible senses. The flashing lights, the noise from the game machines, and the noise from the crowds moreso made it the perfect way to cap off a sleep deprived night.

Now in all fairness, I went willingly, with the intent of making amends with the kids for having to bail out of a planned ski excursion for today. I got a call from work in the middle of the night with bad news about one of the systems I managed. During one of the windows where things were out of my hands we loaded some excited kids into the car for a journey west of the Hudson.

I have to hand it to Nolan Bushnell for his enterprise. It's a great idea to keep parents hostage in a place where kids don't have fun unless they're spending your money. You can't leave your kids behind on their own. That's just genius. I will try to incorporate similar logic when I come up with my next business enterprise.

All my kids had a great time. They all just wanted to run off and do everything. An especially close eye was required for a certain one-year old who had no qualms with assisting other kids playing their games. I'm not sure he understood what the problem was. A four-year old boy's brain is driven by the coolest looking apparatuses. (Or is that apparati?) Anything that invoked testosterone surges like race car video games was exceptionally attractive. I was impressed that a seven-year old girl's behavior was motivated by the social aspect. I found it intriguing that she was able make partnerships to play some of the games that weren't necessarily designed to played with a partner.

The 80 degree temperature coupled with the 100+ decibel noise and the smell of fried food and cardboard pizza was the ideal combination for a relaxing evening with the kids. I was sad that it had to end so that I could race home and jump onto a conference call to finish what we started 18 hours previously. I know that I'll relish my next trip to spend the leftover 60 tokens.


Rhonda said...

Amen, brother!

Anonymous said...

Awww, you just don't know how to do CC correctly! See, you take your kids out of school for the day, show up early, and you have the place to yourselves ;-). My children actually have no idea that other kids ever go there as we always have the place to ourselves when we go. The beauty of this plan is that you can sit back with your cardboard pizza (and endless Diet Coke!) and survey the bountiful play room that you have bequeathed to your kids for the afternoon. And the very best part is that when only 2 kids are in the facility, Chuckie himself NEVER makes an appearance.
Thanks for the great story, tho!
Love, Leslie