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Chuck E. Cheese is Just Like a Mullet

March 16th, 2007

“Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength.”
— Eric Hoffer, philosopher and author (1902-1983)

“Should Chuck E. Cheese sell booze?” Such a no-brainer. No.

Yeah, you thought I was going to say yes, didn’t you? You do need a Valium IV, or a handful of Xanax, or a fifth of Absolut to get through the Chuck E. Cheese experience. We went for a birthday party the other night — and true to form, the kids had a blast and I became a screaming bitch from hell. But more later about the ride home.

Even though booze and pharmaceuticals might make the Chuck E. experience more palatable, I still say no. Because booze and drugs, as we know, often make a bad situation worse. So when I got in line to order a cheese pizza for the kids, and the guy in front of me, oblivious to the fact that there was someone else behind him in line, started to flirt with the teenage waitress… If I had had a couple of beers, things might have got ugly.

Because Chuck E. Cheese was following me around all night, and getting a little flirty. He so would have had my back. And the dad of the birthday girl whose party we were attending — he and his wife are so cool, and also a lot younger and scrappier than I am. And there were a couple of toughies in our group. And that’s just the kids — I’m not even talking about the other parents. I’m saying — if there had been a brawl, we would’ve taken ’em.

Did I mention that the guy looked exactly like Buster from “Arrested Development”? He did. It was a little alarming.

So this dad, the Idjit, is ordering beers, and the girl is flirting back, “Who is the other one for?” (As in, for me?) And he smirks and says, “My grandpa.” (It really was for his grandpa — their table was seventy percent oldsters.) And she says, oh, I wasn’t saying

Then it starts getting nasty. I’m all for sexual tension — that and gossip are the spice of life, in my book — but it was ugly sexual tension between a 40-year-old Idjit and a teenage girl. And he’s like, “Well, yeah, I could give you…” (B3, Wacky Girl would break in here, which is shorthand for blah-blah-blah.)

I finally broke it up. I could see my kids out of the corner of my eye, they’re all twitchy, wanting pizza, wanting to go back up in the hideous climbing tubes. Only they don’t know yet I’m not going to let them go in the climbing tubes again because 1) they’re creepy and 2) there’s a 12-year-old in there who is stomping on all the little kids and he’s working my nerves. So there’s going to be yet another run-in between me and my feisty children. And I’m thinking, Will the pizza get here before the birthday cake is served? Because there’s no hope of getting them to eat pizza once the cake is dispensed. Oh, dear Lord, why was Chuck E. Cheese invented? Why? Is it a test?

“Can you please order so I can order?” I asked him. Yes, I was testy.

“Oh ho ho hooooooooooooooo!” Idjit says (or something like that). Then, “Is there a problem?”

Me: “Yes, you two are bugging me, the way you’re bickering like an old married couple.”

Right then his wife walks up.


She glares at me. (Surprise.) Then says, “She really needs her pizza.” Her husband: “Yeah!”

Me: “I’m just trying to get my kids fed, okay?”

Idjit: “I cannot believe the audacity!”

Me, in my head: Big word, college boy. I decide, too late, to keep my trap shut. He and his wife proceed into a full-on rant against me. The waitress stands there, embarrassed, and probably praying that her manager doesn’t walk up. (And this, friends, is why police loathe domestic violence cases. You can be dealing with the biggest Idjit in life, trying to help his wife in an ugly, ugly situation — much uglier than a little sex talk with a teenage waitress — and the women can turn on you like snakes.)

The Wife: “She needs Zoloft.”

Me, in my head: No, I need a Xanax. And maybe an Allegra, because my allergies are bugging me. But thanks.

Idjit, who has finally placed his order and is keying in his debit card number: “Can you please turn away? You’re trying to steal my identity. Because obviously you have no life and mine is so much better.”

Me, out loud: “Mister, you’ve got no idea.”

He doesn’t know what to say. The couple stomps away. My kids, who are done waiting, and sick of sitting at the table where I’ve parked them (birthday) party is in back, business is up front — Chuck E. Cheese is just like a mullet — why do you always take so long, Mom, why? We need to plaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, where are my tickets? Those are not my tokens, those are her tokens… etc. Well, they’re both a nightmare for the rest of the night and on the way home I snap, “No tantrums. No more greediness!…” (the teenage girl at the counter was working the toy counter when we left. She felt bad, I guess, and tried to load up my kids with free toys — “They can have as many spiders as they want. Do you want three more spikey balls? I won’t charge you!” Oh, dear Lord.)… “You will be quiet for the rest of the ride home!”

I need to take my own advice.


  1. rachel briggs says

    This made me laugh so much. I discovered Chuck E Cheese when I met my husband, who lives with me in the UK but is American. On a trip home to Houston to see his family, we “discovered” C E C. with our two 4 year olds. My son is hooked. Going to the US is now about C E C! THis so sums up the whole experience!!

    March 19th, 2007 | #

  2. mamatoo says

    so glad I haven’t had the chuck-e-cheese experience, yet.
    Go Wackymommy in standing up to the idjit!

    March 19th, 2007 | #

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