Sunday, April 22, 2007

Life with Chuck

Ah, Chuck E. Cheese. How you give me both pleasure and pain.

"Pleasure? From Chuck E. Cheese?" you may ask.

Yes, pleasure! You just show up for your kid's birthday party (Ben will turn seven in a few days). Have you made a cake? Cleaned the house? Thought about the food you'll serve? Figured out how to entertain the kids for two or three hours? Bought the finest small plastic toys imported from China to fill goodie bags? Bought party decorations? Decorated the house? No? You haven't done any of that? Well, that's totally fine! The Giant Rat's people will do all this for you. Technically, they won't clean your house, but then, you're not having company over for the party, and you won't have a pack of young children to clean up after. Yes, indeed. The Chuck party is the lazy parent's salvation.

The pain, of course, comes from having to spend two or three hours inside a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. It's not even so much the jumbo animatronic animals on stage—those were entertaining in that Ben and a couple of his pals hung out on stage, manhandling the beasts and their musical instruments, and nary a peep was uttered by the employees. So they didn't get busted—but when the music stopped suddenly, Ben froze like the cops had just caught him stealing animatronic jewels, much to the amusement of Flea and JT. We adults also chatted about what sort of shenanigans might transpire after closing, when it's just the animatronic vermin. "Chuck E. Cheese After Dark," said...either Flea or JT, I forget which one. It's highly possible that CEC After Dark is one of those "gentlemen's clubs," if you catch my drift. The foxy duck in the magenta lamé miniskirt? Hot. Here's one thing I like about JT and Flea: Even though Ratsopalooza is an awfully noisy place, these women both laugh so heartily (nay, almost uncontrollably) that you're gonna have a fun time wherever you are.

Speaking of lazy parents, guess who forgot to bring a camera? That's right. La famille Tangerine neglected to document the festivities. We'll have a do-over Sunday, when we have a small family party. Oh, crap, I should have maybe baked that cake tonight. Eh, I'll get to that in the morning. Worst-case scenario, the cake mix goes in the cupboard and I'll buy a damn cake in the afternoon.

This is a crappy post. What will make it better is audience participation, clearly. So tell me: If you could be seven years old again, what is the one thing you'd want most for your birthday?


jp 吉平 said...

I would want a simple dinner of moules marinieres and a frisee salad, followed by champagne and cake flavored with rosewater and lychee.

There would be no candle blowing ritual, and of course I would not accept gifts; instead I would talk to my guests about Darfur, pass out paper, and ask them to write letters to their Senators.

Then later, cognac and cigarettes.

Klynn said...

Have no idea what I'd want for my 7th birthday, if I were able to do it over. Maybe some common sense for my teenage years. Maybe just a pony...I always wanted a pony.

I just got through with the birthday party ritual AT MY HOUSE...for a 3 year old Boog. *sigh* Sometimes I think it would be more cost effective to pay the rat's ass, rather than spend 2 days slaving over getting the house spotless, and making goodie bags, etc. etc. ad infinitum. Well, at least my house is mostly clean, now. Though I still haven't bothered to take down the "Happy Birthday" banner from the living room wall. Yeah, I'm that lazy.

Maman said...

I don't think that I have a single picture from one the CEC parties that I hosted for mes filles... I was too busy taking head counts making sure that one of the little darlings had been absconded with... Call me crazy, but I never trusted the crack security employed by the Rat's minions...

When I was seven I wanted a bike with a banana seat.. does that help? Sorry, I thought not.

flea said...

Oh, that reminds me! I have to get that picture of Ben I took on my camera phone over to you!

It was J.T. that thought of Chuck E. Cheese as the "Gentleman's Club for Furries." I wish I'd thought of it first, but I didn't. Now I just have to resign myself to merely thinking about it EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Unknown said...

Flea, I came up with the Furries thing but I think you were the one who sputtered something about CEC "afterparty," which really got us off on a rant... until the chubby cheerleader nearly stole Orange's husband away.

The sad thing is, none of this really translates so I couldn't really share my giggles with DH later. However, I do think my mom will get a kick out of both our furries vs plushies conversation, as well as my shock when I realized I'd shouted out the S-word in the middle of kid heaven. Oops.

Orange, I should tell you that no matter how fussy Benjamin was, Danny had a rockin' good time and is still talking about the party. I wanted to send you a pic of the boys wearing their goofy teeth but Jake would have nothing to do with it, and they're too big for Danny's mouth. Oh well.

Oh, and when I was seven, I craved, CRAVED the Easy Bake Oven. I think I got a Kool-Aid "Machine" (aka, dispenser) instead. Boo.

- JT, who can't seem to log in today.

Mona Buonanotte said...

I wanted an endless supply of chocolate when I was 7.

Now that I'm a grownup and could (conceivably) buy huge amounts of chocolate, I don't...because my ass will grow to the size of Cleveland and it's surrounding suburbs.

Oh, and our CEC serves beer. Thankfully.

Psycho Kitty said...

A hippety hop. My kingdom for a hippety hop!
Never did get one of those damn things.

E. said...

A kitten and a chocolate cake would have made my day on the 7th anniversary of my natal day. I probably actually got the cake.

But I must say, I would like to be a guest at john patrick's 7th birthday party (as long as there was plenty of wine to go along with rosewater cake and the Darfur action.)

Delia Christina said...

i'd want my birthday to not coincide with the beginning of the school year. always pissed me off. meanwhile, my sister had her birthday as soon as school ended. grr.

but if not that, then to have tea with jimmy carter.

Mignon said...

I wanted a pottery wheel out of the Sears-Roebuck catalog SO BAD. I remember what I got, though: some gum and a hand-me-down Schwinn. And I was stoked.

However, knowing what I know now, I'd definitely get, uh... probably a pottery wheel from Sears-Roebuck. Yeah, I still want it.

Orange said...

JP, I wanna party with you.

Klynn, it's only lazy to leave the banner up if you're leaving it up so you don't have to do it again for next year's birthday.

Maman, banana seats...ahhh. Like Schwinn's Li'l Chic? Mine was magenta.

Flea and JT: Furries and plushies need porntastic lovin' too.

Mona, I've turned into such a beer snob. I have to be really thirsty or really tense to be willing to drink the beer Chuck E. serves. ("Chuck E. Cheese's in love..."—Rickie Lee Jones.)

PK, I bought Ben a European hippety hop toy when his legs were too short for it, and I never got it blown up to the right degree of fullness. I wonder where that thing is now...

E., yes, more wine and less cognac at JP's would suit me just fine.

Ding, that's better than having an August birthday. I never, ever got to have a classroom party on my birthday.

Mignon, sign yourself up for a wheelthrowing class somewhere! It's fun (though challenging) and messy. I took a few ceramics classes in my 30s and loved the experience.