|Sylvia and Stasha on a ride at Chuck E. Cheese's.|
That, of course, was years ago. Many, many years ago. All of my memories of Chuck E. Cheese's are from California and my family moved to Colorado when I was seven. So we're talking a long time here. Brian and I went to the Chuck E. Cheese's in Orem, Utah yesterday for a birthday party. My little cousin Stasha turned four years old and I'm sure to her the place still had charm. But for me, it was kind of a letdown. What happened to my totally rad pal named Chuck?
You know those guys who were studs in high school but somehow never seem to amount to anything afterward? They stay and "hang out" with all the high school kids and talk about how awesome they used to be and yadda yadda yadda... constantly living in the past. Well, that's what Chuck E. Cheese reminded me of. That guy. You go in, and it's like you've stepped back into the late 80s/early 90s when Chuck used to be cool. He's got really cheesy-looking photos up of his glory days. There's Chuck posing with two little girls with side pony-tails and scrunchies! There he is kicking a soccer ball!
And he doesn't even look cool anymore. He came to our table to greet the birthday girl and he just looked shabby. He even had a handprint embedded in the fur on the back of his head... poor guy. Somebody should tell him. And it's crazy to me how I was once fooled by his costume. It's so unappealing. And the animatronics show? Wow. Horrible. I'm pretty sure the singing chicken's mouth movements were still set to whatever Madonna song she had originally been singing, they just play Taylor Swift's "Love Story" over it. That's about the extent of the upgrades. There's also a dance performed to LMFAO's "I'm Sexy and I Know It" (sans lyrics obviously... a chicken and a mouse can't be sexy).
Although, there was a vaguely sexual animal documentary that played on the TVs for a good ten minutes or so. It was a series of animal photos with captions played to weird porn music. The captions said things like "Check out that goat over there" or "You're smooth, Mr. Moose" or "Oh yeah, eat that grass." When that ended it turned into an 80s pop music video with flashing, strobe-like images of kids in neckties playing the guitar and singing "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung. That was followed by a skit with puppets teaching kids the importance of proper ventilation while painting indoors.
I couldn't handle the entertainment anymore so I just focused on the pizza... which is probably the worst pizza ever. I've microwaved pizza rolls more delicious than that stuff. And the pizza is freaking expensive! My Uncle Greg spent an arm and a leg buying pizza and drinks for ten people when I know he could have baked a much better one at home with his own ingredients. Oh well. The games were still fun and Stasha and her little sister Sylvia had a good time winning tickets and riding rides. Brian and I did the noble thing and gave our tickets to the girls. We could have cashed them in for a star-shaped eraser or something, but we figured the girls would put them to better use.
Not like Stasha needed more prizes. You should have seen all the presents she got! Brian and I got her a stuffed Ty teddy bear which made her face light up. I was surprised actually. She just squeezed it close to her with this big cheesy grin, even bigger and cheesier than the ever-smiling Chuck E. Cheese who came over and frightened little Sylvia into tears before he scampered away to his aging electronic friends and the pizza that only the Teenage Mutant Turtles could appreciate.