I don’t want to alarm you about my summer but I’ve already been to Chuck E. Cheese twice and it’s only mid July. For some reason, that is hard to pinpoint, all of my children really like Chuck E. Cheese. And I’m so glad they spell it Chuck E. Cheese which is so much more sophisticated than Chucky Cheese.
When you enter a Chuck E. Cheese, you will immediately notice that it is very loud and there is a lot of free range parenting going on. There are kids just wandering around everywhere (including my own).
But not to worry because there is an employee stationed at the door who won’t let you leave unless the invisible stamp on your arm matches the invisible stamp on your children’s arms. This employee is always vigilantly standing guard unless of course he’s reading a very important text from his girlfriend. But most of the time, he’s at your service!
Now parents are only needed for two things at this establishment.
1. To buy the tokens.
2. Track down employees to fix the broken machines.
Buying the tokens is reasonably simple. You take your hard earned cash, stuff it in the machines and out pops tokens that allows your children to play games and win tickets. These tickets can then be redeemed for total crap like plastic rings, candy and stickers.
I can’t remember how much everything costs but about 40,000 tickets will buy you a miniature box of Nerds. Roughly.
As far as I’m concerned, the creators of this Chuck E. Cheese chain are brilliant. In some brainstorming session, one guy said, “How about if we make parents buy $30 worth of tokens and 30 minutes later, their kids will trade all their tickets in for a plastic plane that is broken before they get to the car.”
“Who would do that?” another person in the meeting asked.
“Desperate parents. That’s who.”
Everyone in the meeting nods. And with that Chuck E. Cheese was born!
Besides buying tokens, the other job of the parent is to find employees to fix the broken machines. Because there is always a machine that isn’t properly spitting out tickets or isn’t working at all.
It can be very hard to find one of these magical machine fixing employees which is why I try to keep them in eyesight at all times. And if that means I lose track of my 2 year old for a minute and he ends up in the back kitchen so be it. At least I can get those machines fixed on the double.
I know it’s time to leave Chuck E. Cheese when I feel my head spinning and one of my children has inexplicably lost her shoes. So I gather my kids and as we walk out the door, I realize that I just spent $20 on 4 Fun Dips and 5 Tootsie rolls.
But at least I have a photo keepsake that lasts forever.