Hell is Chuck-E-Cheese

Maybe it’s because I just turned 30 and I’m officially a curmudgeonly old man, but now that I’m a parent I’ve noticed the vast majority of kids today have absolutely no respect or manners.

Never was this more evident than this weekend’s excursion to Chuck-E-Cheese. Oddly enough we were there for my friend’s surprise 30th birthday party (don’t ask, it was slightly odd). But it worked out well for me and MJ because it meant we could bring Will with us. But had I known what was in store for us, I probably would’ve gotten a babysitter for him.

First of all, we went to a location north of Boston and quite honestly, it wasn’t in the best area of town. Subsequently, this particular Chuck-E-Cheese didn’t have the highest caliber of patrons and it showed.

Will was awestruck at first so I had to hold him until he got used to things. After 15 minutes he wanted to get down and immediately he ran toward the games. The only problem was he got knocked down every two minutes from the rampaging hordes of out of control kids. These kids are sprinting through the arcade room and three times they knocked Will over. Each time I stopped the kids and asked them to apologize to Will as well as slow down. One kid, probably 7-8 years old, snapped “No, you ain’t my daddy!” at me and ran away. Another one asked me for a token. Yeah you spoiled little punk, I’m really going to give you a token after you just pummeled my son.

But the blame for this one is squarely on the parents. If they were even in the building they sure as hell weren’t paying attention to their kids. Meanwhile here I am keeping a close eye on Will. At one point he reached out for another boy’s lollipop and I quickly grabbed his hand and explained to him that wasn’t his and it was rude to touch other people. At that point Will turned to the boy and used sign language to say “please.” Will isn’t even a year and a half old, can’t even say the words please or thank you yet, and he’s already got better manners than these little Section 8 hoodlums.

Because I’m nosy, I tracked a couple of the kids because I wanted to see where their parents were. Turns out they were sitting at the table next to us. When I made my way over there I saw one woman with an awful weave paying more attention to her ridiculous looking Freddy Krueger fingernails than her four rude kids. The baby daddy (I know he wasn’t the dad, more on this in a minute) was too busy calling up his “boys” to set up a time to meet at the bar after he “finished with his girl’s damn kids.” He was also dropping F-bombs left and right in the presence of tons of kids. Class act.

I know this sounds racist, but it’s not. It’s an accurate representation of what was going on. And the bad behavior wasn’t limited to any one race. Perhaps the biggest laugh of the night was this lily white kid dressed only in a wife beater, basketball shorts and an ugly Red Sox hat cocked to one side. His wife/girlfriend was off with their older child and he was pushing the stroller. Except he left the baby in the stroller — all alone in the middle of the arcade — to go over and get a drink. I was floored. I stood by the stroller until he got back just in case.

Also, there was a robotic Chuck-E-Cheese mouse at the back of the building. Will was really into it. But then a gang of four kids jumped up there, pushing Will out of the way,  and started swearing at the robot mouse. Then they demanded that it start talking and moving. When it didn’t comply, they started beating the mouse. I’m not kidding. They punched it in the face, the stomach, stole it’s hat and tried to pry it’s mouth open while making a pretend gun with their hands and pointing the “barrel” in the mouse’s mouth.

Meanwhile Will is at the age where he copies everything, especially the things that big kids do. So he starts punching the mouse too. I tried to tell him “gentle” and to give the mouse love but he was in monkey see, monkey do mode so I had to take him away.

These parents who allow their kids to run around unchecked should be ashamed of themselves. Their kids are unwashed, foul little miscreants who don’t know the meaning of please or thank you. But it’s not their fault, they’re just following the example of their deadbeat parents who obviously don’t possess said manners themselves.

I don’t know about you guys, but when I was a kid I was punished if I didn’t say please or thank you. And when I got older, I got in trouble when I didn’t hold doors open for people. Manners ruled in my house and my parents demanded politeness from me and my brother. So are manners just a thing of the past or was I just in a ghetto Chuck-E-Cheese with the lowest common denominator?

I really hope it’s the latter.

The one good thing was Will found a Bob the Builder tractor that he spent about 30 minutes on. It was very cute. And he pulled out his “Oh Face.”

We also spent some time at the beach and Will loved it. Well, he loved most of it. Check out this picture of my wife pulling a Michael Jackson and dangling my son off the edge of a sea wall.

And finally, enjoy the cutest albino child in the world experimenting with the sea.

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16 thoughts on “Hell is Chuck-E-Cheese

  1. Oh, the HELL that is Chuck E. Cheese. There are 2 in the Birmingham area…one we will visit, the other we will not. The one we won’t…well, it sounds just like the one you went to. Except the parents drop the kids off with a little token money and once that is gone? The go around and beg from the parents who stick around. Cheap babysitters. Manners do not exist. The other is in a nicer part of town, but even there you have spoiled brats that don’t have to mind manners because they are ‘too good’ to have to be polite. You just don’t have to be as worried about one of the little tykes packin heat. Seriously.

  2. I hate Chuck E. Cheese. My parents took me once, and never brought me again. I could never figure out why until I went there with a little 2 year old girl that I used to babysit – HOLY HELL. I must have subconciously blocked the horror of it all out as a child.

  3. Daddy Files, I love the way you TRULY PUT IT OUT THERE!!! DF I am soo with you on everything. About the parenting issues of other people, about the parents themselves, about our society and the way they are seeing things in the world. Just look at the TV and it lays it all out there that “these things are acceptable”. I am soo from ‘Old School’ (But I am a cool, with it Mom :)) I’m just glad to see you have morals and values that you learned from your parents. They have done a good job. My concerns is having my grandchildren being brought up in this loose, unconventional, chaotic way of life. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Oh… and PS.. You have a cute little guy :) Instill your values in him and he will make you proud :)

  5. I have never NOR WILL I EVER venture into this germ ridden hell hole on earth. Nor will I go to Disney. Yea, I’m evil but I KNOW my limits. And there isn’t enough beer in either place to make me have a decent time and not yell at another stupid parent. I’ve put my foot down on CCheese….

  6. Hate the damned place! yes, very ghetto nation wide. im always thinking someone is going to steal my kids. no joke. i position myself so that i can guard the exit at all times. good thing they serve beer there.

  7. *dragging out my soap box*

    Given the fact that I have dedicated my career to helping people in matters concerning housing and have witnessed the relief and tears of someone struggling receive their section 8…And given I have actual experience with the ratio of system abusers to valid need, I take umbrage with your classification of “little section 8 hoodlums”. Aside from all that I’M a participant in said program. So the next time I see you don’t be surprised when I borrow inspiration from Joe Hallenbeck and ask “Head or Gut?” I’ll thank you to not perpetuate those stereotypes.

    We bring the kids to the one in North Dartmouth. You’d think, given its location, it would have the same issues you dealt with. We haven’t had any problems though. I try to keep them out of the ceiling maze thing though. Kids pee in there and it’s disgusting. I was happy that they had hand sanitizer in several locations. I did however disagree with a few people who think it’s not only appropriate but good that they serve beer in an establishment geared specifically towards children.

  8. JEE: You’re right, it was the perpetuation of a stereotype. But c’mon, I stereotype all the time. As a blogger it’s pretty much mandatory. I’ve stereotyped about men, women, moms, dads, etc. I can’t arbitrarily draw the line somewhere. Everyone is fair game. You and I and every other rational person out there knows there are hard-working, responsible people getting assistance of various kinds. Hell, we had to apply for assistance in getting our adjustable mortgage rates temporarily locked in place. So if I must choose, I’m going with gut because I have much more cushion and the ability to absorb what will surely be a Mike Tyson-esque punch when we next meet!

    As to your other point, I completely disagree with not allowing Chuck-E-Cheese to serve beer. Kids are at restaurants all the time and beer is served there. What’s the difference? An alcoholic is going to drink no matter what, but why shouldn’t the adults in attendance be able to have a beer? If you ban alcohol at places like that, why not ban it at sporting events, all eating establishments and anywhere else kids are?

  9. I also thought the Section 8 remark was out of line. There is bloggers license, and then there is just plain wrong and out of line. That remark was the latter. Go ahead and call me a bleeding heart liberal, but that was just not a good thing. However, feel free to continue praising your parents.

  10. Riiight, Chuck E Cheese where a kid can be a kid and adults can catch a buzz, lol. It’s not about having beer available where children may go. It’s about serving beer and wine in an environment specifically for children. Lord knows my children often leave me wanting to crawl in a dark corner with a bottle of Jameson. However, I would have to seriously question my parental abilities if I couldn’t tamp down those urges long enough to spend a few hours at Chuck E Cheeses. We went in July for my youngest sons birthday. I was disgusted by parents reactions to finding out beer and wine were available. Suddenly it became all about making them happy instead of the kids. That’s what Dave and Busters is for, smh.

    As a housing advocate, it’s mandatory that I call you out on your stereotyping, lol. People always stereotype until it directly effects them. That directly effects me. If I had more time on my hands I would compile a list of times you got your panties in a bunch about being stereotyped as a father *raspberry*

  11. But JEE, that’s different. That stereotype is about me!!! ;-P Look, this is my way of saying I agree with you and that I made a mistake, but I’m too stubborn to go take it out of the post. And now that my father is on your side, I’m DEFINITELY not removing it!

    But it’s not about tamping down any urges or the NEED to have alcohol. It’s about wanting to enjoy a frosty beer while you’re stuck in kid hell for a few hours. You can have a beer or two and be a responsible parent at the same time. Otherwise you end up doing what my friend Sarah did, which is sneak in nips of Capt. Morgan to put in our Chuck-E-Cheese cups!

  12. I refuse to go to those places b/c of the “extremely high class people” that make it unbearable to be. Try going down here… Laughable.. just sit in the parking lot for a minute and observe the crowd going in.. might as well be a family strip club…
    as a side note..
    im so glad you picked the spot in the sea wall with the storm drain in close proximity… I know you nothing of the salty greatness of the ocean but MJ knows better than the gross mess that likely is very near there..it looks way to cold up there so when you guys gonna be down here?

  13. Never been to that particular corner of kid hell, but I’ve been to other parts several times, and a beer is a most appreciated luxury. Glad my kid’s getting older. The last birthday party he attended was a tour of the local police department. Kinda cool, and having the cops tell 15 boys they have to be quiet and in control at all times and actually get them to do it was amazing!!!

    As for the manners, it’s the parents who I notice have absolutely no manners. What can you expect from the kids? We’ve raised our boy to have manners, and we stay on him even when his friends exhibit none whatsoever. I’ll even call him out in front of his “girlfriends” he shows off for.

  14. I had a similar experience at the local Cheese in San Diego. This particular Cheese shares a parking lot with my gym. (the smells are cruel) While pulling into a parking spot, that apparently a minivan wanted, a man began screaming at me. The father, with a full van of kids and wife told me that that was his F***ing spot and what was I doing? Well I’m not sure how it was his spot, but I had to stop him, tell him that I was not going to argue with him and reminded him that he has children in the van. That didn’t stop him and I just walked away hoping that he wouldn’t slash my tires. Never a good experience at any Chuck E. It’s nation wide!

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