Suck E. Cheese's sucks cheese.
Sucked then: 1998 Sucks now.
OK, to be fair, we've spent more time at the mutant rip-offs near us, "Boomer's" and "Oasis".
But it's all the same freakshow: A chaotic sugar-fueled germ-fest of shoeless children running amok amidst clanging game machines and miserable parents.
I'll be honest: when that "child-party-looking" invitation arrives, I say the Birthday Party trifecta prayer:
#1) Please let us be busy that day
#2) If not, please let it not be in the next county.. and
#3) Sweet Mother of God, please don't let it be at Chuck E. Cheese.
Because there IS NO DROPPING OFF at these parties. I mean you could, but it's like child-abduction paradise. So you're left making small talk for 2 hours with "I Really Don't Remember Whose Mom You Are" and silently cursing your husband who is no doubt stretched out on the couch with a bowl of popcorn watching football.
There's always a "Ball Pit" aka, "The Virus Acquisition Chamber".
There's always a "Playscape" with "Sky-Tunnels": This uses up a good half hour with:
"Mom! Look up here!"
"I see you!"
" Mom! Look!"
"Mom! Watch me!"
"God in heaven why didn't I bring vodka.'"
And the KICKER, the Icing on the Cake...is when the party is finally, mercifully, over.....and you think you're gonna get to grab your coat and go........
....the TICKETS. The freakin' TICKETS. Your child's reason for living: the mother-f'n tickets they've been "winning" all afternoon to "spend" at the "Prize Counter".
Not only are there 15 kids ahead of you in line, but each one is in the quandry of his life, deciding whether to spend their tickets on a plastic slinky or a spider ring or a styrofoam airplane. And there is one employee. Inevitably, there is something like an iPod or an Xbox360 displayed in the case so that each and every child ahead of you asks: how many tickets for THAT?
Not enough tickets in the world, kid, that's just there to mess with you.
Another half hour later you finally reach the sanctity of your car with your new possessions: a Ring Pop, a Chinese fan, a rubber snake and 2 weeks of impetigo. Thanks for the party favor, Suck E.Cheese.