Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Suck E. Cheese's



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!"
"I'm Looking...."
"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. 




82 comments:

Mr. Bastard said...

yeah and they always smell of piss....however my son whom you can see a picture of in my website loves it....wary of the ball pits mind! Watch out for the junkies needles!!!!!!!!!

Philly said...

When they first open, I used to take my daughter there, she is 21 now, they used to sell BEER!!!
Was great!!

#1

Larissa said...

Ahh, our local Suck E. Cheese HAS no more ball pit, and STILL serves beer. Niiiiiiice. It actually wasn't as painful as I expected the first time I actually caved and took my 2-year old there so he'd stop harassing me everytime he saw the commerical for one of those insane asylums.

But - NEVER remember to bring the Purell. I trust NOTHING anymore, after my son got Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease from a visit to the friggin ZOO of all places. Mmm. Gotta love that bacterial goodness.

Deb said...

I hate hate hate Suck E. Cheese! Luckily, I think we might be past that stage now. Of course, now that I said that, I'm sure we'll get an invitation to a party there. Every time I'm there, and every time that stupid Chucky mouse comes out (in the costume), I have an urge to tackle it and start pummeling it. Knowing that would be wrong was the only thing that kept me from acting upon that urge. Ours never served beer, but there isn't enough beer in the world to make it tolerable.

Deb said...

Oh, and that reminds me of Gymboree. When my son was 2, we went there. Not only did I hate it, b/c I hated talking to all the goofy moms there, but my son got sick EVERY time we went there, 2 days later. I dubbed Gymboree Germboree. Besides, how annoying was gymbo the clown anyway?

Meg said...

My Suck E. Cheese days have turned in to Laser tag. More expensive but fewer junk toys to bring home.

Jarrard said...

Holy Mother - I was just sitting here minding my own business and now there is coffee all over my desk from laughing hysterically.

I feel like I finally have found my soul mate in the hatred for Suck E. Cheese. I think I love you.

BTW - my son (13) is going to a party at a rip off place Sunday for a 2 year old friend of ours. I will be DROPPING him off and going to another local establishment for a football game. Actually he would rather go with me, but that would be rude and all......

Mandy said...

I thank God that the alcohol is available to keep us mommies and the daddies somewhat sane in an otherwise sucky place.

The Microblogologist said...

It is a good workout for the immune system if nothing else... They got rid of the balls, now they just have to get rid of the stupid tunnels at the one by my parents' place. Pretty sure the one back home still sells beer. That is why it is a good idea to make sure that whoever is in charge of passing out liquor licenses is a parent. I maintain that Suck E. Cheeses is a training facility for the future generation of gamblers, a casino for kids if you will. Oh and thanks for posting about google analytics, aka my new source of entertainment =).

Karen

Heinous said...

Too damn funny. I'm lucky because we have no such plagues around here. Parties take place in back yards and houses. I always make sure I go with my wife too so she doesn't get boned with child watching/small talk duty all by her lonesome.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Perfect post...all the way down to my husband at home on the couch and those horrible tickets for dollar store prizes. You nailed it!


Meanwhile, Chuck is laughing all the way to the bank.

Gettysburg Mom said...

What a shame... we don't have one in this area. There is, of course, a lesser version my husband takes the older kids to sometimes. I'm usually busy during these trips: home on the couch watching Million Dollar Listing with a margarita. :)

leigh said...

thank GOD my kids are too old for this place now. plus that nasty mouse costume absolutely smells like stinky feet.

the first time my daughter went to a party there she was about 2. she was freaking petrified by that stupid mouse and was actually shivering with fear.

Brittany said...

BRILLIANT!

I got pink eye just from reading this!

And the last paragraph, genius!

Jen said...

I thought I was the only one who can never remember whose mom belongs to which kid. Suck E. Cheese (brilliant nickname, btw) is just a pathetic attempt to copy Disney. Accept their rodent isn't as cute as Mickey.

jill jill bo bill said...

That, my friend, is what Hell is going to be like. Chaos all around...and one cannot EVER leave. Make sure you're going to Heaven. I swear I read it somewhere in the Bible.

Tenakim said...

a freakin men!

Karen said...

Personally we refer to it as Germ E. Cheese. But the sentiment? EXACTLY the same!

sassy stephanie said...

Oh man how true. I hate with a passion. Luckily, our Suck E. has no ball pit, but still could put a petri dish to shame.

oº˚ Anissa ˚ºo said...

My kids are not allowed in the ball pit! I'v heard to many scary stories. There was a 2 year old that died from a junkie needle in their. Be very careful with the ball pit!

Jen said...

this is a new thing to me. I have not experienced it yet but I know that my time is coming.

Mama Dawg said...

I'm in the minority.

I love Suck E Cheese. I'm the one hogging the high ticket machines.

Yeah, I'm THAT adult.

McMommy said...

I absolutely HATE The Cheese!!!!

It is a germophobe's worst nightmare.

Although, they do sell beer.

But then, you are THAT mom drinking BEER at a kid's birthday party.

(What's so wrong with being THAT mom, anyway?)

Anonymous said...

In Virginia, where we lived, they served wine and beer, I was saved...

Linda S said...

when my little one was 1, her diaper exploded all over my shirt and I got to wear a chucke birthday shirt all night! It was awesome! I should totally blog about that...

Tiffany said...

I hate Chuck E. And hubby thinks he MUST win all the freaking tickets while HE plays the games and I'm stuck running after kiddo and avoiding the demon kids that the parents are so totally not watching. And lucky for me, my kid is only 4 so I go pick out his prize. If he had to choose we would be there all day. Also note I had my 5th birthday there. LOL It was cool back then. Right???

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Would you believe it? With 6 kids, I've only been once. Thank goodness. That giant rat scared the hell out of me.

Threeboys1mommy said...

Yeah we Alpha moms avoid the Cheese at all cost. I have no clue what your talking about, but it's amusing to hear what you beta moms are up to.

georgie said...

and this post makes me grateful my youngest is almost 11 and so over those kinda B-Day Parties...on the othr end of the spectrum...Oldest beans wants a Boy/Girl B-Day Party at a Hotel for a sleepover WTF?

KSK said...

This will probably curse me in years to come, but I managed to get through my children's early years WITHOUT a single Skunky Cheese visit (heavenly chorus of sopranos singing allelujia). Dump Most Foul.

Kendra said...

Thankfully...THANKFULLY...we don't have a Chuck E. Cheese where we live. We do have a smaller local knock-off version, but that place is actually somewhat tolerable. It's split into sections, with games for older kids on one area and games for the younger kids in a different area. I've been there only once and it was very busy, but I survived and would be willing to go back for another party if one came up.

Around here, a lot of warm-weather birthday parties at held at the local parks so the kids can play on the playgrounds and in the spray parks. I would so do that in a minute, but it doesn't quite work for November birthdays...

Caroline said...

OMG...you summed that up perfectly! That place is my worst nightmare! The whole ticket thing is such a racket. My girls never get more than 50 tickets which means they get a stupid pink spinning top (which I spent a good $30 in games...I could have gone to Oriental Trading and bought 4500 of those stupid things). I don't think I hate any place more...

jaime said...

it's so funny i just read this because we almost went there last night! lol!!
but my son didn't take his nap and therefore i told his friend he couldn't go because i was afraid he would either:
a) turn into evil tired boy
b) fall asleep as soon as i stuck him in the car- and then not go to bed til midnight.
turned out that he did turn into tired evil boy and i had a hellof an evening before he finally fell asleep-
i'll be damned if he gets outta nap time today!
Also, he's still coughing from a cold he got PROBABLY from Party N Play- a lovely place full of ball pits and germs gallore.

ali said...

Me thinks BG would love the Ball Pit!

In college, I used to work in the kids game room at a mexican restaurant. If I was in a bad mood I'd give them lemon or lime suckers. If I was in a good mood I'd give them cherry or grape.

jaime said...

but our suck e cheese is funny for the fact that there's no tickets! when i asked about that, they said the mayor of the town it is in says that the tickets make it gambling and gambling is not allowed there- NO JOKE! i don't make this shit up...so it's the only one that doesn't have tickets- we just get to BUY the shitty toys before we leave- yay!
gotta love jersey.

Kat said...

Great blog. So funny, thanks for making me laugh this morning.
I too dread opening an invitation only to read its at that hellish cave!

The Mom said...

I'm totally laughing at Brittany's post...getting pink eye from reading BWAHAHAHAHA!

I try to bribe my kids out of those birthdays and make them promise not to tell their friends!

Val said...

Oh no. We banned that place from our house. It only took one time for Big Daddy to have to crawl around in that rat maze of a thing suspended from the ceiling retrieving kids to never have to go back!

Lauren said...

LMOA under my breathe here at work. You're worrying the beejeebers outta this single gal.

Anonymous said...

Suck E. Cheese is a place that only DAD takes the kiddos! Mommy NO likey!!!!

proseandconverse said...

I, too, hate the place with a firey passion so every time we drove by it and the kids would mention it, I told them it was closed. Yup, they were cleaning it and it was closed. When they asked when it would be open, I said we had to wait for Chuck to call us and let us know. Poor kids checked the voicemail every day for about a month, and then forgot about it.
Sign of relief.

After a few instances of other people's kids trying to bully/steal from mine, having my usually well-behaved kids make a scene when we tried to leave, and one too many times of having to army-crawl through the tunnels to drag a kid out, I can think of something else that rhymes with Suck E Cheese...

Allison said...

I like your perspective. I insisted on having every single one of my birthday parties at CEC and left crying EVERY effing time because I only had six tickets due to the piece of shit skee ball.

Jennifer said...

My kids have a tradition that they always vomit at Chuckie's--it adds so much to the pleasantness of the day!

My friend and I joke that it smells "purple" at CEC--I think it's the deodorizer they spray to get the vomit smell out.

Good times!!

ciara said...

my girls still love this place..one is sposed to be outgrowing it. i HATE crowds and being ripped off, but i seem to subject myself to this torture on occasion.

one place i really hate? disneyland...everyone is sposed to love disney. not me. it sucked. don't.ever.want.to.step.foot.there.again. i actually hate all amusement parks lol

Southern Gal said...

I heard most places don't even have the balls anymore because it was too hard to clean out when kids pooped in there.

Guess what else I heard? Those tunnels have been puked & pooped in... a lot!

Insane Mama said...

Yea, Chuck E Cheese can kiss my ass, I would NEVER go there sober

Shelley said...

Yikes. Well, while I'm not too fond of the place myself, I will ashamedly admit that we are having my daughter's birthday party there on Saturday. She is turning 6. We're only having 6 guests, and it was the best place I could find where I got the most for my money and didn't have to do anything.

I wanted Jeepers at first, which is like an indoor amusement park for kids with rides and stuff, but just within the last month they changed their bd parties, and now every single thing you want, besides the entrance fee, is an "added price". It was outrageous.

So think of me on Saturday, I'll be spending 90 minutes with the big rodent. I may even take pictures. Oh, and they do still sell beer at the one we're going to. I asked.

Crazy Momma said...

ROFLMAO! This is HYSTERICAL!

I REFUSE to bring my kids to Suck E. Cheese. In fact, my mother brings one every year. The other went with "school" this summer...

I said "HAVE A GREAT TIME 'CAUSE THIS MOMMA AIN'T BRINGING YOU THERE - EVER"!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, checking out my playlist and leaving me some love :)

Michelle said...

And why does it always smell like the biggest dirtiest nastiest foot ever? I think all the other moms wait until their kids are as dirty and smelly as possible and then take them to the Cheese, just to make the other moms share in their stinky-kid misery.

Mags said...

Suck E Cheese tells it all!!! My kids were invited to TWO SuckE parties last week. I made my husband take them to the first one because there was no way in hell that I was going there twice.

LoSpace said...

How 'bout the gun that (intermittently) shoots o-shaped foam disks (but mostly jams up). For 450 tickets. From Peeter Pooper, Suck E Cheese's smaller and poorer but no less germ-ridden cousin.

Julie said...

Shhhh...my son is almost 18 and I still haven't told him those places exist. I could never deal with the idea of my baby submerged in the ball pit o'shit.

Me said...

word.

mommypie said...

We don't have a Chuck E. Cheese in my state (thankyouthankyouthankyou), but when you ask my daughter where she wants to go for vacation, that's THE place.

Those balls alone would be enough to send me into a Purell frenzy.

MA of pink papillon said...

HAHAHAHA!!! But we call it Chuck E. Disease. :O)

~annie said...

Oooh my head hurts and I smell pee. Another "Just Say No" event. You don't have to go to every birthday party. Half of them are inviting us to be polite and we are going to them to be polite. It's ok to say "no" unless it is one of the two best friends, of course. There will be plenty of kids there.

No to Disney. No to Suck E. Cheese. No to obnoxious wild behavior and the sugar fueled "gimmes." No to snacks after kids' sports events (I'll bring my own, thanks). I don't need the pressure of keeping the kids and parents happy by picking the perfect balance of delicious and nutritious.

No to party bags; wasn't it enough to play games and eat cake and ice cream? We've gotten party bags that cost more than the gift we brought. My kids don't need more stuff... even if you did find the one thing they don't have yet.

And I can never remember which parents I'm supposed to know or who their kid is, either.

Kelly said...

lol thats funny. We hate Chuck E Cheese..the pizza totally blows..it somewhat resembles cardboard.

Lisa-licious said...

We call it "Yuck E. Sneezes" because of all the germs...I also tell my kids it is closed when we drive by. If we see kids going in or out, I tell my kids that they are the owners children, and can go in whenever they want. It has worked so far...also, on the rare occasion when I must attend a party there, I have discovered that Vodka in an Dasani bottle will pretty much save the day! Joking! Ish...

Star said...

Note to self...do not take Twinkle to Suck E. Cheese

amelia bedelia said...

59 comments! wow, you be popular! man, what can I say, that someone else has not already. Funny stuff!

Melissa said...

OMG this post cracked me up! Every time I see that ball pit about a gazillion urban legends run through my mind. We were at Dave & Busters (another kiddie casino) in Chicago and my daughter was playing skeeball when the game malfuntioned and spit out something like 3000 tickets. She would probably count it as a highlight of her childhood. Not only was she able to buy some stuff from the elusive glass case but she even had enough left over to buy Mommy & Daddy D&B shot glasses. Isn't she thoughtful? :)

Merrie said...

You just detailed every gd visit we've ever made there. Wait...do we go to the same Chuck's?? Next time I'll bring the hooch.

Julie said...

Lord, I HATE that place. I also hate Pump it Up (indoor inflatable funplace). I always end up with a headache. We NEVER go and my 4 year old is starting to catch on.

Heather said...

Okay, must brag here (though with my luck, I'll be instantly jinxing myself and Kiddo will receive multiple invites in the coming weeks...):

I have never, ever in my life set foot inside a Chuck E. Cheese. This is despite living less than one half mile away from the closest Mouse House o' Germs and having a five year old child. Also despite having a client who obtained a job at another CEC location and required job coaching - I used the boss's prerogative and made other folks on my staff coach him and never put myself in the rotation to cover his hours.

When I was a kid, my parents steadfastly refused to take my sisters and me to our area's version of CEC (Showbiz Pizza). I plan to pass this same gift along to my kiddo, unless, of course, the dreaded birthday party invite comes in the mail.... But if and when that day comes, I'm making Hubby go, because I did the damn princess party and he owes me now!

Oh and PS to whomever upthread mentioned never remembering the Purell - I always carry a teensy bottle in my purse, and a gigantic pump dispenser bottle in my car. That way, we're never too far away from removing the germs of the masses. Woot!

JenniBeanV said...

Oh this made me LOL...

Those tickets though...man, those things suck the life right out of me. You could waste a whole day with the kids trying them to just pick something already so you can get the frick out of there!

Rochelle said...

I'm with ya. And to make matters worse, we have gypsies working our local Suck E. Cheese. TWICE I've had tickets and tokens stolen. Stealing from kids SUCKS!

I'll have to look into the beer and wine. Pretty sure it is not available at ours. All birthday invites need to be BYOV - bring your own vodka!!

Former Fat Chick said...

Wait 'till you walk in on you kid and his girl...you'll be crying wishing you could still be worrying about germs in the "ball pit" hahaaaaa

The wife said...

Thank you jesus for other people feeling the same way about this hell hole! I had a friend who, of course doesn't have a child of her own yet, that couldn't believe I refused to take my little ladies there! Yeah, one evening with the creepy looking peeps in the piss filled air with crappy pizza to boot later she got it!

Julie said...

It sucks to know that there will come a time when I can no longer steal my kid's tickets so I can get cotton candy.

Lipstick said...

LMAO!! We have managed to avoid the Cheese thank goodness.

BusyDad said...

Flashbacks! Leathery pizza... Flashbacks! the smell of afterschool feet... Flashbacks! robotic stuffed animals whose blinking eyes fool no one. You can get post traumatic stress disorder from a blog post, right?

Ann said...

I just needed to hop on the "Hallelujah" band wagon. I dread that place.

bejewell said...

I am SO adopting that name. Up until now we've just been calling it "The Most Annoying Place on Earth."

In return, I will give you this: "Crapplebees."

You're welcome.

Susan said...

Hilarious and so very, very true! Awhile back I had a friend call and say she was taking her four kids to Suck E Cheese since it was raining. She asked me if I wanted to meet her there. Uhh, let me think...NOOOOOO!!

Tasha said...

"#3) Sweet Mother of God, please don't let it be at Chuck E. Cheese."

Bahahaha! They serve beer there- thank god. It's amazing what a little beer will do for my sanity. I just slam it while the kids are the the tube thingies...ahhhhh!

Elaine A. said...

OMG, I am laughing my arse off at that last paragraph. Suck it Chuck!

(that's what I always say anyway...)

Amy said...

The fact that in nearly 12 years of motherhood I have NEVER been to Chuck E. Cheese is one of my most proud achievements!

* TONYA * said...

Okay, now if you ever become my bff ... which is on my to do list by the way ... you had so better not be 'busy' b/c I refuse to suck down cocktails on my own.

Suck-e-cheese plain sucks.

Swirl Girl said...

I can't believe I never saw this post....I couldn't bave said it better myself.

I.Hate.the Cheese.

just a girl... said...

I love that you said impetigo. When my son was small I just new he was going to get that from daycare. LMAO

ann of the cellphone bag said...

One thing that you didn't mention was the noise level. The constant racket of screaming tots was completely intolerable. I left with a headache.

Your post was completely on the mark.

Kim said...

I love this blog almost as much as my children love Chuck E. Cheese. I find myself driving out of my way to not pass the joint so I don't have to spend 45 minutes arguing with a 3 year old and a 4 year old about why the place is always "closed". Damn the day when they figure out I'm lying.