Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I've Experienced Purgatory...

...and it was in the form of a Chuck E Cheese birthday party.  I would've said that I have experienced hell, but this came to an end after a couple of hours, so I've settled on Purgatory.

It was my nephew's birthday, so it was not one of those events that I could just send the wife to.  And even though I swore I was never going to bring my children there, you really can't say when a four year old asks if you're coming.  So while I was dreading this party for weeks, I have to admit found it to be fun, and very fascinating. 

The fascination was stemming from looking at all the adults that were around me.  All the parents who were sitting at these machines, tokens in hand, playing these games to win their kids tickets.  IT was completely depressing to see these neutered parents (mostly dads), cranking these games like they were sitting at slot machines, while their children was nowhere to be seen.  It was quite the sad sight to witness.

But aside from that, I did get a kick out of watching my son's excitement.  While he's never experienced anything like this before, he grasped on the concept pretty quickly.  He puts a coin in a machine, the machine gives him tickets, move on to the next machine, and that was all he understood.  He had no idea what the tickets meant, he had clue how many he needed, he just knew he wanted as many as he can get (the signs of a true capitalist). 

I even got the opportunity to teach my son to play the game I loved as a kid, skeeball.  An experience I soon regretted when my son couldn't comprehend the concept of an underhanded roll.  He threw that shit like he was pitching against Derek Jeter, and I learned two things:
  1. Skeeball now has hard Plexiglas shields to prevent cheating, and
  2. A hard skeeball will travel off that Plexiglas at an angle equal and opposite at the point of impact.
He threw that ball, and all I could do it pray: 

God, please don't let me have to pay for this machine.  And please
let this ball not hit me or anyone else.  I really don't want to get into
a fight in the hell hole.  This is where kids can be kids, they don't
need to see to grown men rolling around on the floor over a

Fortunately for me, he didn't break the machine, he didn't break me, and we got call for the birthday party.  
So it was now pizza time (a.k.a. tantrum time #1), and we left the game room.  We eat pizza, we sang happy birthday, and an employee came out as Chuck E Cheese himself.  He went around high fiving all the kids, all the while he's scaring the shit out of my son.  He may be the proprietor/mascot of that establishment, but to my son he was a 6 foot rat trying to touch him.  So when this Chuck E left, my son calmed down, at some cake, and played some more, and then got ready to leave.
My wife cashed in his tickets for a prize, (by my math it was $20 in tokens, to get that $2 plastic slinky), and we headed home.  The highlight of the experience, it wiped my son out and he slept for almost 4 hours.  That as it turned out was my prize. 

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