Monday, June 4, 2012

The Horror of Chuck E Cheese

Stella was invited to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese this weekend, which meant that I spent several hours in the company of animatronic rodents, in theory "supervising" my children but actually shutting down my sensory intake systems one by one to in an attempt to reduce my external stimulus levels to survivable levels.

The kids loved Chuck E Cheese, of course, in the way that they can only truly love something that is really, really bad for them. Here are some photos, courtesy of my friend Christine K, who was also there, and who also hopes to live a normal existence some day again after intensive therapy:

See? The kids were loving it! You can tell from the manic look in their eyes and the thin sheen of sweat on their brows! Meanwhile, I was partaking in the kids' joy, playing games with them, and experiencing the whole event through the eyes of a child. Whatever, fuck that. As usual, I was reading.

In case you're wondering what I was reading: World War Z by Max Brooks, a novel about zombies taking over the world. Which was pretty appropriate, considering the inside of Chuck E Cheese. What the heck is that glowing mouse face over my shoulder...? Run for your life! It wants brains!

Speaking of zombies, the birthday cake had a picture of Justin Bieber's face on it, in the frosting:

Stella doesn't have the foggiest clue who Justin Bieber is. Actually, I'm not sure I really understand who he is either. (Undersecretary of Agriculture, right?)  But I believe that the ability to realistically depict a teenage heart-throb on a birthday cake can be reasonably called one of humankind's greatest achievements. Putting a man on the moon was great and all, but you should see the detail in Justin's bangs.

And the games. Oh, the games. You buy tokens and then use the tokens to operate the games and then you bug your mother for more tokens. It's a skinflint parent's worst nightmare. Actually, Stella got some tokens as part of the party, and then after those were all gone, I just kept repeating, "There's plenty of fun to be had here without tokens," which must have been true because (a) we were the last ones to leave after the a freaking HOUR, and (b) when we did leave I practically had to pry Stella's fingers off the air hockey table to get her to go.

Stella had so much fun at the birthday party that of course she has requested to have her birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. Thank god her birthday isn't until November, because I'm pretty sure she will have forgotten about Chuck E Cheese by then. Unless of course, we really do have a zombie apocalypse by then, in which case, what the heck, I would definitely let her go to Chuck E Cheese for her birthday. And maybe even buy her a token or two.

But I wouldn't bet on it.