Every parent has a time in their life when they say something they never would have imagined they would ever say. My time has come:
I like going to Chuck E. Cheese.
Today I took the car to Costco to get our tires rotated and was faced with a 3-hour wait. There is a CEC (you know I’m hooked when I start abbreviating) across the street from Costco so I decided we could wait it out there.
The picture above was taken at 1:00pm on a Monday afternoon. There were two other children in the entire place other than Theo. We ordered a pizza, I ate from the salad bar (won’t make that mistake again) and Theo was entranced by their animatronic Chuck E. Cheese robot.
My caveats regarding a successful CEC outing include:
— Near deserted conditions. You get to play whatever game you want without waiting and there aren’t a million kids with a billion germs all over the place.
— Brand new location. Our CEC is spotless and clean because it’s only been open for a few months. Once wear-and-tear sets in, we’ll have to abandon and find another, younger, newer, more attractive version. Facts of life.
— Timing it right so that you arrive right after the technicians test all the machines and leave trails of free tickets streaming out for the taking. No better lesson to teach your kids than maximum value for minimal effort and cost.
Downside: all that effort and ticket-earning grants you the privilege of choosing between all sorts of useless junk that a knick-knack averse person such as myself can’t stand. But a visit to CEC is about the journey, not the destination.
Thumbs up, indeed, Chuck E. Cheese. I can’t believe you won me over.