We went to not one but TWO party supplies stores last weekend to get stuff for my upcoming Angry Birds-themed birthday party. Just in case you just inclined your head in sympathy at the desperation of my childless life, let me inform you that being able to throw themed birthday parties for yourself is actually just the tip of a FABULOUS iceberg.
Kids (and childless adults) these days have a lot to choose from, my friends. You got your superheroes, your cartoon characters, and your occupations (firefighter, princess, firefighter princess, etc.). You know what my birthday party theme was as a kid? “Birthday.” I got a couple of balloons and a cake. And I was happy.
Actually, the best birthday parties were always at Chuck E. Cheese’s. And if your mind just mentally filled in “where a kid can be a kid,” WE SHOULD TOTALLY BE FRIENDS. You had pizza, and games, and those freaky animatronic animals, and tokens, and tickets, and oh-if-only-adult-life-were-
one-giant-round-at-Chuck-E.- Cheese’s. I occasionally
still dream that I’m playing a game of skee ball. (Despite a complete lack of
hand-eye coordination, I had to go with skee ball. I didn’t like the flashiness
of the video games or the violence of the whack-a-mole.)
And the ball pit? THE BALL PIT? Dude. Duuuuude. Did you hear the rumor that one of the balls had a sticker on it, and that if you found that ball and turned it in, you’d get a prize? I’m trying to figure out if that was one of those urban legends of the 1990s or whether I was just punked repeatedly. Though that ball pit was probably 2 feet deep, it seemed like a veritable ocean back in the day. You didn’t want to dig too far down, though, because you were pretty sure someone had pooped in it at some point.
I read awhile back that Chuck was getting a makeover. Behold the horror:
You’re telling me that the one resistor against our society’s rampant march to obesity is a rat who lives in a giant pizza restaurant? Have you not seen Templeton’s song in “Charlotte’s Web”? Those little dudes love food almost as much as I do. Come. ON.
Plus I think kids now don’t get tickets; they get points loaded onto some sort of debit card. Where the fun in that? The tokens-for-tickets transaction was my generation’s introduction to economics. Now, we’re just enabling a cashless society. So thank you, Chuck E. Cheese, for bringing about the Mark of the Beast.