October 12th, 2009

Chuck E Cheese is not a mouse

This weekend I made my very first visit to Chuck E Cheese.  I know, I know, how can I have a five year old and never have taken him to Chuck E Cheese before? Well, we don't have one super close to where we live and also sometimes I, you know, resist trying things. It's kind of like how I refused to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich until I was thirty years old. But whatever, I finally did try the PB&J and I finally decided to drag my kids to Chuck E. Cheese.

First of all, the place is like a major sensory overload - people swarming everywhere,  flashing lights, the noisy rides, the dancing animals - not that it bothered the kids, they loved it - but me, I felt like I could seriously use a small, dark room to escape to for a little silence. 

I loved watching my kids play the games and ride the rides but what I always enjoy at these kind of places is the people watching. Seriously, sometimes I think if I need some character direction for my writing I just need to spend some time watching random people for some major inspiration.  For example, there was this fighter jet ride that Sam loved. He would try out different games and rides but kept coming back to the airplane ride. One time there was this man, yes MAN - I'd guess about 25 years old - riding on the ride. So we got in line and waited.  It was like a video game so I see the appeal, but this man would not get off. He just kept feeding tokens into the machine. Like 15 times. So there we were just waiting and waiting for Sam to take a turn and this man refused to get off. I wanted to say "what is your problem? There is a five year old that is waiting so patiently and you need to play this game another time??" Villain character? I think so.

And what are those dancing animals? I say Chuck E Cheese is a mouse, but no, Sam insisted it was a bear.  I know I'm wrong a lot, but honestly on this one, I think I'm correct. It's a mouse, right???