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Real Friends Don't Make Friends Go to Chuck E. Cheese

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Good mom-friends are hard to find, which is why I always make sure they pass three very important tests before I'll share my carpool or my wine with them.


  1. She must be willing to drink non-kid-friendly drinks out of red cups anytime, anywhere.

  2. She must say f*ck. Because I don't trust someone who doesn't know how to throw out a good F-bomb now and then.

  3. And she must NEVEH, EVEH throw a party at Chuck E. Cheese.
I'm not sure why I hate good ol' Chuck E. Something just tells me that I'm better off at that other mouse house -- you know, the "Happiest Place on Earth"? But when my daughter recently received an invite to Chuck E. Cheese, she wouldn't take no for an answer.

So I did what any good mom would do: I armed myself with as much hand sanitizer and caffeine that I could get my hands on, and we were on our way! As I watched the delighted faces of my kids as they ran off to play skee ball till their arms fell off, I wondered if I could get used to the loop of lame-ass songs and the greasy pizza that was sure to self-destruct my Weight Watchers POINTS tracker.

Could it be that I had been wrong about this Mickey Mouse wannabe? No. Two hours later, after we had been subjected to a questionable salad bar, waited in line twenty minutes to redeem 450 hard-earned tickets for three Tootsie rolls and my husband was verbally accosted by a very large man who didn't want him standing in his 'hood (the 'hood in this case being the ball pit), I made the decision to secretly destroy the next Chuck E. Cheese birthday invite. 

My daughter may love that furry mouse and his dirty house, but that doesn't mean I have to.

next: Teens and Textual Harrassment
20 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anon  June 25, 2010, 7:30 AM

Nothing wrong with Chuck E Cheese

Renae June 25, 2010, 7:56 AM

I had my daughters b-day party @ a chuck e cheese in georgia & it was a horrible experience. Kids & adults pushing you out of line and verbally abusing you. My father was threatned & the workers did nothing. I will never set foot back in another chuck e cheese. My kids can have fun elsewhere.

Unknown Mom June 25, 2010, 9:21 AM

Ok hold up let me defend my friend Chuck E. I worked there in Texas on HWY 6 for MANY years and it is true that some Chuck E Cheeses are aweful but don’t judge all of them. I worked for a couple of stores when I was in college and let me say that it all has to do with the way the store is run. I had a manager named Frank that actually wanted to make his store the best store there was. He trained us personally to do what needed to be done to make sure each person left there happy. I can remember him training us on cleaning as well. I was a “rat pack” leader and to be perfectly honest he taught me a lot about cleaning. We had to clean constantly and as for the salad bar, we had to have someone assigned to make sure it was clean and filled at all times. Now with that said his store was a successful store. He was promoted to a bigger position in another state. The new manager name Anson sucked! He did not encourage his employees or make the work enviroment as clean as possiable and I think this was a big downfall. He was a jerk and he lost alot of his employees that had been there for years. Myself included. I found out that my old manager was going to take over a store in a pretty bad part of town and he called me to ask me if I wanted to come help him out. I did. The store became as awesome as the other one was at one time. I just wanted to say don’t blame Chuck! Blame the poor management. I do think that now the managers and employees really dont care about their jobs and I think that is sad because anyplace can be a place of fun if you have the right people running it.

Ashlee Holland June 25, 2010, 12:59 PM

BRILLIANT!!!! LOL…. I am still laughing!

Anon June 26, 2010, 7:11 PM

I’ve never had a problem at a Chuck E. Cheese, even had someone return the tickets I had dropped!
I was genuinely surprised that the prices were quite reasonable (compared to other local, indoor playplaces) - and they give you free refills on any drinks.
Of course I’m also from a small, suburban town in Ontario. So maybe it depends on where it is?

Lisa June 28, 2010, 5:35 PM

Oh… Chuck E. He seemed so fun when we were kids. But I agree that over the years, something has happened. It’s just not the same anymore. And I agree- he has become a dirty mouse!

Susan Rae Paulson June 28, 2010, 5:55 PM

Funny….. I always thought Chuck E. was a rat…… Never really liked that restaurant.

Heidi June 28, 2010, 6:24 PM

Well, after 3 children and a steady nauseating stream of Chuck E bday invites, I vowed five years ago to never set foot in the place again. Been there, done that— over and over and over and over. Not enough wine in the state of GA to make me do it again. Bravo! ;-)

Kim Wright June 28, 2010, 6:24 PM

When my son turned four we had a party at Chuck E Cheese. All the kids in his preschool class came - how do you choose some and not others? - and then my daughter brought two friends and my cousin came through town at that precise moment with her four kids. Bottom line… we were a party of 24 and I went borderline insane within minutes. When you book a party they give you a bunch of tokens in a plastic cup and at one point I’m walking among the games and rides just loading in tokens so the kids can play. I help three kids onto this little merry go round thing and put in the token and stand back and think “I have never seen a single one of those children before.” I had gotten the cheese fever so bad that I was putting tokens into machines for random kids. That’s what the place does to you.

Anonymous June 28, 2010, 6:32 PM

Susan, I thought he was a rat too until I sat down to write this article! LOL!

Liz Fenton June 28, 2010, 6:34 PM

Heidi and Kim, AMEN!

Melissa A. June 28, 2010, 7:05 PM

I liked it as a kid, but it has changed too much. I was freaked out by the animatronic stuff, but I would prefer it to all the modern day video technology. Why even bother? Just expand the game section and have a small area to eat. No one cares about the food anyway.
This was a funny post. Thanks for sharing!

Lynette June 28, 2010, 7:39 PM

I try to avoid Chuck E. Cheese at all cost.Thanks goodness we have not had to attend a birthday party there. I think we would have to be out of town if we did.

Thea  June 28, 2010, 8:21 PM

I pass with flying colors! That place is an armpit, and I plan in destroying all invites the kids ever get for that place :)

irene June 28, 2010, 8:23 PM

I thought it was a rat. And it should be a rat! I went to a birthday party there once and am still traumatized from the experience!!!!! I’ve trained my children to think of Chuck E Cheese as an evil force destined to give them food poisoning, ADD and swine flu. They never ask to go there.

Liz Fenton June 28, 2010, 8:31 PM

Irene, I think I’m going to have to do the same thing! xo

Liz Fenton June 28, 2010, 8:33 PM

Thea, I had a feeling you’d pass with flying colors!xo

Patricia  June 28, 2010, 10:56 PM

Liz, I totally agree! I love ur list of 3 things! I would pass the test for sure! I will not step foot in a Chuck E. Cheese, too much of a bad thing!! Thanks for the laughs!!

Crystal June 29, 2010, 7:56 AM

Chuck E Cheese creeps me and my kids out. Thanks for the super funny post, Liz. Made me laugh out loud. And I love to throw around an F bomb now and then… okay, more now than then.

Jennifer November 17, 2010, 12:09 AM

Oh and one more thing….
If this was Mickey Mouse and his clubhouse- which would be total awesome- there would be just as much filth, germs, crazy excited kids, crazy sycho parents, greasy food and a whole lot of happy tired children excited to go again… Just like our friend Chuck E!

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