Monkey Joe's is the Devil

I can’t believe it, my son turned 5 on Saturday. 

Because we had been celebrating his birthday all month long, we decided that there would be no party on the actual date.  What I’d like to know is, when did birthdays turn into Mardi Gras?  When I was a kid, you got 1 DAY of celebration.  You know, your ACTUAL birthday. 


However, all of the prior celebrating was long forgotten when the actual day rolled around.

DMo:  I can’t WAIT for my party tomorrow!
Me:  D, we already celebrated your birthday.  You remember, at Disneyworld?  And again at school?  Is this ringing a bell?
Me: *Shudder*

Monkey Joe’s.  If I had to describe hell, I think it would look a lot like the overcrowded bounce house of death that is Monkey Joe’s.  Look, I get it.  Bouncing is fun.  BUT bouncing with 500 other sugar-fueled children who are willing to crawl over your lifeless body to go down a slide is NOT.However... because I felt a tad guilty about not having a birthday party for my son, we decided to extend DMopalooza and headed to Monkey Joe’s.
As soon as I stepped in the door, I realized that the next two hours of my life would be sheer torture.  I remember thinking that they should offer armor or fake sumo suit rentals- I know I for one would have taken advantage of that offer.


If I had to guess, I’d say that there were about 1.5 billion people packed into the place.  When you first walk in, you see several large-screen TVs with very comfortable looking chairs for those parents that decide that they don’t need to supervise their children.  I’m sure there will be people who disagree with me about this- but this is my opinion regarding the parental TV haven.  IF YOUR KIDS ARE YOUNG ENOUGH TO THINK THAT BOUNCING IS AN AWESOME TIME, THEY NEED TO BE SUPERVISED.  Quit watching the damn TV for an hour and make sure your kid isn’t being “THAT kid”.  Who is “THAT kid”, you ask?  He would be the one who is using the smaller kids as a step stool to climb the netted walls.  “THAT kid” turns the bouncers into an Ultimate Fighting Championship Octogan.  I watched “THAT kid” (who I’d estimate to be about 6 years old) shove a 2 year old into a wall for absolutely no reason approximately 5 times.  But hey, I’m sure his parents were completely engrossed in the ESPN2 table tennis world championship that was on at the time so they were unable to do anything about it.  

I decided against my better judgment to let my youngest son go into one of the dreaded bouncers.  After he walked into the tiny maze that led to a slide, “THAT kid” entered right behind him.  As he began slamming into the walls and trampling the younger kids, my son froze at the top of the slide paralyzed with fear.  He wouldn’t come out.  I knew at this point I was going to have to go in and get him- so I crawled in (with my shoes on) to rescue him.  About 5 seconds after I crawled in, a power-drunk 13-year old started hysterically blowing her whistle to get me out of the bouncer.  MA’AM, YOU CAN’T BE IN THERE WITH YOUR SHOES ON!  YOU HAVE TO GET OUT NOW!  After briefly fantasizing about body slamming the whistle blower for calling me ma’am, I calmly told her I was trying to rescue my son.  About 3 seconds later, I was pummeled to the ground.  It all happened so quickly- I wasn’t sure what was going on.  But then I saw him.  My arch enemy “THAT kid” was back, and had knocked me over.  Between the frantic whistles, the screaming, and having just been run over, I slumped up the ladder, grabbed my boy and slid down the slide.  I was reprimanded once more by the prepubescent shoe police and went on my way.

I looked at my phone to see how long we’d been there thus far: 17 minutes.  17 minutes in Monkey Joe’s time is about 7 hours in real time. Exactly 53 minutes and 27 seconds later, we finally escaped.  The kids passed out about 2 nanoseconds after we got into the car. My husband and I sat very quietly for a while- finally I said something.

Me:  I have to tell you something.
SMo:  What?
Me: I hate Monkey Joe’s.
SMo:  Then I promise we won’t have your birthday party there.

I may or may not have punched him after that comment.  But I think what my husband was getting at is this.  It’s not about me anymore.  It’s about my precious angels who’ve been brainwashed by a giant purple gorilla to believe that Monkey Joe's is the ONLY acceptable place to celebrate their birthday.  So congratulations Monkey Joe.  You may have won this battle, but you won’t win the war.  And seriously, think about the armor rental thing.



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