The Party

Kat Spitzer The Happy Hypochondriac www.happyhypochondriac.com

I have discovered Hell. Right here in my home town. Hell is Chuckie Cheese on a Sunday. Now, I will clarify. I have no problem with this fine establishment. In fact, my children have coerced me into taking them on a few select occasions; namely during a weekday when the place is virtually empty. I have never stepped foot in the joint on a weekend. And now I know why. 

Today we went for a birthday party; my son's friend turned six. It took us twenty minutes to enter the door. Maybe you didn't quite see that correctly. It literally took us TWENTY minutes to walk inside the building. Once inside, we had to strip as many layers as possible because the temperature topped out at about 100 degrees. And I am fairly certain we were exceeding capacity for fire regulations. As we waded through the masses to find our birthday table, we noticed we were one of about eight birthdays happening simultaneously. When the Chuckie came out to sing happy birthday, the staff quickly put crowns on eight different kids and the whole place sang a collective happy birthday for all of them. I have never experienced herd partying before. Interesting.

At one point my son received his tokens to go off and play the games. He managed to find one game available the whole time. He seemed so small and frustrated. I took the chance to keep telling him to make sure not to put his hands in his mouth. I could see germs like Neo sees the Matrix. I had to step over multiple dirty socks just lying in the middle of the floor. I watched as food staff brought out pizzas and people brushed up against them, or coughed in their general direction. As I held my Orange Fanta in my hand (I don't usually drink a lot of soda, but I just needed something to ease the pain), someone actually walked by and sneezed on the straw. In the trash with that Fanta. Towards the end of the party, my son desperately wanted to crawl up into the ceiling habitrail that works its way around the whole restaurant. I agreed, grudgingly. When he came down after about ten minutes, he was covered in sweat and completely red in the face. All the kids were. I heaved a little on the inside. A group of girls thought that everything, from the slide, to the games, to the animatronic characters deserved a shrill scream. One mother and I couldn't decide whether to laugh the whole time or just look around in quiet desperation. 

I came home with a headache, a stomachache, six moist game tickets, about ten dirty tokens, a filthy child who has been soaked in hand sanitizer, and a 99 percent chance of illness in the next seven days. He had a blast. I, however, told my husband he should be VERY thankful he was busy this afternoon.

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