Sunday, October 01, 2006

Where a Kid Can Be a Kid

Today we took Wonder-pea to Chuck E. Cheese for the very first time. This particular CEC was lite on the video games yet heavy on games and rides for little ones. Since we had a little one with us this worked out well.

I remember when I was about 13 there was a CEC like joint called Showbiz Pizza Place. This place rocked with tons of the latest arcade games, but one day the games began disappearing and ball pits and wack a moles sprang up. Then Showbiz got bought by CEC and that was the end of that. Anyways....

After eating some delicious pizza made by Chuck E. himself, me and Wonder-pea hit the games. And the game of choice was skee ball, which is not only fun but extremely dangerous when playing with my daughter. She hasn't quite mastered the idea of rolling the balls. She much prefers to throw them.

During a skee balling attempt in Disney World, Wonder-pea managed to throw balls into other lanes, at neighboring games and at passers by. She seemed confused that beaming Goofy in the crotch didn't produce extra tickets.

Today, however, we had a system. She would hand me the skee balls and I would roll them. And we were doing pretty well. After several games we had a whopping 44 tickets. I noticed that if you got a score of 450 you would get 200 some extra tickets. Seeing as how I could barely break 180 points this seem virtually impossible for anyone in the place......

...until another Dad managed to hit 460. An alarm went off....balloons fell from the ceiling...Chuck E came out and gave him the key to the restaurant....children were cheering. It was beautiful.

My mere 44 tickets seemed poultry compared to the riches that awaited anyone who got the 450 score. What can you get for 44 tickets? I figured I would at least try and see if I could be as cool as this other Dad. I noticed that his key to success was sinking skee balls in the hard to hit 100 point hole. This was something I have never done because basically I suck at skee ball. But I wanted those tickets and the praise from Chuck E.

Wonder-pea was still enjoying pressing the coin return and passing me skee balls, so what the hell...I made a go at hitting the 100 point hole. The first couple tries weren't pretty, ending in a score of less than 100, but eventually I managed to sink 2 100s in one game. Wonder-pea was super excited that our usual three tickets had turned in to fifteen.

Then, suddenly and without warning I sank 4 100s damn near in a row with an ending score of 510. By god I did it!!! Take that Dad who got 460!! Gather round children of Chuck E Cheese and behold your new king!!. Tickets poured from the machine. So beautiful. An alarm went off.......glorious......ok where are the balloons?.... no Chuck E?......hey kids look at that score!!.....yeah no one cared.

One little girl had her hands over her ears scowling at me because the alarm was really, really loud.

After standing there with the alarm blazing for 10 minutes an attendant finally came over and gave me my 200 ticket prize. All in all we had gone from 44 tickets to 340. And we were heading to the prize counter!! 340 tickets!! We are getting something good baby!!

Of the various junk levels of prizes, Wonder-pea wanted the 15 ticket items. She left the prize counter with 40 tickets worth of bracelets and rings. Apparently 44 tickets was all we needed. The other 300 are in my wallet....

No comments: