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Chuck E. Cheese for Clara
posted by John : March 13, 2008

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Girl in a bubble

I showed up early at Chuck E. Cheese in Redmond... er... Bellevue... um... Crossroads, but decided perhaps it was better to sit in the car and catch up on some work rather than head inside with the the family. I saw Papa head in wearing a black trenchcoat and called him on his cell from the comfort of the car.

"Feel like a pedophile walking in without kids?"

"Uh... where are you?"

We got a coffee at the Starbucks next door and waited for our legitimizers to arrive. When they did we found the place pretty mellow. Not at all like the last time I'd been there when kids were bouncing off the walls and the adults had already drained both the "Blush" and "Chablis" taps. (No kidding. They really do have "wine" on tap.)

The girls were primed and ready to go off so we filled a cup with tokens, ordered pizza, and let them loose. Happily, you get branded with a fluorescent stamp on entry so your kids can only leave with you. This is probably less a safety measure to prevent abductions and more to prevent their guardians from exiting with the wrong kids courtesy of a little too much at the bar. (No, there's no bar, but you know what I mean.)

The girls really loved the skee-ball, though Clara could just get the ball over the lip into the 10,000 consolation point area and Lilly kept giving me the ball to throw since her games never ended.

After the pizza was exhausted we decided to burn through the rest of our tokens at the sucker machine. You drop a token in and it flips it to the front of the board. A bunch of brushes push it forward and you just know that the next one will be the one to push the entire teetering mass over the edge translating into a never ending stream of tickets. Oh darn, it wasn't that one. Well, clearly it must be the next one. Or the one after that. Or the last token in my cup. (In reality it's always the one right after you have no more tokens that some kid who looks like he's been into the chablis drops into the slot and then he has trouble lifting the wad of tickets.)

With cupcakes out of the way we headed home full of bad pizza, adorned with some hideous lead rings from China, and thankfully not a drop of chablis.

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