Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Saturday at the Chuck and The Funeral Story

     It's been quite a busy week around the old homestead, and it doesn't look like it's going to let up anytime soon.  Cheryl has been down in Nawlins, that's New Orleans to any of you yankee folk, and me and the kids have been holding down the fort.  Well, at least a valiant effort in attempting to hold down the fort anyway.  There's been a few issues of late involving amongst other things, fashion choices, food service, and marker involved picture drawing.  We're all gonna make it to the next Episode I feel sure.  However, that is not the reason for this particular post.  The reason for this post involves the Chuck.  The Chuck is the term I use to describe that "Hell on Earth" called Chuck E. Cheese.  Where a kid can be a kid, and where good parents go to lose their minds.  That would be the Chuck.  We had an occasion to attend a birthday party at the home of snotty ill-mannered children and lousy pizza over the weekend.  Saturday night to be specific.  It was a night that will live in infamy....well, not really, but it was bad.  At least I got to see BAMA win after surviving my latest stand off with the ole money grubbing rat.  Also, in addition to the tale of horrid conditions at Chuck E. Cheese, I've got a story that I want to share.  They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and this would qualify.  I heard this story second hand, and it is a good one.  I couldn't have come up with a better one.  It involves a funeral, and that's all I'm going to say for now, I don't want to spoil it.  Sit back and relax, things are going to get bumpy from here.
     Saturday at the Chuck, I think I want to lose my mind.....duh, duh, duh.  This particular trip to the home of the giant rat and his lousy pizza was due to one of Maddie's friends having a birthday party.  This is the young man that truly believes that I am Batman in the flesh, so I had to make an appearance.  Keep the people happy, you know.  So, I forced Jesse to go with us, because I'm the Despot around here, and that's how I roll.  If I was going to suffer on a football Saturday then I wanted my best and brightest to suffer with me.  Bad, I know, but it's the truth.  Plus, I needed his support so I wouldn't punch somebody in the throat or something.  Hey, you never know at the Chuck.  We arrived at Chuck E. Cheese's place, and it was packed.  I could not believe they could fit that many people into one place.  Unbelievable, I tell you.  Standing room only.  This was Saturday evening for goodness sake.  There's football on television people, why in the world are you at Chuck E. Cheese??  Same reason I was there, I suppose.  Well, we met up with our party and the journey began.  Tokens, soggy pizza, a man in a rat suit, and wild eyed kids running everywhere.  It was on.  In the first fifteen minutes a little girl stole some of my tokens, a little boy, whom I did not know, took food off my plate, and I almost had to choke slam a very aggressive and hefty grandmother.  She should be warned that I have put many an unsuspecting grandmother into the wall at go-cart tracks from Alabama to Wisconsin, and I ain't afraid to go squirrely at the Chuck!  This was a minor disagreement that involved her grandson pushing my sweet Miss Madison, and I voiced my displeasure to her.  She didn't like my tone I guess, but if you come to this place and let your kids go wild without any hint of manners or raising, then I'm just the guy to call you out on it.  It was settled with no blood shed, but I can go from zero to redneck crazy in about 2 seconds, so be careful Granny.  Maddie spent most of her time on one of those climbing, slide things.  This thing was shaking from the shear weight of all the kids that were going in and out.  Those things must be reinforced with some kind of serious steel to withstand the onslaught of these children of the Chuck.  Jesse was collecting all those stupid tickets just so I would have to stand in line behind the slowest people known to man, and be rewarded with 10 cents worth of crap.  As I was standing there I began to look around at the people in this place, and I felt really good about myself.  No offense, but the clientele at the ole Chuck is less than stellar.  I've always felt like the kind of guy that is pretty straight forward, and what you see is what you get.  These folks...I really hope that was not the case.  You had the non-parents over there, who didn't care at all what their kids were doing.  On the other side of the room you had the parents who looked like their dog just died, and they probably wondered what they had done to be in a place like this on a Saturday night.  Sounds familiar.  Then there is all sizes and shapes of kids.  Good kids, bad kids, clean kids, dirty kids, smelly kids, sweaty kids, sticky kids, and pizza sauce wearing kids.  They're everywhere.  We had an incident with sans-culottes kiddie revolutionaries or in plain English:  kids without pants who wouldn't listen to their parents.  Which is the point, but you must be on your toes, because things get hairy in this place.  Whether it be snotty little kid hands or unidentified fluids in the air and on the floor, the Chuck is not for the faint of heart.  Long story short, the birthday party went well.  The pizza still sucked, but Chuck E. himself sang to Maddie's little buddy.  Well, really it was a recording and the guy in the rat suit, but that's how they roll at the Chuck.  We escaped unharmed, at least physically.  The mental damage will not really be known for years to come.
      This next story was told to me second or third hand, I can't remember.  I'm probably taking a little poetic license here, but truth is stranger than fiction, to be sure.  The story starts with an obituary.  This obituary was read by a friend of the deceased, and the friend decided to pay final respects to the dearly departed.  Upon arrival at the service the friend noticed that there were many people at this celebration of life, and many of the faces were not familiar.  The friend expected to see many of the members of the church that they attended together, but did not see any.  This was odd, but the friend went to pay personal respects and pray over the body.  The friend was struck with the not so-good appearance of the deceased, and immediately felt remorse for what stress must have occurred in the final days of life.  Then the friend spoke with many of those who attended, and told stories of what a fabulous life was lived by this fine person.  This went on for quite a while, because there was many in attendance on this day.  The friend left the funeral pleased with the service, and felt positive for the new journey that awaited the dearly departed.  The following Sunday the friend attended church services as usual, and expected to hear a fitting tribute to the life of the one that was lost.  While walking into the church the friend came face to face with....the dearly departed.  The shock of seeing the "Walking Dead" so to speak, was significant.  Immediately, the friend asked, "Are you alright?"  Mainly, because the right thing to say to someone who is supposed to be dead was hard to find.  After some small talk, the friend realized that the obituary must have been misread or the name very similar to that of the now alive friend.  Then the thought occurred, "I went to some random funeral, and said who knows what to people I don't know."  Goodness gracious, this was a predicament for sure.  A wise man once said, "Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back."  One thing is for sure, the departed was definitely smiling, because they were no doubt still alive.  The moral of the story;  Obituaries should be read very carefully.
     Well there is my story, and one that I stole.  Stole it fair and square, but it was theft to be sure.  So it goes for a guy in my shoes.  The Uber Dad.  I've been the one that has laid in a Dora the Explorer bed, and watched an episode of Little Einsteins on my iPhone to make a 4 year old girl go to sleep.  I've cleaned cheese sauce off my 50 inch flat screen Samsung Smart TV.  Point is, I've paid my dues, and I should be exempt from being charged with story theft.  Anyway, gotta go.  Jesse just said he's feeling funny, because "he's all geeked up on Airheads."  That's all I got.  I'm out.