Monday, January 31, 2011

Arcade Fire: Bounce It Up and Go Bananas Like a Monkey In The Jungle

So that last blog award where I was supposed to write 4 lies and 1 truth?  I totally blew it by not including a particular factoid about myself that everyone would have pegged as a lie.

I have never been inside a Chuck E. Cheese.

It's true.  I would like to think that it's because I run with a higher class of people, but the truth is that Audrey doesn't get invited to very many birthday parties.  Colon left parentheses.  And you don't go to Chuck E. Cheese on your own, right?  My understanding is that you have to be dragged there at gunpoint and always to celebrate the birthday of some kid that has really horrible taste in food and entertainment.

I've been to similar places though.  They always have names connoting wild jungle animals.  Probably because the kids are encouraged to act like little jackals and you always come home with an Ebola virus.  When we lived in San Jose, there was a place that was actually called The Jungle.  They just put it right out there so there was no asking for refunds when you saw how hot and crowded it was and your kid ended up with a giant cockroach lodged in their ear.  Whadcha expect?  It's The Jungle!

A few weeks ago we were invited to a birthday party (colon right parentheses!) at a place called Go Bananas.  I've never seen so much stuff crammed into such a small space.  This place had inflatable bouncers, one of those ropey climby structures leading to big slides, arcade games, skeeball, mini-bowling, and fricking amusement park rides all within a space that was about the size of a Starbucks.  There were bumper cars, one of those small dragon roller coasters, and a flying banana ride.

The flying banana ride in particular was so close to everything else you could feel it brushing past as you stood there trying to figure out where to shove all of those unwieldy stringers of arcade tickets.

Audrey and Grace Anne ride the wild banana.
If they needed a snack mid-ride, they could just
reach out and pluck it off of someone's party table.

Here Audrey demonstrates her mad skee ball skills and "eye of the tiger" tenacity...



When she wasn't riding bananas or giving up on athletic pursuits, Audrey could be found pressed up against that stupid coin-pushing arcade game.  She had no idea of the point of it (which is?) and was just dropping tokens into it and not even paying attention to what happened when she did.  Then she'd run away and leave behind the tickets that were spewing out of it.  I guess that's one way to get a bunch of typical kids to follow you around wanting to be your friend.

These places are the definition of sensory overload, and I think we were all vibrating just a little by the time we left.  Audrey's birthday is coming up...hmmmm, where to have her party?  I'm thinking of a day spa, with a guest list of 1.

24 comments:

  1. I've never been to a Chuck E Cheese either.

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  2. We don't even have Chuck E Cheese here (at least, I've never seen one) but all our soft play places have jungle-themed names too. I counted 5 in my area. Maybe 'Tantrum Wonderland' doesn't have the same appeal.

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  3. I have been to Chuck E Cheese. I have seen Hell on Earth. Nuff said.

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  4. having a 18 yo typical daughter, we have been to CEC (see I'm even down with the acronym) more times than I care to remember. My son has been once and he clung to me like we were in the scariest place ever. And we were. You know they serve beer there,right? but they cut you off after only 2 beers. that is nearly not enough alcohol to endure that place.

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  5. I know you know I live right near The Jungle. My kids love that place, although we never seem to get out of there without picking up some horrible disease. I never made the connection before - it's probably malaria.

    Moe loves the big human habitrail, but one of us (read: not me) has to follow him around in there so he actually comes out. Although, I'm pretty sure he'd eventually find his way to some kid's birthday party by following the smell of cake.

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  6. we must run with the same crowd, because i have never been to a Chuck E Cheese, either. But i have been to an Under the Sea--which isn't QUITE so obnoxious.

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  7. It looked like Audrey had a blast though--even with the sensory overload!

    At least Chuck E. Cheese serves beer! What kind of drug did that party place dole out to the parents?

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  8. Well, if you're ever interested in contracting a staph infection, Chuck E Cheese is the place to go!

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  9. @JennieB: I never went to The Jungle without our very petite Asian girl-servant/developmental therapist in tow. Hi Katrina! She would follow Audrey through that thing...I could never do it...probably because I could never fit my butt through those tube chutes.

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  10. ROFLMFAO!! OMG, I can't laughing....I SO HATED CHUCKY CHEESE!!! Lynn, you're hysterically funny!

    I needed a good laugh today! I spent the better part of my morning in the Stalin Courthouse of Easton, PA. This was a great release! Thank you!

    Stupid arcades.

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  11. I was laughing so hard I spelled Chuck E Cheese wrong.

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  12. Oh my god, the Jungle... I spent many an afternoon with my little brother there! That place was so filthy, they should have offered toilet seat covers for the benches.
    It looks like Go Bananas was a fun, flashing lights sort place for Audrey, even if she didn't get the whole ticket hoarding idea. Did she get anything with her tickets?
    I also have never been in a Chuck E. Cheese, but my mother-in-law keeps talking about bringing Georgia when she comes to visit in March. I think I might get my CEC cherry popped.. I'm so afraid!

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  13. We've got something similar here, but it is bigger and has a HUGE arcade, and a climbing wall and merry-go-round. Going there always makes me want to tie a rope around my kids waste so we don't lose him, since he moves at lightening speed. I prefer the bouncy places (although the germ count is just as high) because he really gets some energy out, especially on rainy days. Anyone for a clorox bath??

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  14. Yay on the birthday invite (colon, right parentheses- hey i like that)! And congrats on you for surviving- I had Corbin's 7th birthday at a place like that (Jokers)- nightmare! I mean the kids had fun, but I had a major migraine five minutes into it.

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  15. Go Bananas sounds like the Adventuredome at Circus, Circus. I think it's hard to breathe in those places and I'm always worried that someone will puke on me.

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  16. Audrey looked like she was having fun, if not some sensory overload running amuck thrown in for good measure. Way to score the birthday invite and to party hard! So she will never be a professional ski baller, I think we can all live with that outcome. :) And bonus on finding a way to get a horde of children to follow you around like little lost puppies!
    I DETEST those places like Chuck E Cheese, and I think they are giant petri dishes of antibiotic resistant germs. One summer I was responsible for a class of 14 5 year olds set loose in a Chuck E Cheese, including one with Autism and two with behavior disorders. No one told me they served beer. I definitely needed something that day, other than the migraine I got. But the following week, the attendance in my class was nice and low :)

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  17. that place sounds awful. But I do like you can ride and eat at the same time.

    LisaDay

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  18. Can you make that guest list two? :)

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  19. Oooh...Grace's birthday is tomorrow. I wonder if I could sell that dayspa idea. I like it!

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  20. I love the try, fail, "I'm all done! ". My kinda girl. Katie is good at leaving her cup of tokens somewhere, never to be seen again, or hiding under the table at Chuck's. We had her 5th bday there. It did not go well. I just don't like a crowd of people in my house making a mess. Ha.

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  21. Ah, Chuck E Cheese. I have a fair amount to say about Chuck E Cheese, most of it unpleasant, but for the last birthday party my entire family was invited to that was at Chuck E Cheese made Jack happier than he has ever been. Everyone else, birthday girl included, was a little surly during the birthday party part where the GIANT RAT comes out and raps at the kids, but Jack, with a giant grin on his face, sang and clapped and shouted and was generally awesome. That kid lives life.

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  22. So I have 2 on the spectrum. One thinks these places are the most wonderful things ever invented, or as BigDaddyAutism would say "All Rainbows and Unicorns."

    The other would fold her body in half , 4 feet into the joint and even though she is severely hypotonic, the jaws of life could not unfold her. This disorder is wac.

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  23. we were regular goers to the jungle. you had to have seen us...large crazy family probably knocking down your child.

    i like chuckie cheese because its the only place where we fit in. screaming crying kids throwing things and running around in circles.

    cute pics of audrey and her friend.

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  24. My brain went to a very bad place after reading; "Audrey and Grade Anne ride the wild banana"

    I've never been to a Chuck E Cheese either.

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