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What happens at Chuck E Cheese stays at Chuck E Cheese

kiddie casino

The kids did a great job with their presentations for 4-H, so their Tio Fernando and Auntie Jenny took us out to celebrate. In my day, kid celebrations meant pizza and root beer down at the local Shakey's.

Nowadays they have Chuck E. Cheese. It's a junior casino. Think about it. The kids are dropping coins in the machines left and right with this intense fixation because they want to win tickets and cash them in for prizes. They're served drinks and there's cheap entertainment on the stage.

It's a giant rat's dream come true and the kids revel in it like there's no tomorrow. Outside of the happiest place on earth (also run by a rodent), Chuck E. Cheese rules.

What's a parent to do? Play Skee-ball. I got twenty dollars worth of coins and I claimed my lane. I can't tell you how many people let their toddlers steal my balls and thought is was cute. "Hey, lady, I'm playing for real here. Give it back, kid!"

And then these kids keep coming and asking me if they can have my tickets -- they're not even my own kids. A few even informed me that they were taking over after I finished the game I was playing. "No, you're not. I'm going to be here for awhile."

"How long?"

"A LONG time. Now beat it, kid."

And the parents were put out -- like everything at Chuck E. Cheese is for the kids only. Give me a break.

I was on a roll. I was hitting the high score! The tickets were spitting out as fast as I could bowl. I just kept nudging the little munchkins away with my foot and bumping the bigger ones off with my hip.

I doled out coins to my own kids never taking my eyes off the game. I even gave someone else's forlorn looking kiddos a twenty and told them I'd pay them a cut if they cashed it in for tokens and brought it back to me -- QUICK! In just a few games, I'd set a new record.

Then, this giant rat tapped me on the shoulder�.

"What? It's not like I wasn't paying them to work for me! Come on, Chuck, just one more game. I know I can beat my old score this time!"

I don't know why I suddenly broke and ran. Maybe I was feeling lucky.

I will say that it only took Chuck's crew three hours to smoke me out of the tunnel maze. How embarrassing. Once I was out, one little tyke came up and kicked me in the shin for good measure.

But, lucky me. What happens at Chuck E. Cheese stays there.

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