After all these years of eating there as a kid and now possibly being there as a parent, you think you know Chuck E. Cheese well, don't you? You feel like you are practically on nickname basis with him now, right? "Hey, C! Can we get our pizza any faster over here?" you have been known to yell out a time or two.
You don't know Chuck as well as you thought.
Earlier this week, I got to know him really well. We met my parents over at Chuck E. Cheese's with the boys. As I stood in line to buy pizza and 1,234,262 coins behind a lady with Fifty Shades of Grey in her hand (at Chuck E. Cheese's! Take a break, lady! We know what you're reading about over there as you watch your kid play skee-ball! Goodness gracious almighty!), I was able to have a good conversation with the gigantic mouse. I feel privileged to be the one to pass his story on to the world.
#1 Mickey Mouse was his best friend growing up. As we all know, Mickey became INCREDIBLY famous and started running around with gigantic ducks and dogs. He moved off to Florida, got a huge castle built and, the next thing you know, was a billionaire. He says Mickey never calls anymore and thinks he's better than Chuck, especially since he wears a tux everywhere and Chuck just wears a purple t-shirt day in and day out.
#2 Chuck's parents both died in a mousetrap. I know. Awful, right? When his parents both bit the dust, Chuck had to find a way to start making money. In a back alley in New York, he started experimenting with pizza dough thrown out by famous pizza parlors. He'd toss it up high in the sky like he watched the guys do in the window. Soon, he was the hit in the alleys with his awesome pizza skills and, well, he opened up a restaurant not too long afterwards. He wanted to name it Rodenteria, but was discouraged to do so by his uppity friend, Mickey. Good thing, huh?
#3 He knows what really happened to the Showbiz Pizza guys and he ain't tellin'. This was one of the facts that frustrated me the most. I used to LOVE Showbiz Pizza. I wanted to be Mitzi when I grew up! The big dude that had a bird on his shoulder reminded me of my uncle. The big gorilla? Hilarious. I mean, I loved those guys. Chuck was totally mute on the subject when I brought it up, except to say that he may have called an old friend in New York to deal with them. An Italian friend, if you know what I mean.
#4 He has a horrible gambling addiction. He told me it takes all the strength he has not to knock kids aside with his elbow and dominate the Whack-A-Mole game, the Skee-ball lanes and the basketball hoops. The stream of tickets coming out of the machine is absolutely intoxicating to him. When the place shuts down, Chuck E. Cheese really comes alive and will play every game until about 4 in the morning. He'd like to join Gamblers Anonymous and stop this crazy train now, but he said they don't have chairs large enough for big rodents. That's what they tell him, anyway.
#5 There is an extra large room right beside the ticket counter with more selections. You know how there is an inflatable guitar on the very top shelf at the ticket counter that is worth 4,213,521,361 tickets? Well, if you get even more tickets, you get to go in the "back room". He says there are all kinds of things back there for really hard-working kids and adults, like tigers, cars, tickets to Fiji and a solid gold Pogo stick.
You may have known about all of these things already. I know Chuck is a fan of long conversations, so you may have already gotten him to spill these details. For those that weren't in the know, how does it feel knowing the real Chuck E.? Next time you see the dude, give him a big hug. After that, douse yourself in the antibacterial gel they have by the door, because you know that dude never takes a bath.
If you have some extra time after letting all of this information about Chuck E. Cheese sink in, check out my latest post over at NickMom called "Fashion Tips, as written by a 10-year-old girl". Thank you, thank you!