Tuesday, December 09, 2008
I can't tell you how much I freakin' hate Chuck E. Cheese's.
First of all, the whole damn place is basically a germ factory. And second, I was once forced - yes, forced - to threaten a pimple-faced Chuck E. Cheese's employee over a plate of salad.
If you want to know the full story 'bout me almost getting physical with someone over a plate of lettuce, you're gonna have to request it via e-mail. Needless to say, after that "threatening" experience, in 2002, I ain't been back to Chuck E. Cheese's.
That said, this article in the Wall Street Journal 'bout violence at Chuck E. Cheese's made me laugh, laugh, laugh (mainly 'cause I can relate!) ...
In Brookfield, Wis., no restaurant has triggered more calls to the police department since last year than Chuck E. Cheese's.
Officers have been called to break up 12 fights, some of them physical, at the child-oriented pizza parlor since January 2007. The biggest melee broke out in April, when an uninvited adult disrupted a child's birthday party. Seven officers arrived and found as many as 40 people knocking over chairs and yelling in front of the restaurant's music stage, where a robotic singing chicken and the chain's namesake mouse perform.
Chuck E. Cheese's bills itself as a place "where a kid can be a kid." But to law-enforcement officials across the country, it has a more particular distinction: the scene of a surprising amount of disorderly conduct and battery among grown-ups.
"The biggest problem is you have a bunch of adults acting like juveniles," says Town of Brookfield Police Capt. Timothy Imler. "There's a biker bar down the street, and we rarely get calls there."
It isn't clear exactly how often fights break out at Chuck E. Cheese's 538 locations. Richard Huston, executive vice president of marketing for the chain's parent company, CEC Entertainment Inc. of Irving, Texas, describes their occurrence as "atypical," saying he has heard of "four or five significant adult altercations" this year. But in some cities, law-enforcement officials say the number of disruptions at their local outlet is far higher than at nearby restaurants, and even many bars. "We've had some unfortunate and unusual altercations between adults at these locations," Mr. Huston says. "Even one is just way too many."
Read the rest here.