Blast to the Past
Normally I post on Saturdays or Sundays, but our weekend was a bit busy. The kids were home and that always trumps everything! Raising children was fun, but spending time with our adult children is even more fun, so we pack in as much as possible.
This weekend we did a bit more of the “remember when” than usual, including dragging in bits and pieces of the parents’ life B.C. (Before Children). For some reason, the kids seem to like looking into their parents’ odd behavior prior to the time when we fiendishly decided to get our enjoyment from warping our kids by exposing them to all things science fiction and Muppets.
This weekend’s main topic was Chuck E. Cheese. Sure, you say, every parent has Chuck E. Cheese stories, after all it’s geared toward kids. Wrong! The original Chuck E. Cheese was geared to yuppies. Or at least adult game players who couldn’t get enough of video games so we combined the two best parts together: pizza and games.
When the famous gaming and pizza parlour opened, it wasn’t a kid zone only and it had the world’s largest selection of real arcade games including Crystal Castles, Star Wars, Galaga, Phoenix, etc. Think Flynn’s from the original Tron. Jam packed with adults and we didn’t need an under 12 to get in.
It was a regular Friday lunch date for a fellow co-worker and I. We’d go and split the lunch special: a slice of pizza, salad and coke. She’d order water and take the salad; I’d get the Dr. Pepper and pizza. Then we’d split the 20 free tokens between us. Her favorite was Crystal Castles and I adored the Star Wars game. Not the current version with its snow speeders and AT-ATs or speeding through the forest nonsense, but the full on wire grid in an X-wing taking down the Empire version. It is still the only video game I’ve ever been able to play, break a million points, and put my name on the screen. In fact, when Bruce and I played it at Putt-Putt, I’d have to let him play first, just so he could get on the top ten screen for a few minutes. Chuck E. Cheese was our favorite cheap date. Order a pizza and cokes, split the 20 free tokens and have an hour or two of insane laughter as we battled light cycles, Tie fighters, alien ships, or colored ghosts.
Those were the days of true arcade games. Now it’s all flash and graphics and the games are basically similar with little to no variety. Over the years, Bruce and I have wandered in and out of a number of so-called game arcades, but nothing has ever topped those magical years at Chuck E. Cheese.