Thursday, October 13, 2005

Kid, when I was your age, the characters didn't squeak

This is one of the funnier articles I've read in awhile. The author writes a review of a Chuck E. Cheese show as if it is a professional theatrical performance. In particular, I like this passage...

The show’s fragile plotting begins to deteriorate almost instantly due in a large part to the characters’ tendency to inexplicably break into simplistic songs, almost none of which are remotely related to the story line and therefor do nothing to advance the plot. Why, for instance, would the chicken character, “Helen Henny”, burst into “How Much is That Doggy in the Window?”, with the others joining her in turn, right in the middle of this missing pizza fiasco? Are we to suppose that the “doggy” symbolically represents the pizza, and the “pizza” is her faith in humanity, which has been lost and must now be reacquired at any cost? The audience is forced to dig for these shrouded meanings in a story that is so muddled and unfocused that it is hardly worth the effort.

It really is true. I went back to Chuck E. Cheese a few months ago, and I failed to see why it was the place I went for every birthday from age 1-13. The robotic people and animals are actually pretty scary. They probably didn't 10 years ago, but they squeak now because they obviously haven't been properly oiled, so there's no way to even consider that they're not real. I was convinced they were real back in my younger years. I loved 'em. When Chuck E. Cheese showed up after the show, I thought it was the same guy who was up on stage. I even got Mr. Cheese's autograph on a picture. I still have it.

So, what was the excitement when I was eight about the place beyond Skeeball, meeting the giant mouse, jumping into the giant plastic ball pit and trying to impress the hot eight year old girls who went to the elementary school on the other side of town with my race car video game scores? I don't know. I really don't know. It's one of those mysteries I doubt I'll ever figure out. The pizza is actually pretty good, though, and the bottom of the pizza always had these bumps that reminded me of the movie Gremlins.

Funny thing is that I still refuse to call the place Chuck E. Cheese. It will always be Showbiz to me, even though they changed the name sometime between 1988 and 1990.


Found on the message board, I am more than slightly confused by this story on a Notre Dame football website. The lead is a combination of terrible writing and just plain insensitivity...

Since Charlie Weis became the head coach at Notre Dame, a massive tsunami devastated several Asian and African coastlines, a merciless hurricane ravaged New Orleans and a horrific earthquake leveled a large area of Pakistan. None of these natural disasters, however, approach the level of destruction that the mighty USC Trojans can unleash upon an opponent. If you live in Northern Indiana, this might be a good weekend to pack up the kids and visit Aunt Millie in Ohio.

Oh yeah, let's compare USC to events that killed thousands of people. It's just bad writing. But when you consider it's the same site that used this lead for a story about the ND head coach...

Charlie Weis has balls. A big brass pair that clang when he walks and turn into nunchucks when he's calling plays. Formed in of New Jersey, they were shaped under the dome, hardened in the crucible of Parcells and polished by Belichick in a remarkable Super Bowl run. He throws them on the table like a gambler, daring you to stop the Irish on 4th down even though the odds may not be with him.

NUNCHUCKS??? What the...


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