Government (Chuck E.) Cheese

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ChuckEcheese

Sometimes, government spending looks like a great idea. Take kids' paradise Chuck E. Cheese, for example. It's got heaps of games, great pizza, and cheap beer on tap. Get a celebrity nicknamed Big Daddy to invest and it's a sure bet, right?

That's apparently what the Buckeye State thought when it gave investor Allen County a $495,000 grant to set up a Chuck E. Cheese last year. Eager Lima, Ohio, children can expect the doors of the 12,000-square-foot party palace to open later this year.

As always, it was the meany Big Kids who went and ruined everything. Watchdoggies of the Citizens Against Government Waste and the Buckeye Institute made a big stink yesterday outside the Ohio statehouse in Columbus. They brought "a man dressed in a pink pig suit," to promote the Ohio Piglet Book, which suggests that now might not be the best time to spend government money on mouse pork.

The pig and his pals are probably upset because they never got invited to a Chuck E. Cheese party. But they're partially right. Investing in Chuck E. Cheese is a bad idea. Forget corporate welfare: Do you know what goes on in those places? Chuck E. Cheese mixes the world's two main sources of trouble in one setting: booze and babies.

A cursory search of Chuck E. Cheese brings up one violent incident after another. A 2008 article about a Brookfield, Wisconsin, location describes the venue as the place where a kid can be a casualty:

Officers have been called to break up 12 fights, some of them physical, at the child-oriented pizza parlor since January 2007…

Law-enforcement officials say alcohol, loud noise, thick crowds and the high emotions of children's birthday parties make the restaurants more prone to disputes than other family entertainment venues.

The environment brings out what security experts call the "mama-bear instinct." A Chuck E. Cheese can "take on some of the dynamics of the animal kingdom, where beasts rush to protect their young when they sense a threat." Apart from animal attacks, mascots are also a huge insurance risk, what with the regular assaults on poor Chucky.  

So throwing money at Chuck E. Cheese might look like a great way to "invigorate" the economy, but it's clearly a bad idea. A better choice? Hobby Lobby. It's always quiet and the muzik's great. Plus, the investment could easily be called a faith-based initiative

Another great idea is reading Reason's coverage of corporate welfare. Associate Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward blogged about the gun and booze policy at a Georgia Chuck E. Cheese. 

NEXT: Steve Chapman's Moral Misunderstanding of Stem Cells

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  1. I don’t know… I’ll have to wait to see what John Stossel and Drew Carey have to say about this. Maybe Matt Stone and Trey Parker could chime in, too.

  2. Take kids’ paradise Chuck E. Cheese, for example. It’s got heaps of games, great greasy/average pizza, and cheap beer on tap.

    FTFY.

  3. My kid wants to mow yards this spring and summer, but I can’t spare to give him my mower, so maybe Obama can see his way clear to write him a check for a standard 3.5 HP Briggs & Stratton 20-inch-cut mower, about a hundred bucks at Wal-Mart.

    [sarcasm valve now in “OFF” position]

    Chuck E. Cheese? What utter crap for an investment, ESPECIALY with taxpayer money.

  4. Chuck E. Cheese mixes the world’s two main sources of trouble in one setting: booze and babies.

    Yes, let’s blame beer and children rather than individuals’ decision to drink and to have kids.

    This is the intern, right?

  5. Nick Gillespie is still cuter than a duck wearing a hat.

  6. I agree that Chuck E. Cheese is a lousy place to take a kid, but if you ever link to that momlogic site again, I’m going to summarily skip every post you make while you work here.

  7. Half a million of taxpayer money for a Chucky Cheese?

    Anyone who hears this story and doesn’t immediately become a libertarian is a fucking moron. I’d love one of our house liberals defend this fucking shit. Goddamn fuck cuntrag ass bloodfart fuckneck shit.

  8. Lighten up, Francis, er, Taktix.

  9. INTERN HATE DAY!

    Fuck Chuck E. Cheese, yo. You know where else a kid can be a kid? Goddamn EVERYWHERE. In fact, a kid pretty much can’t help being a kid, since that’s what they are.

  10. One of the downsides of being a grand-parent is having to spend several afternoons a year in a Chuck E Cheese joint

  11. Malia and Sasha Obama Eat Their Vegetables

    After Malia got a little “chubby” a few years ago, Michelle told Parents magazine the Obamas banned juice boxes and processed foods from the house. Now, her girls think carrots are candy.

    “If it tastes like a real carrot and it’s really sweet, they’re going to think that it’s a piece of candy,” she said. “So my kids are more inclined to try different vegetables if they’re fresh and local and delicious.”

    Watch out, Feministing! You got some competition!

  12. I generally believe that playing a few games of Whac-A-Mole — coupled with having to listen to a terribly off-key gorilla and ground sloth band — brings out the psychopath in even the most civilized person. Let alone a kid. ::shudder::

  13. I’m amazed that place lasted after the advent of Playstation. Hell, I’m amazed it outlasted the Atari 2600. I guess crappy pizza and animatronic robots are more entertaining to most people than they were to me when I was 8.

    ?”You’re the birthday, you’re the birthday, you’re the birthday – boy or girl”?

  14. Yes, let’s blame beer and children rather than individuals’ decision to drink and to have kids.

    Yes, let’s blame the individuals’ decision to drink and to have kids rather than their inability to drink responsibly and/or properly raise their kids. Plenty of parents have no problem mixing kids and alcohol, and I have a sneaking suspicions that more times than not crappy parenting leads to drinking and not the other way around.

  15. Just a couple of Westworld incidents would shut all those horrid place right down. One or two single moms beaten to death with fake banjos should do the trick.

  16. Chuck E. Cheese mixes the world’s two main sources of trouble in one setting: booze and babies.

    To echo Taktix, WTF? I’m assuming this is thoughtless throwaway prose, but Intern needs to be more deliberate than this.

  17. I thought Chuck E was bankrupt; maybe it was just a local franchisee.

    I have never set foot in one of those hellholes, and never shall.

  18. What! This is an outrage! I am now a libertarian! Now, do you issue me the fanny pack or should I procure it myself? (Silly question, I’ll get it myself, just like John Galt would).

    Also, I was ambivalent about John Woo but a 3% tax increase on people making more than $250,000/yr gets my blood boiling. Will I fit in here?

    Another thing, my first reaction to any shooting is to make jokes, then lament the fact that none of the children had their concealed carry permit. Will I have to post somewhere else or is that acceptable here?

    Finally, I am a slightly overweight white male with facial hair and a 7 year-old Nokia clipped to my belt. I often sit with my arms crossed. Will you be able to distinguish me in photos from other party-goers at Reason events?

  19. And when the kid in the rat suit walks out, he gets mobbed like Jon Bon Jovi at a soccer mom convention.

  20. Chuck E. Cheese is fun for all the wrong reasons.

    I used to be a therapeutic behavioral staff support for public school students with mental illnesses (i.e. retard wrangler). We regularly went to Chuck E. Cheese’s for “community outings.”

    Autisitic kids beig scared by the candles on birthday cakes and going into Frankenstein-style rampages yelling “FIRE! FIRE!” and throwing pitchers of soda at the cake? Did that.

    Other adult retard wranglers getting into fights over skee-ball tickets? Oh yeah.

    My favorite: the 8 year old kid who rode on the coin-operated merry-go-round who stuck her head out of the ride and whacked it into a sign. 8 times in a row!

  21. Drinking leads to parenthood and parenthood leads to drinking.

    …the ciiiircle, the circle of liiiiiiiife

  22. If I have any say on which corporate rat hole you throw my money down, I say give it to Macaroni Grill. Nearly everything else on the menu is better than the pizza, which is still superior, and they have a fine selection of wines.

  23. SugarFree’s Hypothetical Reader,

    So… you’re sticking with moron I see.

  24. Also, I was ambivalent about John Woo but a 3% tax increase on people making more than $250,000/yr gets my blood boiling. Will I fit in here?

    Sounds like you’ll fit in better here or here. All the libertarians I know are livid about Yoo. some of us even comment about him. But then, you’re a douchebag troll and can’t be expected to know that.

    Also, if I’d been to the same Chuck E. Cheeses as Abdul, I would probably like them better

  25. Richard Benjamin’s Journal: March 12th 2009. Pizza carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst toppings. This restaurant is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The bathrooms are extended gutters and the gutters are full of pizza and orange soda. When the drains finally scab over, all the animatronic mice will drown. The accumulated filth of all their songs and games will foam up about their waists and all the parents and children will look up and shout “Save us!” And I’ll whisper “No.”

  26. Abdul,

    Retard Wrangler? It’s a shame for these kids that they don’t get to spend time with you anymore.

  27. Warren-

    Macaroni Grill is awesome! I have never had a bad experience in the dozen or so times I have dined there.

  28. One or two single moms beaten to death with fake banjos should do the trick.

    I think this sort of erotica already exists on the internet. Check some of the Asian themed sites ith mechanical action.

    Probably just fake snuff, but the acting is probably pretty good.

  29. Finally, I am a slightly overweight white male with facial hair and a 7 year-old Nokia clipped to my belt.

    And another thing… I have a Samsung I bought less than five months ago. Moron.

  30. I prefer to believe that SugarFree’s Hypothetical Reader wasn’t referring to Bush DOJ lawyer John Yoo, but was referring to Hong Kong movie director John Woo.

    And that sorry son of a bitch deserves every tax increase he gets for selling out when he left Hong Kong. “Hardboiled” was better than laser-guided nunchucks. And “Windtalkers” was worse than a sack full of suck.

  31. I’d like to see a John Yoo movie. And a John Woo legal opinion.

  32. Mantooth,

    I was a very good retard wrangler, I’ll have you know. I was “Wrangler of the Year” for my work in the 2003 retard drive to the railhead in Abiliene. Didn’t lose a single head of retard.

    Yee-haa! Git along!

  33. Sushi’s right, you can’t be too careful around Rule 34.

  34. So you have a new Samsung (oooooh!). You aren’t denying the slightly overweight white male with facial hair? And do you clip the phone to your belt?

    Yeah, I did mean Yoo. Now that I’m a libertarian they all look the same to me.

  35. SugarFree’s Hypothetical Reader | March 12, 2009

    joe’s back! And he’s SASSY!

  36. Abdul,
    I think one of your herd is on the loose. Best get the lasso.

  37. ?”You’re the birthday, you’re the birthday, you’re the birthday – boy or girl”?

    BP, I’ve been singing that over the phone to a friend of mine every year damn near ten years now. Classic.

  38. And do you clip the phone to your belt?

    No. I let your semi-literate mother carry it in her greasy vagina. It’s not the best system, but if she’s going to follow me around all day anyway…

    You’re really not much of a troll are you?

  39. And that sorry son of a bitch deserves every tax increase he gets for selling out when he left Hong Kong. “Hardboiled” was better than laser-guided nunchucks. And “Windtalkers” was worse than a sack full of suck.

    John Woo is making movies in China again. If you don’t mind subtitled movies (or you speak Mandarin), I highly recommend his latest, called ?? (or “Red Cliff” in the U.S.). Very epic.

  40. No, I’m a pretty good troll. Pissed you off, didn’t I? So’d you guys all “Go Galt” or are you just unemployed?

  41. Abdul, have you read Tard Blog?

  42. FrBunny – they nailed that place in that episode. Or would have, if they’d made a crack about how nasty the pizza was.

  43. Xeones,

    I have read the Tard Blog. Something only a special education teacher could have written. It was always hard to tell who was more retarded–the students or the people who watched them.

    Jordan,

    Thanks for the tip!

  44. SugarFree’s Hypothetical Reader: Joe, is that you??

    Please come back, Joe.

  45. I agree with the comment about mascot danger. I have yet to see a mascot at Chuck E. Cheese, theme parks, etc. walk up to a group of kids without getting punched right in the penis.

    It’s like an instinct all kids have.

  46. Chuck E. Cheese mixes the world’s two main sources of trouble in one setting: booze and babies.

    Have you ever been in a Chuck E Cheese? It is loud, flashing bright lights, hundreds of small children running around screaming. And sticky. Very, very sticky. Adults need that booze to save their sanity.

  47. I’ve always wanted my own troll to validate me on this board. It feels great. Is this why Walker, Gillespie, et al. keep them all around?

  48. Time to watch the Cats, SugarFree. Might be our last chance until next year.

  49. And yes, there is a bigscreen in my cubefarm. 🙂

  50. Sorry, but today is your only day. I’m going Galt. Not going to let all of the parasites keep living off of my contribution.

    I guess the slightly overweight white male with facial hair bit was dead on, right?

  51. I have mentioned a number of times on this board that I am fat and bearded. Do you have a point or are you just fishing for cake?

  52. FrBunny,

    Yeah. I’ve got the disappointment machine, I mean TV, on in my office. They deserve to go the NIT. Maybe then they will get rid of that potato-faced drunk.

  53. And….. I’m done.

    Good day, everybody!

  54. Ignoring all that is wrong with the Chuck chain, WTF is the government doing here? The government’s job vis a vis restaurants is mostly staying out of the way, not providing funding with loan programs that almost always lose money. When the government lending loses money, it’s OK. When Bear Sterns does it legislators pillory the execs on C-SPAN.

  55. But I thought Reason LIKED guns and booze! Besides, how else you gonna handle a mama bear ‘cept with a 12-gauge pump loaded with double-ought? That’s what I carry when I party with Chuck E, and, I tell you, no one gives me shit.

  56. My bad. It was a grant.

    Sheesh squared!

  57. That Tard-Blog is pretty funny. Post #12 in particular is worth repeating:

    12: Tard nearly ruins date

    This is where I draw the fucking line. What happened to me last night was not part of the contract I signed.

    I am at the grocery store with a guy I go out with sometimes. He had been studying abroad for the last year, so I was really excited to see him. We are getting beer to take to a Christmas party that we are going to, the location of which happened to be in the area of the school that I work in.

    We are walking to the beer aisle, and I spot one of my tards pushing a grocery cart. He is with his mom and brother. All I want is for me to get the beer and get the hell out. I really didn’t want to talk to them or subject my date to them. We make it to the beer aisle, pick up some Heinekens, and head for the checkout.

    We are standing in line to pay when I hear a scream and a familiar voice yell “I love you Miss [Sped]!”.

    I think about turning around, but am suddenly rammed hard from behind with the shopping cart. I had to grab the conveyor belt thing to keep from barreling over. The tard then starts hugging me tightly, while screaming over and over, “I love you Miss [Sped]!” This continues for at least a full minute.

    My date is dying–he is laughing so fucking hard that he is doubled over. People are staring at me and the tard that is embracing me and yelling. The checker has stopped checking and his full attention is focused on this scene. I cannot stop wondering where the fuck his mom is.

    I know the solution to get him to calm down. But I am out with this amazing guy. I don’t wanna do it. I really don’t. But I realize the tard will not shut up and get off of me until I do…

    Quietly, I start singing “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round…….”

    My date is absolutely dying. Almost crying. But the tard shut the fuck up, and we got out of there, no retards attached to me.

    1. wow that is really sad I hope you lost your job after this -“tard”

  58. I know the solution to get him to calm down. But I am out with this amazing guy. I don’t wanna do it. I really don’t. But I realize the tard will not shut up and get off of me until I do…

    I had a tard who would do anything I asked him to, provided I talked in a really lousy imitation of a Scottish accent. I don’t think he actually knew what “Scotland” was, but he thought the Scottish accent was funny.

    This led to lots of moral dilemmas. “Is it worth me sacrificing my dignity to talk like a drunken Sean Connery for five minutes to get the sand table cleaned up?”

  59. I worked at a Chuck E Cheese as my first job when I was 14. Ain’t ashamed. I both made the shitty pizza and wore the mouse outfit to do stupid limbo routines and get kicked in the dick by a bunch of eight year olds. Also, comically, I used to have be the doorman because they had a policy of not letting in people under 18 without their parents. So I had to check IDs and give people UV hand stamps.

    They don’t use gloves when they make that pizza. The pizza ovens are usually covered with melted plastic because people put breadsticks through on plastic trays because they’re idiots. Every employee there is usually high. After a few months I’d just clock in and leave to go to the dollar movies at the other end of the strip mall.

    If anything, I think they should be getting MORE subsidies! Bread and circuses of the finest order.

  60. WTF?

    How did we get to the point where we’re giving people GRANTS to set up chain restauraunts?

    That’s just a direct subsidy to Chuck E. Cheese.

    If they really want all those waitress and dish-washing jobs they must be pretty freaking desperate to PAY Chuch E. Cheese to build a store.

  61. I generally believe that playing a few games of Whac-A-Mole — coupled with having to listen to a terribly off-key gorilla and ground sloth band — brings out the psychopath in even the most civilized person. Let alone a kid. ::shudder::

    How dare you besmirch the Rock-a-Fire Explosion sir!

    How dare you!

  62. I’m amazed that place lasted after the advent of Playstation. Hell, I’m amazed it outlasted the Atari 2600. I guess crappy pizza and animatronic robots are more entertaining to most people than they were to me when I was 8.

    You’ll be happy to hear that Nolan Bushnell’s latest restaurant concept, uWink (concept: computerized menus combined with mediocre food, or something like that), is tanking.

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