Try, if you will, to think back to the days of cheese pizza, arcade tickets and the death-defying plunge down the giant slide into the smelly pit of colorful, plastic balls.
Where else can you imagine this childhood experience but Chuck E. Cheese -- “where a kid, can be a kid.”
Too bad this childhood pastime isn’t creating such happy memories anymore, at least not in Pennsylvania anyway.
A wave of violence seems to be erupting at Chuck E. Cheeses across the state. And no, we’re not talking about the bully who threw plastic balls at your forehead in the pit.
No, the kids aren’t the ones throwing punches -- it’s the adults who are treating the kiddy playground like a boxing ring.
The first incident happened in Susquehanna Township. Cops were called to the Chuck E. Cheese twelve times in the past year, leading to the arrest of 12 adults, according to an article on PennLive.com.
Authorities blamed the violence on disgruntled exes running into each other at family birthday gatherings. Way to ruin little Johnny’s birthday party.
Another adult brawl broke out in Manheim Township, according to Lancaster Online. A man was left bloody and arcade machines were nearly flipped during the incident.
Police were called to this Chuck E. Cheese location at least seven times last year. Talk about a family experience.
The violence in Pennsylvania only echoes a trend throughout the nation.
Last month, The Wall Street Journal published an article about Chuck E. Cheese violence escalating in other states. The kiddy playground is a hot spot for fights, which may be due to the fact that your youngins’ birthday party venue serves beer.
Screaming kids, ex-spouses, parent-in-laws and alcohol just don’t seem to mix.
So parents, beware. Think twice before you plan your kid’s next birthday party.