Behind the Column: Chuck E. Cheese’s

“Nothing makes you feel creepy like walking into a Chuck E. Cheese’s alone, with an SLR camera.”

pizza

This week, I covered the new pizza at Chuck E. Cheese’s for SeriousEats.com. It was no ordinary experience. Well, none of them ever are 33 slices of cheesecake, all of the mix-ins at Coldstone, etc. This one, though, was run-of-the-mill in terms of content: try the pizza, decide what you think. The experience, though, was another matter.

When I walked in the front door, I stepped outside my own body and looked at myself: a lone male with a photo apparatus entering a place filled with children. It just looks wrong. I started to panic. If I were accused of anything by security, what was I going to say?

Me: “Honestly, officer, I was just taking pictures of the pizza!”
NYPD: “You people make me sick.”
Me: “Food bloggers?”
NYPD: “That’s it smart-ass it’s taser time!”
Me: BZZZZZZzzzzz….::gurgle::

I had visions of grandeur for this post. I wanted to dive in the ball pit. I wanted to do a hilarious Conan O’Brien style video of some kids beating me at skeeball. I could have gotten some hilarious footage of kids saying things about the pizza. In reality, I walked in, realized how strange I looked, and spent the next half hour reading the news on my phone.

Frankly, it looked as fun as I remembered. One kid was absolutely rocking a game right next to my table and carrying armfuls of tickets back to his table. It made me miss going to Chuck E. Cheese’s as a kid, and I wanted to join in the fun. But, sadly, I couldn’t.

Well, I could have. I was not the only 20-30 year old that seemed to be milling about unaccompanied by a minor. Once I realized that there seemed to be other unaccompanied adults, I almost had a panic attack. “All of this is strange,” I decided. “I’m going home to watch Lost.”

And that’s what I did!