Chuck E. Cheese used to be a magical place when I was a kid, but now that I'm an adult it's more like a haunted house. I used to go to the one in Monroeville. The stage that Chuck E. and his incredibly creepy animatronic band did their concerts on was a cheese maze that was modeled after the underground tunnels of the Vietcong. You could crawl through the tunnel on your hands and knees and get kicked in the face or trapped and your parents couldn't get to you. There was a ball-pit that was always over capacity. I remember it being really fun and then all of sudden knowing what it would be like to drown and panicking as the plastic balls piled up and blurred my vision. Quicksand is not real, but the ball pit is. And unless you've crawled out of there crying with a bloody nose, you will never understand the horror. Oh and there was an ice-cream sunday bar where you could make your own sunday. That was a good idea. Give a bunch of 5 year olds a Soup Kitchen sized ladle of chocolate syrup. What could go wrong? I'm surprised they didn't let us make our own pizza and give us unsupervised access to the ovens.
None of those things exist at the modern day Chuck E. Cheese, but its still very dangerous. This sign pretty much set the tone for the day.
Apparently a lot of gang members are bringing their kids to Chuck E. Cheese. "Sing happy birthday again Chuck E! Sing it like you never sung you little rat or I'm gonna bust a cap in your ass!"
The security is no joke. There is an armed security guard by the door and every kid in your party is branded with the same stamp so you can't take someone's kid and leave. I love my daughter, but that was like paying to have a panic attack. We lost her 3 or 4 times in the chaos. I turned into Steve Martin's kid in Parenthood. "Where's my retainer?!!!!" It was a brutal 3 hours, but we made it out of there alive. Its always nice when you don't get shot at your 6 year olds birthday party.
Earlier that morning I met up with friends and the SCRR on the North Shore for an "unofficial run." It wasn't the big group that usually runs every weekend, but it was mighty. I ran 7 miles. I really liked the route. We ran down the N. Shore trail to the Fort Dusquene Bridge into Point State Park then over the Fort Pitt Bridge on to Carson St. Up Carson to the 10th Street Bridge, left on 2nd Ave. Right on Grant and back over the 16th Street Bridge in the Strip District. Its 6 miles but we added a mile on our own. I have never felt better during a run and we ran it in 59 minutes! Unreal. I felt "runners high" a few separate times during the run. I am also getting excited for runs and feeling depressed on days I don't run. Depressed because I don't run. Remember when I hated running 27 days ago? I had extreme tightness in my calves the day after this run, but during the run I felt like I could have easily done 13. Never felt that before.
No matter how much training I do, I will never be in good enough shape to handle a 3 hour party at Chuck E. Cheese.
I started sat the green dot.