Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hello From L.A. Where Everything Is On Fire Except Chuck E Cheese’s


Today had promise. We were meeting two other 1-child couples (just like us) at this really great pumpkin patch that’s been family owned for, like, over 300 years.

This place has to be the ultimate pumpkin patch (Lombardi Ranch) this side of the Mississippi. They have tractor rides, pony rides, live music on 2 stages, ‘real’ farm animals, corn mazes, stagecoach rides, homemade organic-corn, and I think bands like “Huey Lewis and the News” kick off their world tour concerts from this place. Yes, it’s that big.
We’ve been talking about it for days and my daughter was looking forward to it like a Doodlebop was moving into the den. She woke up this morning singing “Pumpkin Patch! Pumpkin patch – hooray!”

Then came the winds. And then the fires – everywhere (this is my one big complaint about living in L.A. – whenever we get winds, everything catches fire!) Our drive over was immediately stopped because the police were evacuating the pumpkin patch. You could see this huge black ash cloud looming over the horizon.

Me: “Sorry, the Pumpkin Patch is on fire…”
Daughter: ((?!?!?))

Note to self – Never tell a toddler that anything is on fire. I guess it could have been worse; I was about to say the animals were on fire.

We met up with the other parents in a nearby parking lot and tried to figure out what to do with a bunch of disappointed kids.

Me: “I guess we can go to that Chuck E Cheese over there?”

Note to self – Never suggest Chuck E Cheese after the first crazy experience we had (read about that here.)

Chuck’s was packed! Obviously everybody else there was on the same boat. Later I wondered if maybe Chuck went out and started the fires himself to boost business (I wouldn’t put that past the rat!)
Overall the kids had fun running around, winning tickets, and jumping (dancing?) to an off-key animatronic rendition of Gloria Estefan's “Rhythm’s Gonna' Get You!” It played twice within 30 minutes (maybe that’s how they clear people out after eating…?)
The only unusual experience I had was running into this 3 or 4 year old girl wearing a t-shirt that said “Full Of Sh*T” on it. At first I thought my mind was playing tricks on me again. But no, it really said that. And from the look of her Mom (ganster? couldn’t have been older than 19 or 20) she was probably proud of her toddler wearing it.
I know these so-called kid attitude shirts are big (I find some entertaining myself) but come on – who buys a shirt like that for their toddler?

That's the kind of stuff that should catch fire (without the kid in it... or any animals.)

35 comments:

MamaLee said...

I don't think I can bring myself to bring my kids to another Chuck E Cheese. Those places SCARE the baGejus outta me!

Sorry to hear about the fires out there. And I SO understand about saying something about something being on fire - I've done it - BAD. LOL

Steve said...

Sounds like Halloween came early with all those scary things: first, chunk E cheese, 4 year porn tees and Huey Lewis.

A hysterical story nevertheless.

lime said...

thanks for stopping by my place. LA huh? yeah i've seen your $54 ice cream.

i agree. the rat set the wildfires. i have no doubt.
and isn't it endearing to think you could be paying for the $4 yr old to be on welfare in just a few short years?

Lisa said...

I remember reading about your first experience in rat hell and cannot believe you even suggested it. Are you feeling okay?

kellyo75 said...

Oh No! I can't believe the pumpkin patch caught fire. Maybe when the rat was cooking the cardboard pizza, the winds picked it up and killed the pumpkin patch. I believe that's how it happened. And that mom whose kid was wearing that shirt. I don't care how young or how gangsta you are. It's never cute to see a toddler with profanity on her shirt.

Heather, Queen of Shake-Shake said...

No, I don't think it was Chuck that set the fires.

I think it was MY local lunatic pumpkin lady from MY pumpkin patch trying to burn all of the yucky sin that is in children. Because, in her whacked out mind, pumpkin guts is what sin is like in lil' chil'renz.

What are some parents thinking with these shirts?

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

I saw a teenager wearing a shirt that said, "Naughty Kitty" on it. I was in shock. Why not wear a shirt that says "I'll do ya right here"? I hate stuff like that, now if the diaper said F.O.S., well...that might be a little different but I doubt it.

PS Thanks for coming by, I look forward to reading your blog. I love a dad with a sense of humor.

wayabetty said...

Chuck E. Cheesy, that's what we call it b/c it sooo cheesy and such a money pit! Nice, future Britney Spears I say about that toddler with that shirt.

Btw, we saw "Surf's up" this past weekend and I was thinking about you when there was this bucket of chicken. Did you see that movie yet? Good movie, better than "Happy Feet".

painted maypole said...

sigh. those t-shirts are frightening, and the parents even more so.

maybe even scarier than fires. ok, maybe not.

Tuesday Girl said...

Who MAKES a shirt like that for anyone let alone a kid.
Sigh.

Midwest Mommy said...

Sorry to hear about the fires. Hopefully you are safe.

I also HATE those t-shirts. Being a former teacher I have seen the worst!

kittenpie said...

A kid came into the library with a sweatshirt the other day that said, "Wanted it, threw a fit, and GOT IT!" Niiiice thing to teach your kid.

creative-type dad said...

kittenpie -- that kids is going to end up on drugs by the time he's 10

Midwest Mommy -- Worse!? I don't even want to know.

wayabetty -- No we haven't seen "Surf's Up" after the "Happy Feet" I wasnt too keen on seeing another penguin movie (I still can't believe Happy Feet won an oscar - it was horrible!)
But maybe for a bucket reference I will...

Lisa -- I know! Sometimes my brain stops, because all I could see was sad children looking for something to do.
I did it for the children!!!

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

I think I would have stayed with the fires rather than go to Chuck E Cheese.

And next time, you just need to hop a plane to Colorado, we'll take you to Anderson Farms (also west of the Mississippi) ;)

http://www.andersonfarms.com/

Whit said...

Damn, I've been bitching about not finding a real pumpkin patch here- it was real, right, like they grow/grew there? And now the damn rat torches it.

This is why Walt went with a mouse. Mickey wouldn't pull that crap.

Ruth Dynamite said...

Being in Chuck E Cheese makes me want to spontaneously burst into flame.

Be safe, Tony, OK?

Jenster said...

I'm sorry the pumpkin patch plans were torched. (Yes, pun intended)

Seriously, though, those fires are insane! I hope you and yours are all safe.

As for the Rat, some day you may appreciate him. When my kids were older I could take them, find a table and read with one eye while watching them (sort of) with the other. Not so bad...

Ben & Bennie said...

Doing all of these art festivals you see just about everything and you just get numb to it. Two weeks ago I saw a similar "mommy" strolling an infant. When they passed I looked down to see the sleeping kid wearing an outfit that had a picture of "the finger" with "Time for a nap." written underneath. I guess that's proud parenting in some circles...or squares.

Oh, The Joys said...

Evil Chucky?!

creative-type dad said...

Ben & Bennie -- I can just imagine what the parents were like...

Jenster -- That's why video games were created, right?

Whit -- You know, I'm not sure if they grow them there. The pumpkins are just kind of laying everywhere with price tags on them. But they have fake vines around - so it's just like the "real" thing.

aimee / greeblemonkey -- what's that? A real farm?! I didn't know they still made those... :)

Morrisquads said...

Helpful hint #326 - go to Chuck E. Cheese early in the morning on a weekday. They open at 9:30 around my place. We went there and had at least an hour where we were the only kids there.

Does your Chuck E. Cheese serve beer? I remember them serving beer to the adults when I was a kid, but that seems to have stopped somewhere along the line...

pixie said...

Are you kidding me? Chuck E. Cheese was the only place NOT on fire? Dear God is there any justice in this world?? If any place should burn, it's CEC. Lousy, overpriced food + bratty kids = unhappy mommy in this house. We avoid CEC like the plague.

carrie said...

We've been getting emails from the Red Cross all week, I hope you guys are safe!

And I don't consider Chuck-E-Cheese safe. Not at all.

Dad Stuff said...

I sure hope Huey got out OK.

kellyo75 said...

I saw a onesie the other day that said, "I'm hung like a five year old." I did laugh out loud and was tempted to get it for my 3 month old nephew, because Lord knows I would never put my OWN kid in it.

Whirlwind said...

Well we already figured out (with your last post) that parents will put almost anything on their kid!

I hope things are okay where you are at with the fires.

Darren said...

If only all the Chuck E. Cheeses would burn...and safely leave everything around them in tact.

Here's hoping you're all well out there.

creative-type dad said...

kellyo75 -- that is funny.. as a joke, but not to actually put it on a baby shirt

Dad Stuff -- Unfortunately Huey will be doing many more renditions of "Stuck On You" in the future.

Morrisquads -- Yes!! Ours serves beer and wine. Although the beer is Bud and Miller and the wine comes from a box.




Yes, my family and I are well - Thanks for the concern.

Maureen said...

Wow, watching those fires on CNN is just scarey; I can't imagine BEING there... keep safe.

Luckily, CEC went out of business years ago up here in Canada (well, at least the only one in my city). It's now a bar... huh, go figure.

dennis said...

damn, having to cancel on the pumpins within site of the patch would be hell!

and you had the flames and everything!

At least nothing can go wrong with T-day and Xmas!

(and even if it does, Chuck-E-Cheeses will be there for you!)

creative-type dad said...

Maureen -- that's awesome!! I wish ours would turn into a bar and keep the animatronics

dennis -- you don't know how much that reassures me. Thanks.

Diana said...

stay safe tony...

beta mum said...

What IS Chuck E Cheese?!!

creative-type dad said...

beta mum -- It's a pizza place where they serve microwave food sold at high prices. And they have old video games that kids play for tickets and then redeem for cheap toys.

Busy Dad Mumbles said...

Chuck's is so loud that I can't even hear myself think. It reminds me of standing near a jet engine.

Great blogs.

Busy Dad