Is there a finer establishment known to America’s youth for celebrating the coming of age than Chuck E. Cheese? The answer is no. Five is a critical age that makes or breaks one’s entire life, and if a proper party is not thrown, it would mean shunning from peers, quickly followed by failing grammar school.

Guests began arriving at 2PM promptly, as per the instructions on the invitation. The wrapped gifts—a sizable sum—were placed on a table in the eating hall. The marathon of arcade games followed. Skeeball was a profitable venture, producing many tickets in a glorious display of brotherhood. Certain racing games consumed up to a dollars’ worth in tokens yet awarded no tickets—what the hell is that about? The tickets were pooled into a Marxist pot so that we might purchase greater prizes. The man holding control of the treasured prizes was unfortunately above haggling and bribes. Even with our talent and 1st grade reasoning skills, coveted items like giant stuffed animals and barely functioning electronics were beyond our ticket purchasing power.

The indoor playground was of great enjoyment, yet crawling with insubordinate 3 year olds. A turf war began, with our eventual triumph. We were able to use this monopoly to charge children tickets or tokens for entry.

The scores of gourmet pizzas my slave parents had ordered were finally ready for our consumption, with the promise of a showing from the Great Chuck Cheese himself.  His sub-par robotic minstrels performed a few musical numbers for our amusement beforehand. Mr. Cheese then appeared, his bodyguards assuring we had little more than high fives for him holiness. It was a life changing encounter that still has its mark on my livelihood.

After a Versailles like cake sated our sweet desires, the true reason for all celebrations came: People giving me things. I was showered with toys of all varieties: board games, outdoor game equipment, XS shirts, tighty whiteys and socks from family.

My guests did not disappoint, and we had total rule over the establishment’s level of fun and awesomeness. The overpriced prize goods not counted, it was an epic success of social engagement, one that will undoubtedly hold the memories of those that attended for generations on. The poets and writers of our time will write songs and lament to the golden age that spawned from my fifth birthday.

Update: After extensive research this past week, I have uncovered details on good authority that Mr. Cheese is a fraud—a man in a suit. My review score will reflect this finding.

7.3/10