Grandma Alda was hard for us to figure out. She was a cool Grandma, too.
At her place we got to use the swimming pool, watch tv, and as often as not, Mom would spring for a pizza when we visited Grandma Alda.
As an aside...outside of Alan Alda, I do not believe I have ever heard that name anywhere else. I should research the meaning.
Anyway, every two or three years we got to go to Chuck E Cheese.
I should clarify; my life growing up was, in many ways, quite sheltered. For most of my youth we did not have a television. When my buddies were rocking the Ataris, Commodore 64s, etc., we had hand-held pong. Or the TSR-80, a "computer" which used, I kid you not, cassette tapes as hard drives.
The point is, Chuck E Cheese was awesome. Not for the hideous animatronics. Not for the poor high school kids sweating through oversize, overheated costumes.
No, it was awesome because we got to...wait for it...play video games. Pac-Man. Mrs. Pac-man. Asteroids. All the high tech wonders were open to us.
But it was Chuck E Cheese that started my on my criminal career. Even though Dad had my attention twice each Sunday and each Wednesday when we went to church (and the 3 - 6 weekends a year we would go to rallies, so on Saturdays as well), and the week of Camp Wilkerson, and every day when he interacted with me as a father should, he simply could not compete. His message was drowned out in the bells, whistles and sirens of Chuck E Cheese.
Oh, he tried to warn me of the evils of gambling. He tried to tell me of the trials and pitfalls, the dangers, and the seedy characters you have to interact with to enter the nefarious world of gambling.
Pinstripe suits, tommy guns, marked cards, cheats of every description...like Giant Gray Fuzzy Mice inhabited by pimply-faced, sweating, bored teenagers trying to muster enough coin to take a date to the movies on the Friday they are not stuck inside the suit.
But the truth is...Chuck E Cheese is nothing but a din of iniquity. It is a cesspool designed to corrupt the pure young children who enter those seedy halls of greed.
Fortunately, courageous parent (and blatant idiot) Debbie Keller is standing up against this vice. Oh, sure, it may not have the normal marks of a gambling den. No pinstripe suits, armed men with toothpicks and cigars hanging out of their mouth, no gunfire, alcohol, or pall of smoke hanging low in the backroonm as they use passwords to keep out cops, politicians and other criminals of that ilk, but Keller knows a gateway when she sees it.
And who can deny that the place "where a kid can be a kid" is anything but a gateway into a life of rampant gambling, unchecked by any seed of decency?
That is why Keller is fighting back. Even though the suit demands 5 million, she is quick to point out, ""It is not about the money". No, she wants to protect your kids from the gateway to gambling known as Chuck E Cheese.
Now, on the one hand, I hope you got a dozen or so laughs out of some of the preamble.
On the other hand, the thing that should draw the biggest laugh is a case proceeding through our courts.
As a general rule I scoff when I hear spurious claims about underfunded schools. But when I hear this...well, I hope Keller was a drop-out, because if she was an honor student and came up with this garbage...well...they say there are no stupid questions. If this is a smart question for her, what does it say about her intelligence?
Love and resist - This is going to be a raw post, because the mood here in and around Portland is raw. Bear with me. I have to get this out. How are you? has become a loaded...
4 weeks ago