Dear Chuck E.,

Dear Chuck E.,

I have fond memories as a child of coming to the restaurant that preceded yours, Show Biz Pizza Place.  Maybe the years have dimmed my memory, but as I recall, things were better at the restaurant then.

I took my daughter to your “Chuck E Cheeses” restaurant today, and found the place seeming a bit run down. Some of the band members were in obvious disrepair. One had an eyelid permanently shut. Another’s mouth hung open, though his tongue still moved with the appropriate lyrics. It looked like a piece of duct tape, attaching the mouth piece to the tongue, would have fixed him right up. The curtains did not open or close at the beginning or ending of the bands performances (though to the credit of those handling the show, the performers didn’t just sit there frozen, but kept making some movements). Other of the band members seemed tired, their mouths only opening halfway. Spotlights seemed out of adjustment, which should have been simple to fix. All these little things were just very distracting to the “show.”

Then to my great amusement, the “show” got worse. As I understand it, I am supposed to believe that you characters up on stage are real, living beings, right? That’s the concept of the show, is it not? Well, a couple of your employees walked up onto your stage, Chuck, and started dusting your set, and dusting YOU!. It was very hilarious to my wife and I, as we knew that any illusion of reality was completely destroyed. We felt bad for our daughter and other little kids in the restaurant, watching the employees dutifully dusting and cleaning while the show was going on. The employees finished your set, and continued on the center stage and dusted your friends there. One of the ladies noticed that your bird friend’s eye could not open, and she tried poking your bird friend’s eye several times with her duster tool. My wife and I laughed out loud at the sight. Then they noticed your purple monster’s (Munch?) jaw hanging down. One of them attempted a couple times to pick it up and push it back in place, all while the purple monster kept on singing; it was to no avail, as the monster’s jaw just dropped right back out and the tongue kept on wagging to the lyrics. We just couldn’t believe that they would go up on stage at noon, the lunch hour, during your singing, and do work that seemed best to accomplish before the restaurant would open and customers were sitting there watching, or at least in-between shows with the curtains closed!

I heard you say once, Chuck, that you are “America’s Favorite Mouse.” After seeing things today, I’d have to advise you to take a trip down to Anaheim California and study the ways of the mouse that lives there. Notice how he keeps his place in great repair, and his helpers don’t dust the Enchanted Tiki-Room performers during their shows. Otherwise, the pizza tasted great, and the games and rides were fun and we had a great time visiting. We’ll be back, and hope the band will be better prepared next time!

Ryan B.

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