Collectively, they are called Munch's Make Believe Band, and the members are an oversized chicken, a purple monster, a hound dog and an Italian pizza chef. They have enormous eyes, move like Frankenstein on acid, and their mouths open and close at all the wrong times (like a badly dubbed Kung Fu movie). If the people over at Chuck's place aren't trying to give small children a lifetime of nightmares, I have to seriously question their entertainment choices. And when the song is over, the least they could do is drop a curtain or close a door; not just allow these unfortunate kids (mouths all full of pizza and fun) to watch the characters go still, silent, and then sit there on display in quasi-death as the lights dim. Oh, the horror! The absolute horror!
But I digress.
As a kid of the fabulous 80's, of course I had a Teddy Ruxpin doll. For those that don't know, the original Teddy Ruxpin (who I will now refer to as T-Rux), was a stuffed bear with a cassette tape player built into his back, and he would read stories aloud. Being (...gulp...) animatronic, his eyes and mouth would also move as he told the story. This was all fine and dandy before I was introduced to Chuck E. Cheese, in fact, me and T-Rux had some great times together. We'd watch videos, eat pudding, take naps, and occasionally we'd just sit with a glass of kool-aid and chat about the good ol' days. Well, to make a long story short (although it really isn't a very long story at all), my friendship with T-Rux was dashed to pieces after I experienced the pure, unadulterated fear better known as Munch's Make-Believe Band. I hid him somewhere in the dark, endless abyss of the basement (without so much as a map or a compass), never to be seen or heard from again. Well, my mom found him eventually, but let's just say at that point the magic was gone.
And so I discovered early that 'animatronic' just wasn't the way to go. In desperate need for a new partner-in-crime, I called up my faithful friend-bear, Snickers. He was the first stuffed animal I'd owned (from my early infant days), and after betraying him for my short-lived, illicit affair with T-Rux, I decided I should probably stick to my roots. We talked things over, discussed my infidelity, and ultimately I blamed my actions on the naievity of youth and the ruthless distractions of consumer marketing. Snickers understood. He forgave me, we hugged it out, and we've been inseparable ever since. Snickers is my homeboy.
He's my wing-man.
My sexless, inanimate lover.
Snickers is my rock.
Hmm. I know that I initially had a reason for telling this sad and pitiful tale. A reason which would not have left me looking like a disturbed adult woman who still sleeps with her teddy bear. That reason was undoubtedly sensible and appropriate. But that reason has now escaped me, and I am disturbed, so go figure.
Don't take your kids to Chuck E. Cheese. But if you have to, eat your pizza outside.
And yes, I am still afraid of robots. Sorry Transformers, you guys can't all be trusted. Just look at the Decepticons.