Monday, February 11, 2008

One Chuck-E-Cheese is Still Kid Friendly

I ran across this story this morning, figured it would need at least a little face time here. No doubt it is already online elsewhere.

The story is about Chuck-E-Cheese withdrawing their application to serve alcohol in their Killeen Mall location, in Texas. If that were the only part of the story, I don't know if I'd worry all that much; however, there are several quotes in here that just stick out, rubbing me the wrong way.

Let's begin with the MADD folk, who seemed to celebrate the fact that there would be no alcohol here. We've walked this road before, with MADD, but I'm still amazed at how much they've lost their way. Were they there advocating for responsible consumption, or pushing for steps that assure there'd be fewer drunks on the road? No. It appears in this case they were simply interested in keeping a alcohol away from adults.

Then, of course, we've got the 'for the kids' mentality.
"I was surprised – upset and surprised," Smith said about when she heard the restaurant planned to sell beer. She said alcohol makes it no longer a kid-friendly environment. "It's for kids, it's not for adults who want to drink," Smith said. Her reaction was different when she heard Chuck E. Cheese withdrew its application for a permit to sell alcohol. "Oh my goodness, I am so happy," Smith said. "I'm ecstatic." Smith said she planned to stop taking her 6-year-old twins to Chuck E. Cheese's – something they do about once a month – if it sold beer. "I'll take them back," Smith said. "They'll be happy, too."
Evidently I'm not kid friendly. Nor are my folks, siblings and millions of others that wittingly expose kids to the devil's drink. It's clear, in this case, that the people protesting have no idea who to worry about, or what to focus their worry on. How many drunkards do you suppose are willing to shell out a premium for swill, when they could just as easy go to a bar for drinks a lot cheaper? On top of that, how many drunkards do you suppose WANT to be around kids, loud noises and six-foot furry mice? Not many! None that I can personally think of either.

So what if parents choose to buy a round of beer for a pizza party where the kids most likely won't be at the table, except to inhale their pizza? I've been to Chuck-E-Cheese before, and I'm pretty sure the last thing kids are concerned about is what their parents are drinking. Absurd. Seriously. If people are really this concerned about kids being around alcohol, you'd think they'd want to make laws that keep kids at home (or someone else's home) away from the adult exposure to alcohol. I don't know, it doesn't make sense to me.

I'll work on being more kid friendly. Tomorrow.