A little while ago, I posted my RetRose Tinted
column up on the front page. It's about my birthday and Chuck E. Cheese. The whole experience made me a bit of a sad panda.
There was a chunk of the post that took out because it was kinda breaking up the flow, the post was already running long and, well, it's a little tasteless. So, now I'll post it here because I kinda liked it but it didn't work.
I was a little bit concerned that our group of obvious twenty-somethings with poor fashion sense might be misconstrued as a NAMBLA meeting and be denied admittance. In the door was a sort of hallway with two lanes for going in and out, kinda like the very end of a particularly long amusement park line where you've just managed to get inside the ride building. At the end of this are a couple of gates guarded by a bored teenage girl.
It's a subtly sophisticated deterrent to kidnapping. The long hallway thing with the fences are there so that, in the event that a kid is snatched, it's inconvenient to get to the front door. The walls are low enough to climb over pretty easily, and also have booths alongside them. But if you tried to do it with a kicking six year-old in your arms, you'd probably have to struggle. And low walls means everyone in the joint can get a good look at your face.
The last line of defense is that bored teenage girl. When you walk up to her gates, she stamps your arm with a UV-sensitive ink. The stamp is a number and when a parent brings her child in, she and her child have a matching number. So there's no subtle way to get the brat out either, unless you managed to get the stamp and change your number to match your prey's, if you can even get that information (I really haven't thought much about this, I swear).
Hungry, afraid and with a number on my arm, I started to wonder if this is what Auschwitz felt like.