Who Moved the Cheese?

I have been going to Chucky Cheese since I was a kid.  There has always been something very freaky yet very intriguing about Mr. Chucky Cheese.  I often think about the person inside the costume, as I watch swarms of sticky cotton candied faced children descend on him viciously like ants on a sugar cube.  Do they have kids?  Do they even like kids?  Are they a kid themselves?  Do they tell people what they do?  Does it smell like feet in there?  When I was 17, one of my dreams was to work at the local amusement park as one of the dancing characters.  It seemed like such a prestigious job at the time, walking around the park, taking pictures with all the people…funny, not one time did I ever consider how hot it would have been in that costume, especially in summers’ 90 degree weather.  It didn’t cross my mind because working there would have just been a fun part-time gig, something just for the a summer, certainly not my career.   Fast forward…to yesterday. Chucky came out…happy, dancing…patting children softly on the head.  I looked at him intensely, analyzing his every move, hoping for something that would show who the person was inside, searching for the one clue that would give him away.  I realized that I wanted to know…because in my heart, I wanted to believe that he really truly loved his job, that making kids happy was joyous to him…not because working at Chucky Cheese was the only work he could find and that he silently cursed under his breath while standing there in a musty furry costume.  It was in that moment, that I felt humbled, suddenly, understanding the Chuckies of the world; the ones that do what they have to do to survive, to feed their families, to pay their rent…whether its twirling signs on the sidewalk or bringing smiles to children in a ten-year old animal costume.  Yesterday, I changed my opinion of Mr. Chucky Cheese.  I’m not completely sure why, maybe it’s because now that I’m an adult, I realize how hard it can be to pay for food, rent, clothes, a car note and still want to try to scrape up enough to take a trip to Walt Disney World.  Even though I think of myself as fortunate and blessed, I understand that at any moment, it could be me, donning a musty furry costume to make ends meet for my own family.  Humbled by the thought, I sang and clapped a little more louder…you know, just in case Chucky was looking, to let him know, that he wasn’t just a big furry musty mouse…but a big furry musty mouse…I happen to admire.

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