Robbery is wrong anyway you slice it, don't get me wrong.
But there HAS to be an especially toasty corner in Hell for people who rob a Chuck E. Cheese.
For those of you unfamiliar with Chuck E. Cheese, it is a family restaurant geared towards younger kids. Pizza. Arcade games. Tokens flowing like nuggets in the California Gold Rush. Kids smiling, laughing, playing. And parents looking at their watches wondering if they will get out before the sun goes down.
It's named after the resident rodent and mascot, Chuck E. Cheese himself. The luckier kids will sometimes run into Mr. Cheese as he walks around patting kids on the head and tossing out tickets (redeemed for kiddie loot) like candy canes on Christmas.
We've had more than a couple of birthday parties there. It' a place, as the company aptly states, where a kid can be a kid.
But that innocence was lost abruptly for many kids who were the victims of a robbery at a New Jersey Chuck E. Cheese. Armed robbers accosted about 40 employees, customers and their kids, and led them to a store room.
It will be virtually impossible to catch the buggers since they wore masks and could not be identified by victims or cameras.
This sort of story makes me ILL to my stomach.
Stealing, literally from the hands and mouths of babes, is about as low as a robber can get.
And the worst part is that these kids will probably be scarred for a very long time. A place that should be a fond memory of childhood innocence and playtime and glee will now be a source of anxiety and fear.
As the saying goes, Karma is a YOU KNOW WHAT.
What goes around comes around. Maybe not when we want it to or expect it to.
But it always does.
And that's the glimmer of hope here. This ultimately can't go unpunished.
The answer is not to fear this family tradition (I remember going to them when I was a kid way back when). But to take our kids there still and laugh and play as hard as we possibly can.