Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Mouse vs. Rat

Today was my son’s birthday and what he’s asked for all summer was a trip to the Palazzo of the Pizza Rat – a pseudonym, since I wouldn’t want to upset anyone who has truly warm and fuzzy feelings about the giant rodent.  I really don’t mind the big lug, but his home usually leaves me a bit rattled by the time we leave.  For two. Solid. HOURS.  My kid can be a kid and my senses can be assaulted.  But, the birthday boy was happy and that’s all that mattered at the end of the day.


At the beginning of the day, the “handlers” for El Grande Raton de Queso came out and announced to the children, “I want all of you to be kind to [you-know-who] and no hitting or kicking him!”  My 16 year old daughter turned and said, “Really?  That’s a problem?” — Apparently so, but for seemingly valid reasons.


During the singing and dancing portion of Farm Animals and Aliens on Parade (animatronic chicken (duck?), dog, scary purple dude, etc.) the Master of the House came out to ostensibly entertain the kids in our party, but ended up sort of provoking them because one kid wouldn’t high-five the man/woman in the stuffed rat (mouse?) suit.  One of our guests, perhaps afraid of the possible germs residing on the giant unwashable paws of Mr. Fromage, did not engage the repeated hands stuck in his face for high fives, love fives and side-to-side tens.  Not having any of it.  So, the man/woman in the huge furry suit stole the kid's cup of tokens.  You read that right.  The packrat took his miniature Vegas-esque plastic cup of coins and started to walk away.  However, whatever expressions he/she could see through his/her mesh helmet screen of the stunned adults in attendance shamed him/her into returning them to the table.  Our little pizza munching guest pulled the newsboy cap on his head down a little lower to assist in his attempt to ignore the rockin’ show before him.  Rather than leave him alone, the giant squeakster pulled the kids hat off his head.


I would love to tell you that the storyteller in me is makin’ this up … but I’m not.


Is it any wonder then, that once our birthday performance was over, there was a trail of little kids just looking to get their pokes in as the louse shuffled through the rest of his house?  We watched him get whacked with a bag of prize tickets by a little kid about three feet high who followed him from the stage, to the salad bar and through the arcade.  No adults intervened.  Not even the handlers.


Some kids weren’t so hostile with the ol’ Rattus Norvegicus (don’t be impressed, I looked that up) – some children were just plumb scared.  Crying and moaning at the skeeball, looking over their shoulders constantly for the impending attack.


All evening I tried to come up with reasons why kids respond so differently to a very faMous(e) we all know and love.  Well, for starters that Mickey is a snappy dresser, always wearing those formal white gloves and those fabulous goldenrod shoes.  ZZ Top knew of what they spoke when they said every woman’s crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man.  Goes for meeses, too.


Mr. Mouse also speaks in gentle, sweet dulcet tones – while dat dere other guy has got a Sopranos staccato patter to what comes outta his mouth, kinda like a guy that might wanna take your tokens when you ain’t lookin’!  The matted gray fur, baseball cap and jersey isn’t a big plus, either.  Makes it seem like he knew you were coming by, but you weren’t worth getting cleaned up for.  I’m just saying.


Still, none of this matters because my birthday boy was happy and came home with a smile on his face, a full tummy, a plastic Dollar Store crazy straw and 2” spiky ball that only took a bajillion tickets to win.


Only 365 more days ‘til we do it all again, but next year, I’m going to lobby a teensy bit harder for a visit to the other mouse’s house.

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