There have been many terrifying moments in my life since I became a father. It strikes me as a truly cruel joke that the life event that required the most bravery, also turned me into the biggest weiner.
Many of these heart threatening moments have involved falling. The first time he fell running down the hall. The first time he fell down the stairs. Heck, the first time he fell asleep freaked me out. I was convinced nothing that small could survive with constant supervision.
Today, however, my moment of terror had nothing to do with falling. Today it was all verbal. Today, when he got back from preschool, my son said the following: “Dad, I’m home! We’re going to Chuck E Cheese!”
I’m not sure how he got Chuck E Cheese and Outback Steakhouse confused, but I’m not sure how he always gets his left and right shoe confused either.
“We’re going to Chuck E Cheese” has to be in the top ten scariest phrases kids can say to their parents. Probably right between “Hey watch this!” and “Mom, Dad, this is my fiance Snakeface.”
And unlike normal parent, I’m not scared to take my child there because it’s a place where he and 50 others just like him can run around in circles until they vomit greasy pizza into the ball pit.
I’m not scared because if we went there I would probably have to leave my game of whack-a-mole (thereby letting the moles win) to go climb up into the kids-only crawl space to pull my kid’s head out of one of those stupid steering wheels they put on all those things.
I’m scared, because I have reason to believe that the robot uprising has already begun and their leader is currently singing a synthetic rendition of “The Lion Sings Tonight” at a pizza parlor.
The Singularity has happened.
And it happened a Chuck E Cheese.
Forget the skull-like visage of the Terminator. When the robots knock down your door to defrag you and all you hold dear, the last face you’ll see will be a giant smiling rat.
I can’t prove it yet. But I’m going to keep working on this. Unless of course my kid gets his way. Then I might find myself in enemy territory. If I do, I’m going to try and save all mankind but stopping the threat at its source.
Wish me luck.