Of Mice and Men: Unmasking the Secrets of Chuck E. Cheese


AJ Chambers poses with Chuck E. Cheese

Elizabeth Raeber , Guest Writer

Chuck E. Cheese holds a special place in many teenagers’ memories as a place of games and smelly play sets, germs and suspicious pizza. For many years, this arcade has promoted premature gambling and has robbed children of their birthday money in exchange for what? Tickets? Many questions plague the children who visit, as well as the adults semi-watching them. Who is behind the mask? What’s that smell? Who threw up on the red slide? To find the answers to some of these questions, I decided to ask the big mouse himself, AJ Chambers. 

E: What inspired you to work at Chuck E. Cheese? 

AJ:  One day I was like really bored in class, and I was looking for something to do after school every day. And I was injured for the whole track season, so I was like, I’m gonna go get a job. So I looked up jobs that need people, and I found one that said Chuck E. Cheese, and I was like, It would be hilarious if I worked at Chuck E. Cheese. 

E: So do you work there as a joke?

AJ: Yeah, it all started off as a joke. But then I started working there, and I kinda liked it. 

E: Awesome. How do you get ready for your performances with the kids?

AJ: Well usually there’s the birthday show, which I kinda get hyped for because the kids pay to see Chuck E. And I know from the parents’ perspective they just spent a bunch of money for their kids to meet the mouse. So usually I try to get a little hyped up, but sometimes it’s hard if I’m not, like, in the mood when I have to go out there. 

E: Oh, so do you have an assignment for when you go on?

AJ: I’m the gameroom attendant, so I’m in charge of a new thing called the Spring Break Break Dance. It’s every hour on the thirty, and the dance is about five minutes long. 

E: What do you like most about your job?

AJ: I like how I can just do whatever I want, pretty much. It’s like I get paid to have fun. I mean, I play arcade games all day. Sometimes I forget, like, I’m getting paid for all of this. 

E: And what do you find most challenging about the job? 

AJ: Personally, I don’t like gross foods and cleaning up after people. So doing really dirty dishes is kinda gross for me. Also cleaning up when kids get sick. I’ve only had to do it twice, but it’s really nasty. 

E: Well do the parents at least tip you? I mean, it seems like a pretty hard job. 

AJ: Yeah, so usually parents give the party host tips, but if there’s a really nice birthday mom, she’ll tip me. But one time I got mercied into a parent giving me cake and twenty bucks because the kids were misbehaving so much. I think they broke a machine. 

E: Actually?

AJ: Yeah, and when I was in the Chuck. E. suit they jumped me. 

E: Oh my gosh! That sounds awful! Well, as a mouse, what’s your favorite kind of cheese?

AJ: I forget what it’s called, but it’s like that white shredded cheese. 

E: White cheddar?

AJ: Yeah. Yeah, white cheddar. That’s what it is. 

E: And how many Athens Academy students work at Chuck E. Cheese?

AJ: It’s me, Patrick Rodrigue, and Cole Dowd. 

E: Wow, that’s a lot. 

AJ: Yeah, and it’s pretty fun when we’re all there. 

E: Have there ever been times when you’ve believed that you really are Chuck E.?

AJ: Oh, all the time. I wake up and I’m like Dang. I’m really Chuck E. Cheese. 

E: Really?!

AJ: No, that’s a joke. I’ve never had an identity crisis, but sometimes I’m like, Dang. I’m known as the “Chuck E. Cheese guy.” 

E: And for the big question, I know it’s a controversial topic but I have to ask. Does Chuck E. Cheese recycle their pizza?

AJ: No comment can be made at this time. **

** Kidding!  AJ would like to clarify the following: Chuck E. Cheese makes their pizzas fresh every day. They’re actually fresher than big pizza companies. CEC makes their dough and cheese in-house, meaning inside each restaurant. Other companies ship everything pre-frozen into the stores.

So, let the record show: Chuck E. Cheese pizza is not recycled. Please don’t attack them because I really don’t want to deal with any legal issues or have people lose their jobs. Thanks.