Tonawanda News


November 12, 2012

The things we do for our kids

Tonawanda News — I’m writing this several days out from the event in question. By the time you read this column, it will be long over.

Hopefully, I’ve recovered. I’ll let you know.

My oldest son turns 8 soon. He’s not the sort to want a million presents, or a huge spread of food (just basketball cupcakes, this year) or a big bash, but he is specific about what he does want. Very specific.

Yes, for the third year in a row, the Keppeler family will party at what a friend’s daughter once termed “the Big Mouse House.” 

Oh, not Walt Disney World. This Mouse House is a certain chain institution known for its pizza, video games and prize counter, namesake mascot and a catchy jingle that’s fairly ubiquitous on local TV and radio. Jimmy adores the place: Pizza, lights, games and his oh-so beloved Skee Ball. What could be better, right?

Let’s just say I think they put a liquor store on the corner near the restaurant for a reason. By the time parents emerge, they need it.

Me, I have history with the Big Mouse House anyway.

It dates way back to the years when my family would occasionally drive to “Buffalo” (it was all “Buffalo” when I was growing up in Cattaraugus County, from Hamburg to North Tonawanda) and we would all take turns at selecting a restaurant at which to eat.

My younger brother would always pick this place. Always. I, seven years older and with all the attitude of a teenager with a younger sibling, loathed it. 

• I hated pizza.

• I was “too old” (from the lofty height of 14 or so) for the characters.

• I didn’t like the games. (I was just old enough to be a devotee of the “old” arcade classics. OK, I was a snob.)

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