New Chuck E. Cheese Restaurant Forged In Iron And Blood

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Vol 31 Issue 12

Local Man Helped Every Day By Salad Shooter

CINCINNATI—A Presto Appliance advertising slogan was proven accurate Tuesday, when local resident Larry McCue announced that he is helped every day by the Presto Salad Shooter. "The Salad Shooter helps me every day," McCue said. "Whether I am shredding whole potatoes into hash browns at breakfast time, or preparing healthful salads and other entrees later in the day, no day goes by without help from my Salad Shooter." In addition to the culinary assistance provided by the appliance, McCue said that on one occasion he knocked an intruder unconscious with the compact, easy-to-clean appliance. Presto officials stressed that the Salad Shooter is not meant for use as a blunt weapon.

Clinton's Lower Lip 'Very Concerned' About Albanian Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC—In a move expected to cause a slight jutting of his lower jaw region, it was announced Monday that President Clinton's lower lip is "very concerned" about the ongoing civil unrest in Albania. A spokesperson for the president's lower lip told reporters that it would be "protruding outward with care, yet sliding slightly upward in a show of caution and prudence." It remains unclear whether this move will obscure the mucous membrane of his upper lip. "Clinton's lower lip is very aware that, considering the seriousness of the Albanian situation, complete upper-lip coverage is a possibility, but it is not making any decision at this time," the spokesperson said. Many insiders predict that Clinton's brow may also furrow slightly.

Creative Alcoholic Comes Up With Idea To Drink A Lot

GALVESTON, TX—Area alcoholic Joe Roush unveiled Monday a bold, counterintuitive plan for this weekend: to become intoxicated by the alcohol his body desperately craves. "After much rumination, I have brainstormed a plan to become thoroughly drunk through the consumption of beer and hard liquor," Roush said. "I created this plan myself, though playwright Brendan Behan was a source of inspiration." Key to Roush's plan will be switching from beer to scotch at around midnight.

Israel Agrees To Creation Of Palestinian Homeroom

WEST BANK—In a historic breakthrough in the struggle for peace in the Middle East, Israeli and PLO leaders settled on a large ground-floor room in a West Bank office building to be used as a Palestinian homeroom. "Finally, we, the people of Palestine, have a room to call our own, a place where we can go at the beginning of each day to take attendance and listen to announcements," PLO leader Yasser Arafat said. The PLO held out until the 11th hour of negotiations, insisting that all Palestinians be permitted to talk quietly in their new homeroom.

You're Doomed!

Several nights ago I couldn't sleep a wink due to an ongoing bout of the ague. Restless, I barked at my nurse to open the window so that some fresh air could clear the fetid odor of my bedchamber. As she drew the curtain, she revealed a sight that sent stark terror down my aged and malformed spine. A comet! The hairy-star of lore, the legendary harbinger of doom and portent of evil!

Nation's Homeless Less Important Than Ever

WASHINGTON, DC—According to a study released Tuesday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the nation's approximately five million homeless citizens are less important now than they have ever been.
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New Chuck E. Cheese Restaurant Forged In Iron And Blood

SOUTHFIELD, MI—The streets are quiet now, but the ghosts still haunt the place they made.

Seeming to defy gravity itself as it thrusts itself defiantly skyward, Southfield's newly built Chuck E. Cheese restaurant towers as an enduring monument to the men who labored to hew it from the living rock of the Midvale Mini Mall's parking lot.

This Chuck E. Cheese, built upon the sweat and toil of thousands, shall stand as a proud testament to mankind for centuries to come.

Hundreds of years from now, this hallowed, good-time pizza place shall remain standing, an awesome, hulking testament to commerce, enterprise and the human spirit, its cheerful facade belying the sweat, toil, blood and heartbreak that made it possible.

As one passes through its gleaming glass doors, the spirits of those who made the ultimate sacrifice can be sensed over the proud, animatronic-puppet-sung strains of "Rock Around The Clock."

They labored, and often they died building this hallowed place. Forty men perished laying the foundation for the ball pit. The exact number is not known, as no records were kept. But what is certain, and what shall never be forgotten, is the courage of those brave young workers who crawled some 40 feet down a three-foot-diameter shaft to their doom so that there may be a place for children everywhere to gather and enjoy cake and video games.

After months of hardship, slowly, imperceptibly, a great dream began to take shape. Groups of hard-rock men worked the sledge 12, 14, sometimes 16 hours a shift to drill the pits for the fearsome countersunk steel girders, and a mighty skee-ball alcove was born.

There was work for every man, even those who might be rejected elsewhere. A worker who had lost his sight to the blast furnace, or a limb to the giant bronze gears of the drywall mill, could be a valuable addition to the wack-a-mole test team. The token mint, where artisans struck the coins and currency vital to the inner economy of Chuck E. Cheese, was staffed with men who had lost fingers and toes while dynamiting the birthday party room. Trunk Torvald, a camp legend and day-shift mess cook, lost both legs when a team of workmen spilled their cement tub into the latrine he was digging. Torvald was stuck waist-deep in hardening concrete and had to be sawn in half to save his life.

A great many suffered shattered hands when, in a moment of fatigue, they allowed the hammer to slip off the stone-chisel. Dozens were burned in the explosion of the blast furnace used to cast Chuck E. Cheese's monstrous, 20-foot-high, cast-iron mouse mascot. Ten high-steel walkers fell to their deaths at the hand of the unpredictable winds that swirled about the restaurant's roof during the night shift so that this mighty Chuck E. Cheese place would be air-conditioned for eternity.

Through it all, this awe-inspiring symbol of progress and family-style- eating slowly grew from an impossible dream into reality. The workmen sent for their families and settled them into the dirty, overcrowded tar-paper shantytown wedged between Applebee's and the mall proper. Twenty-five thousand men would eventually settle within its boundaries. There was roisterous drinking, fighting and gambling 24 hours a day, and many a man lost an entire month's pay on one roll of the dice. But above it all, above the din of life and construction, towered the ideal to which some would give all.

When workers finally sledgehammered the last cast-iron Ms. Pac Man game into place, a great cry went up that, legend has it, could be heard as far away as the McDonald's on Nichols Road. They gave their all so that this Chuck E. Cheese may rise—and with it, our spirits—toward Heaven above.

Ultimately, the shining edifice they built will outlast them all. Like the Egyptian pyramids and the Great Wall, the Suez Canal and the Chrysler Building, this mighty Chuck E. Cheese shall stand forever as a gift to future generations, a good-time eatery and video game parlor to endure for the ages. Its beauty is eternal, and its message—that through toil and perseverance, the human race may achieve anything to which it sets its will—is a triumphant shout that shall echo throughout the centuries and beyond.

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