This past year has been rough for all of us, but the past 365 days have been particularly bad for everyone's second favorite cartoon rat-man (and surrogate father to all children whose parents just need 40 minutes of staring-at-the-wall time), Mr. Chuck. E. Cheese.
The public demise of the famous restaurant and arcade (whose parent company, CEC Entertainment, had racked up quite a bit of debt) began in November of 2019, when they axed their iconic (and only mildly nightmare-inducing) animatronic band. Then, at the height of the pandemic, came the GrubHub revelation, in which Chuck E. Cheese disguised himself as a fictional local pizza joint, Pasqually's Pizza & Wings in an attempt to drum up business, proving that even giant anthropomorphic rodents in baseball caps need to hustle through these unprecedented times.
In late June, CEC Entertainment filed for bankruptcy, and just like this godforsaken year, things have only continued to get worse. Earlier this week, Mr. Charles Entertainment Cheese asked a judge's permission to commit the most blasphemous act in all of arcade history -- destroying 7 billion unused prize tickets.
Enough paper to fill nearly 65 shipping containers (a.k.a half the amount of tickets you need to get yourself that one big neon parrot wearing sunglasses), the tokens were printed in June, before the bankruptcy, but never delivered. All salty jokes aside, the company asked the court for permission to spend $2.3 million to destroy the tickets, which are worth around $9 million in prize money, "a cost which is far lower than the cost to the [company] should these Prize Tickets be circulated to the general public and presented [...] for redemption," according to the company's lawyers.
So there you have it -- moving forward, but a vague sense of accomplishment and a fugitive inner peace will be your only rewards for succeeding at skeeball. How very 2020 of you, 2020.