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A History Of Chuck E. Cheese Violence

February 20, 2010 8 comments

Oh Hai!

I can’t say this topic is my original idea.  My favorite imaginary radio show (A.K.A Podcast), TBTL, has been documenting violence at the kids pizza place for quite a while.  After the latest incident, I decided I needed to know more.  Here is what I found.  In no way should this be considered an exhaustive list of Chuck E. Cheese related brawls.

#1 – Topeka, Kansas – January 17, 2005

Around 5:30 p.m., two adult females were involved in an altercation prior to police arrival. It was reported that one small child was either bumped or struck by another child. The mothers of the girls began to argue and an altercation ensued. No one was charged.

#2 – Brooklyn, New York – June 20, 2005

At about 8:30 p.m., A fight between two children at the Chuck E. Cheese in the Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn turned into a bloody brawl between parents.  It all started when two girls began to argue at the theme restaurant. A girl kicked the other child, which got their moms into a heated argument of their own. Then, the fathers of the two girls started to argue. One of the dads was joined by two of his friends in jumping the other father.

#3 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – August 11, 2006

An elderly female threw a shoe at man, according to police reports. He stated the fight started over someone calling his child “ugly.” He stated he was not injured, his pride was just hurt.

#4 – Toledo, Ohio – February 4, 2007

Several parents complained about children who were having their picture drawn at one of the machines and then continued to sit there after the drawings were complete. The parents began calling names and then throwing punches. Several people were injured and several cited for disorderly conduct.

#5 – Matteson, Illinois – 2007-2008

Police responded to at least 12 disturbance calls at the Matteson, Illinois Chuck E. Cheese between 2007-2008. The disturbances ranged in seriousness and included one in which two men attacked another man at a birthday party.

#6 – Flint, Michigan – January 26, 2008

Flint Township police responded to a call about a large fight at Chuck E. Cheese’s that involved as many as 85 people. A fight inside the restaurant between three females erupted, pepper gas was sprayed and people flooded outside the restaurant into the back parking lot.

#7 – Brookfield, Wisconsin – April 2008

In Brookfield, Wis., no restaurant has triggered more calls to the police department than Chuck E. Cheese’s. Officers have been called to break up 12 fights, some of them physical, at the child-oriented pizza parlor between April 2007 and April 2008. The biggest melee broke out when an uninvited adult disrupted a child’s birthday party. Seven officers arrived and found as many as 40 people knocking over chairs and yelling in front of the restaurant’s music stage.

#8 – Framington, Massachusetts – May 3, 2008

Two Boston-area moms got into a fistfight at Chuck E. Cheese when one woman’s son “hogged” an arcade game from the other’s 9-year-old birthday boy. Catherine Aliaga, 38, and Tarsha Williams, 33, were charged with simple assault and battery after the shouting and scuffling match at a celebration for Aliaga’s son’s birthday.

#9 – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – November 9, 2008

The assault occurred after a woman in her 30s approached a 6-year-old boy who was playing a videogame. When the boy went to insert more tokens to continue playing, the woman grabbed the tokens out of his hand and told him to stop hogging the game. The boy went and got his 26-year-old mother, who walked over to the woman. The woman began screaming at the boy’s mother, and another suspect, a man in his 30s, grabbed the mother by the throat and pushed her against the videogame machine. CEC employees had to pull the man off the mother. Both the man and the woman fled the scene. The police department gets called to respond to disputes at the restaurant as many as 15 times a year.

#10 – Pennsylvania – January 7, 2009

Five women and a minor were arrested after they were involved in a fight.  It’s not the first time police were called to the restaurant.

#11 – Pennsylvania – March 18, 2009

Two Pennsylvania women were arrested at a Chuck E. Cheese for assaulting a man with their refillable sodas and their fists.

#12 – South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – April 12, 2009

Around 7:00 p.m., a fight between adults broke out.  A child was caught in the middle of the fight and was transported to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The restaurant was extremely crowded. A woman threw a salt and pepper shaker at another woman and that woman threw a chair back at her, resulting in the fight.

#13 – Michigan – November 23, 2009

At 8:53 p.m., a fight broke out among three teenage girls at the pizza parlor. A Genesee County Sheriff’s paramedic and state troopers quickly got the fight under control, and canceled other officers headed that way to back them up.  But a few minutes later, the officers sent out a second call as the fight erupted again, and quickly turned into “a knock-down, drag-out between 75 and 80 people.” Police from around the county poured into the restaurant shortly after 9 p.m. trying to control the crowd. Pepper spray used to control the crowd may have added to the uproar.

#14 – Arlington Heights, Illinois – November 2009

A family was apparently celebrating the birthday of a young man in his early teens when other members of the family showed up, and an argument began. There was a pushing match and things were thrown. One person was taken to the hospital with a cut below an eye and another person went to a clinic for a cut on a hand. Some of the participants had been drinking.

#15 – Columbus, Ohio – November 24, 2009

A father of a 1 year-old interrupted the child’s birthday festivities by pulling out a knife and starting a fight with around 20 other people. Parents frantically grabbed their kids and ran like hell to get out of the line of fire as the twenty or so people got into a terrible fight.

#16 – Hickory Hill, Tennessee: February 2010

A birthday party went horribly awry when a quarrel over the length of the photo booth line descended into chaotic violence. A girl complained that a group of people, there to celebrate a young boy’s birthday was hogging the booth. The boy’s mother’s stepfather then clocked the girl, giving her a black eye. It went further downhill from there. Multiple combatants from both families face charges.

Moral of this story – Pick another place to have your child’s birthday party.  This is especially true if you live in Pennsylvania.  The park is always a nice choice.

I must also give a great deal of credit to the Wall Street Journal that published a fascinating article on this topic on December 9, 2008.  You can read it at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122878081364889613.html.

Thank You For Your Consideration,

The Graham Ten

TBTL Plea

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Oh Hai!

I have a quick request for you all.  If you love, or even are mildly interested in, quirky podcasts, please take the time to subscribe to the TBTL podcast on itunes.  My most favoritist show ever in the history of man kind was recently let out to pasture by their radio station in Seattle Washington (boo, hiss).  Luke and company are now doing the show exclusively as a podcast.  They are doing a great job if I do say so myself.   The more downloads the better for their future.  Please help the show rise up the ranks on the itunes top 100.  You won’t regret it.

You can also visit the show blog at tbtl.net.

Luke and Jen

Luke and Jen

Thank You For Your Consideration,

The Graham Ten

Say It Ain’t So KIRO!

September 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Oh Hai!

This truly sucks eggs.  The following announcement was posted on the TBTL blog on Thursday, September 10, 2009.

Big…Huge Announcement: TBTL will end as a radio show tomorrow night. BUT, (there’s a huge but) we will live on as a podcast at www.tbtl.net.

For over a year TBTL has made me smile when that is the last thing I wanted to do.  Bad move KIRO.  Truly bad move.  The TBTL Tens family deserves better.  I hope the podcast will be awesome, but it just won’t be the same without the live show to turn to.

Read more at the Seattle Weekly.

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If you feel the way I do and would like to express your opinion, contact KIRO 97.3 FM at  rarquette@973kiro.com.

Please reconsider KIRO.

Thank You For Your Consideration,

The Very Sad Graham Ten

A Very Meta Pet News Story – Blind Collie Has His Own Guide Dog

August 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Oh Hai!

If you listen to TBTL (97.3 KIRO FM in Seattle) you know what meta means (“Drunk people are so meta.”)  If you don’t, I am not so sure I can explain it.

What is Meta: Local reporter Kelly O gave us this word during her infamous interview where she repeated her mantra “drunk people are so meta”. The actual word is an adjective that can mean “self-referential”. We adopted it and use it when we are being self-referential in the extreme. (We also use “inside to the power of inside”, a phrase used by an east-coast listener to describe when we are being meta in the extreme.)

– TBTL Seattle, WA

Suffice it to say this article about a blind dog with his own guide dog fits squarely in the definition of meta.

Blind collie has his own guide dog

A blind border collie has found a new lease of life – after getting his own guide dog.

Black and white hound Clyde is totally blind and relies on fellow collie Bonnie to guide him everywhere, reports the Daily Telegraph.

She stays inches from Clyde’s side while guiding him on walks or to food or water, and lets him rest his head on her haunches whenever he becomes disorientated.

When they are together five-year-old Clyde seems as capable as a fully-sighted dog, but he refuses to move unless two-year-old Bonnie is nearby to guide him.

The inseparable pair were rescued as strays three weeks ago and are now looking for a new home.

Cherie Cootes, 40, at the Meadow Green Dog Rescue centre in Loddon, Norfolk, said Clyde would be lost without Bonnie and the dogs had to be re-homed together.

She said: “If Clyde’s unsure where he is he will suddenly go behind her and put his face on her back so she can guide him where he is going.

“He totally relies on her the whole time. When she walks she tends to stop and make sure he’s there – she does look out for him.

“When Bonnie’s about you wouldn’t necessarily notice Clyde is blind, but when she’s not about he refuses to move without her. There’s absolutely no option of homing them separately – they have to go as a pair.

“She’s just so good with him. They really are the most lovely pair of dogs. We’ve got to find them a home.”

Ananova.com

You can also read more about these dogs at The Telegraph Newspaper and The Daily Mail.  What a great pair.

Thank You For Your Consideration,

The Graham Ten

Insane Product Warning Labels

July 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Oh Hai!

I have been so busy lately that I have not had time to think about posting.  It is supposed to be my summer vacation, but I am hosting my visiting parents, going to an education conference in Atlanta, babysitting a 12 year old and a 5 year old (my mom had three kids, I don’t know how she managed it), and getting prepared to sell my artism at the Puyallup, WA Farmer’s Market.  I have not even had time to think about planning my lessons for next year.  That is extremely important because I am teaching two subjects I have never taught before.  I will start that after I take my niece on her sixth grade graduation trip that I promised her.

But I suppose all that is beside the point.  I have had time to look up some simply crazy warning labels that are posted on honest to goodness real products.  I know the one on the Dremel Drill is real because I just bought one.  As clear as day in the warning section it says “this product is not to be used as a dental drill or for any other medical purposes.”  I wonder just what  lawsuit caused the company to put that warning label on their products.  It’s a crazy world out there.  Here are some more real life product warning labels.

warning38

Ignite lighter away from face.

Bic Lighter

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warning35

This product must be cooked before eating.

Swanson TV Dinners

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warning33

Warning: Contents under pressure. Cap may blow off causing eye or other serious injury. Point away from face and people, especially while opening.

Canada Dry Club Soda

warning31

warning30

If pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use.

Children’s Dimetapp

warning29

warning26

Directions: Use like regular soap.

Dial Soap

warning25

(On the side of the cup) “This ice may be cold”

Slush Puppy Cup

warning23

warning21

On bottom side: “Keep Upright”.

Tesco Fruit Juice Carton

warning20

warning18

This broom does not actually fly.

Harry Potter Toy Broom

warning17

warning16

To prevent possible injury, do not apply the hose or the lid sealer to any part of the body while vacuum pump is in operation.

Foodsealer (Vacuum seals foods)

warning14

warning13

CAUTION: Contains cleaning agents. Do not treat garment while wearing.

Shout Gel

warning11

warning10

Caution: Risk of fire

Pine Mountain Fire Logs

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Warning: While cooking be sure to place crust side down

Red Barron Pizza

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Luke Burbank of TBTL (Too Beautiful to Live 97.3 KIRO FM in Seattle, WA) fame has a great story about his mother actually doing this to him one Sunday morning before church.  She burnt his ear but no one sued.  Talk about missing an opportunity.

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Do not spray in eyes.

Windex

warning3

warning2

Not Dishwasher Safe

RCA Television Remote Control

warningThank You For Your Consideration,

The Graham Ten

The Great Prairie Dog Prison Escape of 2009

June 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Oh Hai!

Boy must the zoo keepers’ faces be red.  I first heard about this story on my favoritest radio show TBTLon 97.3 KIRO FM in Seattle, WA (an amazing podcast, if you have never heard it).  The great prairie dog escape from the Maryland Zoo’s new, top of the line, prairie dog exhibit definitely qualifies as a cute animal story.  How embarrassing to find out that a prairie dog is smarter than you are.

Baltimore Sun

baltimoresun.com

Prairie dogs return to Md. Zoo

Keepers scramble as animals try to escape

By Jacques Kelly

Baltimore Sun reporter

June 12, 2009

It took just 10 minutes for a dozen prairie dogs to outwit the creators of the Maryland Zoo’s new $500,000 habitat.

Aircraft wire, poured concrete and slick plastic walls proved no match for the fast-footed rodents, the stars of a new exhibit that opens today.

As officials were promoting the return of the zoo’s 28 prairie dogs – their former digs had been out of sight in a closed section of the animal preserve for more than four years – some of the critters found ways to jump, climb and get over the walls of their prairie paradise, a centerpiece exhibit just inside the zoo’s main entrance.

None got away, but for a few anxious minutes, they found every weakness in the enclosure built to hold them. Zookeepers had to bring out nets to catch escapees.

When the animals were let out of their crates into their new habitat Wednesday, not all sought to escape. More than a few seemed happy to take a noontime siesta. Others were more interested in a lunch of biscuits, kale, apples, carrots, alfalfa hay and mulberry leaves.

But a few intrepid prairie dogs tried to find their way out, sending keepers scrambling to plug escape routes.

An hour later, just as zookeepers thought everything was under control, one rodent made it to the top of the wall. A dozen workers closed in. The prairie dog seemed to think better of it and jumped back into the enclosure.

“They find all the weak spots and exploit them,” said Karl Kranz, the zoo’s vice president for animal programs and chief operating officer. “But they are so fun to watch as they play, squabble, groom and bark with others in their colony.”

The new Prairie Dog Town took several months to build on the site of what had been the Kodiak bear exhibit. With its waist-high glass walls, the habitat permits children and prairie dog to get to know each other face to face. Zoo officials said prairie dogs have been one of their most popular and requested attractions.

Keepers released the animals Wednesday so they could begin digging their burrows in the 80 truckloads of sand and clay soil. Within hours, the prairie dogs had made at least one sleeping burrow under a tree limb.

“It’s like they were dropped off cold in the middle of the desert,” Kranz said, adding that after 24 hours they “had gotten very serious about digging their burrows.”

Zoo staff members say the animals cannot burrow their way out because the former Kodiak bear environment is essentially a large concrete swimming bowl. The soil depth at Prairie Dog Town ranges from 6 feet to 8 feet.

“The dirt must be deeper than 36 inches in order for the prairie dogs to make their burrows under the frost line,” Kranz said. “We took soil samples from the old exhibit so the soils could be matched exactly to what they were used to having.”

After foiling the escape attempt, zoo workers adjusted wire fencing and installed more slippery plastic on the walls.

“It worked perfectly,” said staff member Rebecca Gullott.

Prairie dogs are Midwestern natives that live in colonies and speak to one another in little barks that warn of approaching predators.

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is offering $5 off the first 3,500 admissions at the main gate to celebrate the opening of Prairie Dog Town.

The habitat was paid for through a Baltimore bond issue and state funds, as well as grants from the Bank of America, the Venable law firm and private donors Andrew and Joyce Walter.

Moving In

Moving In

And Moving Out!!

And Moving Out!!

Come on Guys!  This Way to Freedom!

Come on Guys! This Way to Freedom!

See the complete prairie dog move in and escape photo gallery at The Baltimore Sun – Prairie Dog Photo Gallery.

Thank You For Your Consideration,

The Graham Ten

A Muppet Awesome

May 31, 2009 Leave a comment

muppets

Oh Hai!

Friday night the TBTL gang did a show about why the Muppets matter.  Prior to the show they asked for input.  I posted a comment on their blog that brought back some great memories of Sunday night Muppet Show watching with my family past my normally early bedtime.

Graham 10 wrote…
Muppets = Later Bed Time
The Muppets totally matter. Some of my best childhood memories involve Muppets. When I was a kid there were only two television shows that I was allowed to stay up past my 7:30 bed time to watch. One was the Duke’s of Hazard (?) on Friday nights and the other was the Muppets. I think my parents allowed us kids to stay up late and watch the Muppets because they completely loved the show as well. Around the time I was in the sixth grade the Muppet Movie came out. Most of my musical memories of that year involve the soundtrack of the movie and the song Rainbow Connection. I can’t sing to save my life, but my childhood voice mangled that song over and over again that year. I still watch the Muppet Christmas Carol every year. Great Stuff!!!
May 29, 2009 1:55 pm

I was so excited yesterday to hear that Luke read my comment on air.  It was totally awesome and brought back even more warm and fuzzy memories.  That is one reason I love TBTL.  Almost everyday they talk about something from my childhood: Encyclopedia Brown, The A-Team, Madonna, The Muppets, The Blood Hound Gang from 3-2-1 Contact.  It goes on an on and its great fun to relive some of those great times from the past.  Thanks guys.  Oh, and Jen and I also now have something in common.  We both love the Converse clothing at Target.  Who knew we would share some fashion sense.

CONVERSE-logo-56904D179D-seeklogo.com

Next up!  Is it really normal for a 38 year old woman to totally obsessed over the Twilight books?

Thank You For Your Consideration,

The Graham 10