Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chad's Grand Slam Birthday - Coon Rapids, MN

This year, for my birthday, D.Rough asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate. Her and I had such a good time at Grand Slam when we went there for our random date night, so I thought we should go there and invite a ton of people on a random weeknight. Our thinking was it wouldn’t be overrun with kids and it would mostly be our people hanging out acting like children. We tried to do this the week of my birthday, but ended up postponing the event due to a blizzard – sadface. Our make-up date had considerably fewer people interested, but we still made it happen. And we still had a blast.
We took full advantage of the package deals Grand Slam has. For 12 bucks, you get tokens for games, unlimited bumper cars, laser tag, and mini golf, and you get a token for the batting cages.

We started out by watching MisterMister whiff a bunch of baseballs in the batting cage. I took a special sort of enjoyment from this, since he’s such an avid baseball fan. He talked up getting into the 60mph batting cage and then we watched him connect with exactly 4 pitches out of about 30. I don’t know ANYTHING about baseball statistics, but I’m assuming that’s not what sports people refer to as “batting a thousand”.

Trudy took a stab at her own set of pitches and was able to crank most of the balls straight to the back wall. She’s some sort of sports phenom or something.
Since I saw MisterMister’s performance in the 60mph cage, I felt my confidence rise – it may also have been the flask of birthday Jack in my back pocket. I thought out loud, “Hell, *I* could do better than four hits, even in the fastest cage they have.” So I stepped into the 70mph cage (might have been 75mph, but I don’t want to brag, I just don’t remember), and started whiffing my own set of pitches. And then, I finally connected. And then again. I was on a roll and D.Rough caught it on video. I’d say it wasn’t too bad, considering I’m scared of the ball and absolutely loathe baseball. But hey, I did alright in there. My dignity was intact.

We then tried our hand at some skee-ball in the game room. D.Rough is a veteran skee-baller, and racked up some serious tickets. Trudy, as I said before is a sports phenom – skee-ball IS a sport, right?

Luscious and Garrison brought their son LittleKiller – thanks to my prodding – and he ended up having a blast. He has some issues with the massive arm strength it takes to heave those massive 2 ounce skee-balls hard enough to score points, but he’ll get it eventually. It may take years of training, but we’ll see him taking younger kids’ money as a skee-ball shark soon enough.

LittleKiller also loves him some air hockey.

...And driving games...

We got to see Garrison pretending to be a 12 year old Asian girl, which frankly was one of the best parts of my night.

EJens ended up buying some sort of family pack of tokens and here we see him and MisterMister counting out tokens like some sort of creepy coin dealer on the air hockey table. I sure hope he has time to spend all those. It’s getting close to closing time here at Grand Slam…

A quick ride in the tank makes everyone happy.

Then a much longer ride in the bumper cars, where I got to see LittleKiller’s head smash Luscious in the nose when she backed into the wall too quickly. Concussion aside, LittleKiller had a blast while his parents and a bunch of other morons drove padded cars into each other like 10–year-olds.

We played a quick game of laser tag. It was 3 on 2, so it wasn’t exactly the most fair thing ever, but our one extra person had never played laser tag before. It was tons of fun and the 3-person team (US) won all the marbles. We decided we wanted to play one more round, so I walked over to the computer monitor. Saw what button to push for new game and pressed yes. Then when asked if ready, I pushed Y to start, and we were off. About 3 minutes later, random dbag kid with a chip on his shoulder turned the lights on and stopped the game to yell at us for restarting the game. “Only *I* can restart the game. Not you guys!” Ok, asshat. I’m sorry you’re under the assumption that pushing two buttons gives you some sort of real power, but you’re 19 and yelling at grown people who simply don’t care and would rather be drinking (some of us are already). None of us are intimidated and are hungry for cake. Bye bye.

We took a break for some cake. D.Rough is swifly becoming the master baker of cakes and she asked me what kind of cake I’d like for my birthday. I immediately said “Goat Head”. She was surprised at how fast I said it (as was I), and thought I was trying to sneak something sexual or weird into the cake idea, but I wasn’t. At the time she asked me, I was simply thinking about goat heads, for some reason. She agreed to do it and came up with an absolutely amazing cake for me. I could probably write an entire review of this cake, but I’ll try to keep it simple.

She made the head out of a red velvet cake covered in fondant, and she made the body out of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting that looked like fur – she has the best recipe for carrot cake, ask anyone there. And she made the horns out of fondant-wrapped rice crispy treat cones. She made me pose with the cake, just like her mother used to do to her when she was a kid. I realize now, this is her family’s subtle way of getting well-earned credit in photographic form for posterity, under the guise of taking a photo of the birthday boy/girl (that just HAPPENS to have the cake they slaved over for hours in it).

It was an amazing cake and everyone loved it. Especially LittleKiller. They especially liked the part where she made enough for 50 people and everyone got to take home the left overs.

Then it was time for some mini golf. I love mini golf, and it’s clear that most of our friends do, as well. It’s difficult not to. We had a blast.

It was getting near closing time and EJens still had half a million tickets from skee-ball and other kids games. We decided to ho head-to-head on this hilarious kids game where you punch a button to knock these things over that are going around on a wheel. Apparently, I’m the master at this game because I won every time. We played maybe 20 times and I kept racking up the tickets.

MisterMister really wanted to win this super ball game where you try to drop a ball into a hole in a rotating wheel, but never actually got the jackpot on it. It was fun with all of us cheering him on and watching 1-3 tickets pop out at a time. Hahahahaha.

I also needed to play some air hockey, so Johnny and I battled it out. It was a very close game, but I pulled ahead by 2 points. We both are quite gifted at hitting it into our own goal, it seems…

EJens tried his hand at an electronic jump rope game. Watch the light spin around and then try to jump when it gets by your feet. Funny, but not hilarious. Maybe if he were completely loaded, it would have been funnier. Yes, I’m sure of it, in fact. Next time.

Because I have awesome friends, they all decided to pool their tickets and get me something nice. We did have like four hundred tickets or something insane like that.

I ended up with a pair of fuzzy dice, a rubber fly, a robber ducky with an eye patch, pop rocks, and a pig that poops when you squeeze his middle. I have awesome friends.

We left Grand Slam and headed down the road to Mermaids for some drinks and food. Mermaids has two-for-ones after 9pm and we took full advantage of it.

Despite the weather, it was a great birthday party. And an adventure we’ll repeat. We love Grand Slam.

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