This is for my friend, D, who so graciously invited The HomeFront to tag along with her and her boys, and then got to spend her time commiserating with me about how crazy expensive the world has become. Good times for her, I'm sure. Thanks, D!
An Open Letter to the Local Indoor Jungle Gym/Arcade:
Dear "Fun People",
I have visited your establishment several times this summer, and, after today's visit, I felt compelled to write regarding several of your new policies.
First of all, I notice that you are now charging the parents/caregivers an admission fee despite the fact that we do not use the equipment. In fact, we cannot use the equipment. It is clearly marked FOR AGES 1-9 ONLY!, and in addition, most adults would not be able to squeeze our way through your glorified gerbil tubes anyway.
Previously, I would sit on a bench and watch as my children made their way across rope nets and through slides, and I would pray that no one broke a limb. Or worse, that one would get stuck and I would have to heave myself up into the maze for a search and rescue. Now I get to pay for sitting on a bench and praying? I can do that for free at church.
In addition to the admission fees, all patrons must pony up the cash money for the arcade tokens. I would be much more willing to change more than two dollars into tokens if you would fix the stinking games already. It seems each time we visit, fully half of your games are broken. It is like some kind of flunky carnival came to town and left their useless machines behind.
I also noticed that you charge full admission for crawling babies. Seriously? Crawling? I don't think so. You seem to be under the impression that two Exersaucers, a plastic rocking horse, and a mini slide with a two foot drop-off makes good fun for a crawling baby. It doesn't. Even my toddler cries when I point her towards the baby section.
But the biggest problem by far is the "No outside food or drinks policy" you've instituted. As I could see from your sign, and from your employee who told me to put my child's half-finished drink away, you include coffee cups (from home or from other businesses), other beverage containers, any kind of food, and sippy cups. Harsh.
Now I understand that you've got to make a living, I really do, but come on! No sippies? I know that you are willing and able to provide me with a coffee for triple the price or a pack of fruit snacks for a dollar fifty, but I can't afford it!
I can buy an entire box of fruit snacks for a little less than two dollars, making each pack roughly thirty three cents. You are charging me a dollar fifty for one pack. That's a markup of 500%! Those better be gold nugget fruit snacks you're passing over the counter.
In short, it's all just too rich for my blood. I'll be taking my business down the highway to the Chick-Fil-A, where my kids can play on the same kind of indoor jungle gym and I can eat waffle fries and drink sweet tea. I'll gladly pay for that.
Aimee and The HomeFront Corp.