I have lived in my father's shadow for far too long - by Trevor E. Cheese

And it's been no pizza party.
(Illustration by Sarah Robert)

We all reach a day in our life where we have to take reckoning of our parents' role in our lives. What do they mean to us? What do we mean to them? Who are we when they're not around?

I am here to tell you that day is especially important for the child of a celebrity.

My father, Charles Entertainment Cheese, is well-known to both kids and adults around the country and indeed the world.

And yet nobody knows me, Trevor Electricity Cheese.

At least not yet.

You'd think it would be an absolute dream growing up under such a great individual's wing, or whatever we rodents have. (Arms, I guess. Legs?)

Well you'd think wrong.

Hey, do you like music? Yeah, I bet you do. Me too.

What's your favourite band? No wait, scratch that, what's the band you've seen the most in your life? Radiohead, with their moody electronic jams? Coldplay, with their soaring, anthemic choruses?

Cool, mine was the Chuck E. Cheese Official Animatronic House Band, with their squeaks, grinds, and clanks.

(Although yes, I realize that does still sound a bit like it's describing Radiohead.)

I watched that band peform… hmm, well, let me see, let me count the… well they played extra on weekends of course… ah, now I've got it.

I have seen them well over 15 million times.

Do you like pizza parties? I bet you do, right?? They're the most fun in the world!

Unless you had a pizza party for every meal. Three times a day, from ages 3 through 12. Pizza party for breakfast. Pizza party for lunch. Pizza party for dinner.

For dessert? Hey, there's always more pizza left, they're very big pizzas.

I look forward to moving out and trying a second food in my life. Or even just a kind of pizza that is not pepperoni. You make fun of pineapple on pizza? I'd give my left… arm to try it. Yeah, they're just called arms, right? Arm. No it's definitely legs.

But that's right, I'm setting out on my own, leaving the C.E.C. environment I've known for all these years, and striking out into the world.

What's next for me? I'm not totally sure yet. I don't know what's out there yet. I need to find my "pool of plastic balls." I need to find my own personal "bowling the small balls into a hole past the circles."

No, I never learned what that game was called, because I knew I would never follow my Pops into the family business.

So all I ask, world, is that you see me on my own terms. And watch out for me, whatever I do next.

Though I would like to announce that, just to start out, for a very short time until I get on my feet, I will be running my own Chuck E. Cheese franchise in Bowmanville, Ontario; please come on out!

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About the Author

Jeremy Woodcock

Jeremy has been a staff writer for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, performed stand-up comedy at the Just For Laughs and Winnipeg Comedy Festivals, and co-created/stars in the popular video series The Urbane Explorer/Finding Bessarion. A 3x Canadian Comedy Award–winner and published humour columnist, he also wrote your favourite joke, the one about the fish trying to get a job at a bank.