On Tuesday we were invited over to Monkey Joe's to celebrate our pal's 4th birthday. We brought him a few very loved stuffed animals that belonged to Ella but she decided her pal would like to have them instead of packing them for the big move to Houston. Also in the bag, and a homemade card and necklace and a promise to send something cool from the Houston Space Center when we get all settled. At the door, we signed all our rights away and traded Ella's shoes for some jumpy castle fun. The adults sat down at a lovely table in the center of the facility. The kids never looked back.
As we sat and visited, Sarah the manager came over to our quiet conversation to ask if the bag on the table was a present. I answered with a puzzled yes at which time she insisted my friend then bring it out to the car as we weren't allowed to exchange gifts unless we booked a party room. (Now it was just one bag and the two of us sitting there, we didn't exactly bring in a cake and twenty kids and a sack full of wrapping papered boxes.) I quickly back tracked and said "well really then, it's just a bag of stuff I'm giving to them" and Sarah the manager said "You already told me it was a present; someone has to take it out of here - now." My pal took it out to her car.
This was when I decided I was going to do a blogular review of Monkey Joe's jumpy fun place. I took a few of pictures of the jumping kids mid air, I took a picture of the rules posted, I took a picture of Sarah the manager, I took one of the snack bar, and Sarah the manager came stomping over yelling "Did you just take a picture of me?!" Now I could've easily said no, but I was a little amused at this point and said yes. Sarah told me I wasn't allowed to just take pictures of people without their permission and she was going to call the police if I didn't delete it. This is when I started laughing, a lot. I think I even said "Really?! You've got to be kidding" and then Sarah said that if I didn't delete the picture of her right there in front of her she would ask us to leave AND call the police, then she turned to the lady at the counter and said "Call security."
This is when I did a quick review of my options
A) Stand up for myself and let her call the police who would also laugh at her but still get kicked out and the kids all cry.
B) Tell her what a rude and stupid person she was and inform her about a person's rights when they are in public and how it doesn't include being paparazzi free, but still get kicked out and the kids all cry.
C) Delete the stupid picture let the kids play and write this review.
At this time my pal told her she was a real "killjoy" and I had enough time to decide on option C. I deleted the picture while Sarah stood over my shoulder watching. It wasn't enough because she accused me of actually not deleting it and indignantly demanded I give her my phone. I handed it to her and she proceeded to delete the pictures of the jumping kids mid air, a picture of the rules posted, and one of the snack bar. I told her I would be writing a review of the place, without those pictures. She pointed her finger and said "You'd better not write anything slanderous about me, the authorities will find out, and you'll have to remove it." and I laughed again and asked her if she was implying I would lie about her on the internet. She said no and stomped away mumbling something like "You'd just better not."
A little later she appeared again to hand me her boss’s business card and say she already informed her boss of the whole situation, I thanked her and told her I would be informing the internet. I think she was trying to apologize, but I didn't actually hear the phrase "I'm sorry" what I actually heard was more threats about writing this piece. I wanted to tell her - if you don't want people to think you're an ass then you've just gotta not act like an ass, but the afternoon really wasn't about me and I was pretty sure I couldn't put the toothpaste back into the tube if I said it, so I didn't - I just nodded.
The rest of the visit was wonderful for the kids and I really considered live blogging it from the free high-speed internet next to the recliners and the big screen TV in the adult relaxation area while the kids burned off whatever endless energy they had flinging their bodies about and sliding down giant inclines, but I was really trying not to get kicked out at that point. I didn't know if Sarah would come stomping out again and read what I was doing over my shoulder at the computers, so I just sat at the tables. When we finally left I asked the lady at the snack bar for the manager's name and she said she couldn't tell me what it was.
So after all that, my conclusion - I recommend Monkey Joe's, but not Sarah.
(Rockford franchise on Tuesday, May 19th between 10:30 and 1:00pm.)