New England Reptile Distributors (Plaistow, N.H.) — A Venue For A Kid’s Birthday Party?

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by Anura Guruge


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It sure isn’t Chuck E. Cheese’s, Friendly’s, McDonald’s or even Krazy Kids. That is for sure.

Yes, I am into ‘different horses for different courses’ and I know that there are some kids and parents who love reptiles. But, I am not sure that that is reason enough to hold a birthday party for 8 year olds at a Reptile Place. I love (v. hot) curry BUT I would never dream of serving curry, as the main course, at the kid’s birthday.

Well on Saturday, Devanee & I took Teischan (8) for a birthday party at the New England Reptile Distributors, in Plaistow, N.H. I was NOT impressed. Actually I was very turned off. No, don’t get me wrong, I am NOT against pet stores. I like PetCo. I even go in there for fun. But, this was not PetCo. This place was disturbing and I was NOT ALONE. That I am not partial to snakes and have been known to kill them is no secret. But, where I grew up in, snakes killed people daily — and we are talking quite a few each day. Cobras and pythons weren’t things you saw behind glass. You encountered them, to your horror, in your yard! So I do have an excuse. You don’t find too many Sri Lankans who are crazy about snakes.

Unlike the other adults we didn’t stay. The place smelled and many in the staff appeared to be under the impression that it was Halloween as opposed to Pi Day. From what I could see the staff never went to the Chuck E. Cheese’s training on being a good host. Lot of stuff that did not sit well with me: a large turtle in a tank in which it could hardly turn and the feeding dead mice to Piranhas. We went somewhere genteel where they had decent food: Dunkin Donuts. We sat and read books for awhile before going out in the rain to look at old European cars.

But what was interesting and germane was that Devanee & I were not alone when it came to our aversion to the place and it been chosen as a venue for a birthday party. I spoke to 3 Mums who were not thrilled about coming there, one said “I don’t think I will be able to eat for 3 days” while a second said “I will have nightmares about this place”. I have heard Mums complain that they ate too much at Chuck E. Cheese’s but I am sure I have never heard one mention that they will have nightmares about the place. And then the most important and germane of feedbacks. One Mum said that her son always says when he goes to a ‘venue’ for a birthday party that he would like to have a birthday party at that same place. Not so at this place! She thought that that was telling. I asked Teischan. Though she said she liked it she didn’t want to go back! Enough said.

So, I guess I can scratch that place from the list of possible birthday party venues.


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