The Voodoo Queen and I have been suffering from bronchitis for a month (and I don't even have lungs-- amazing!) For Valentine's Day, tired of listening to ourselves hack (we sound like patients in a TB ward, or a casting call for Camille)-- we decided to get out of the house. So we doped ourselves up with cough syrup and lozenges and went to the local franchise of MONSTER MINI-GOLF, an indoor miniature golf site all done in blacklight. (I've previously mentioned this fairly new miniature golf chain in this post.) It was our first time there. We had fun playing a round of 18 holes and took lotsa pictures-- and thought I'd share them with you.
What? What was the score? Well--if you must know, Jane beat me by one stroke. (There's an obvious joke there, but fill in the gag yourself, or beat it!)
Okay, starting the photo tour (click on photos to enlarge):
We must have come at a bad time, as this employee (below) was obviously dead tired!
(Passing out putters and pencils puts a strain on you after several hours, I guess.)
We passed through the corridor and into the play area, where several teens and parents with little ones were already puttering away:
There was some fun, well-done monster art on the walls:
Jane quickly got into the spirit of things:
As did I...
One customer there asked me my handicap. I said, "I'm a severed head!"
I had told the owner that we would not be taking any pictures with a flash on. Well, accidentally, Jane became a flasher (thank goodness no impressionable children were around!):
Here's more of the decor without my mug showing:
The figures you see in the photos below MOVE!
The final hole is in a clown's mouth:
After playing, I went to the see the upstairs private party rooms. Here's pictures from the passageway to those rooms, and some of the rooms themselves:
While I was checking the fearsomely furnished party rooms, Jane went to play the various video and pinball games in the front area, such as the one below:
But the pinball games weren't her favorite. Here's a part of her description of our evening, from her Live Journal account:
"The best game was called Carn Evil. Basically, you shoot at zombies and circus freaks on the screen with a pump action shotgun, that uses a light for scoring. You have to keep track of your ammo rounds in your peripheral vision, and when they are low, pump the shotgun and shoot some more.
"I LOVED IT! While Max was doing other things, I kept running over and saying 'Okay, gonna go shoot some more zombies!' Which is appropriate, since we live in Pittsburgh.
"All in all, in was a very fun Valentine's outing."
(It was for me as well, but I would have had even more fun if I hadn't had to continually struggle to keep other customers from knocking day-glo golf balls into my mouth!)
While Jane continued to play games, I got to spend some time talking to Gary Lee (pictured below) who, along with his wife Sally Lee, owns the local Monster Mini-Golf franchise. (It's located in Monroeville, a Pittsburgh suburb). He was a very affable, easy-going sort. After a career in the automotive industry, he and Sally set up this franchise, and he's very happy with his new business. He told me he's been pleasantly surprised with both the success of the franchise and the fact that "I've never had to throw anyone out!" (Fortunately for Mr. Lee, I was a sober severed head that night, or he might have had to toss someone out for the first time!) Teenagers who might get rowdy don't, he said, because they are usually there in couples and on a date, and the business closes by 10:00 p.m..
While Jane and I were there, we saw teenagers and parents with smaller kids. On weekends, there's young DJs who have trivia contests and other activities, and the music is kicked up several notches ("No Top 40", I was told-- on the night we went Jane and I heard mostly '80s music.)
Mr. Lee also related that only three pieces of the three dimensional decor are the same at every Monster Mini-Golf franchise, (something different to see at each location) and that local artists are chosen to paint the walls with whatever theme the local franchise owner(s) choose. (They all do have black walls and blacklight lighting.) As cars were his past business, and because Pittsburgh has many bridges and tunnels, these three elements make up much of the Monroeville location decor. Mr. Lee seemed very pleased with the independence he and his wife have as franchise operators, and certainly the successful results show he and his wife have made good choices.
The Voodoo Queen and I recommend you get to a local franchise and play a round!
Times, directions, and phone number for the Monroeville location can be found here.
The national webpage for Monster Mini-Golf is located here.