Monday, September 21, 2009

It is a definite sign of the recession when on a Saturday night all the excitement in your life is hinging upon the late night bout of Monopoly. Not just any Monopoly. Lord of the Rings Trilogy Monopoly. Don’t judge me. I actually did read on MSN that some economy expert based his opinion of the recession status on the skyrocketing sales of board games. Some other guy based his on the sales of men’s underwear. These people are getting paid for this?!

Yes, once the babies are tucked away in their beds, the adults get their Monopoly on. I always wondered as a child what happened after I went to bed. You always knew that it was something soooo good and that’s why you wanted to stay up. Turns out, that may not have been the case. Personally, I always envisioned some type of cocktail hour. Of course my parents weren’t big drinkers and it’s also pretty doubtful that they were inviting two dozen people over at 8:30 at night just to have a very quiet evening of imbibing whiskey sours or Harvey Wallbangers or whatever the popular drink was at the time, wearing courdoroy sport coats with elbow patches and nylon tricot dresses. I paint quite a picture, don’t I?

But no, none of that likely happened. Now I know. Dave, Collin (live-in manny), and myself set up the board to continue a game of Monopoly. I had taken a picture of the board on my phone and everybody’s deeds and pieces went into separate bags. Yes, that’s how serious this was. Now somewhere along the way, the instructions and rules were lost. We know the basic rules and all so when a question would come up, we would decide on the answer that made the most sense and benefitted us all the most. Because of this, no one mortgaged anything, but all of a sudden we were all recreational loan sharks. “You can’t pay the $390 rent on my property? Pay me $100 now and I’ll take your next two $200 pass and go.” Apparently interest also mounted in those kind of transactions. No money? What kind of properties do you have that I need? You can keep your houses but give me the deed; put the houses on something else.

When you’re playing with only three people, it can get somewhat brutal. As luck would have it, there’s usually at least one person who ends up owning half the board. Then they put houses and hotels (or strongholds and fortresses, in LOTR Monopoly) all over the place. Next thing you know, you’re paying $785 rent on a space whose rent used to be $26. Wow, just like the real world.

After so many turns with the jacked-up rent payments, you start to get somewhat surly. At least this was the case with us. Dave managed to buy out more than half the board and had plopped fortresses on just about every one of them. My money was running out quickly even though I had a good many properties myself. No one was landing on my stuff, they kept landing on the ones where you have to draw a card. That doesn’t help me. During this particular game I started to get a little miffed that every time I would roll the dice I would have to fork over more of my money to Dave. Seemed like every turn would be more of my money gone to Dave. So I started to be a little less than cordial. Collin was in the same boat as I was. He was down to four deeds and twelve dollars.

Finally Collin and I called the game because we were tired of giving our money to Dave. And he never could figure out why I was looking at him all mean.

Next week it’s ‘80’S Trivial Pursuit.

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