Bring it on, Monopoly
Boots rolled the dice and chuffed his tiny train along the Monopoly board, finishing on Reading Railroad. He beamed as he declined to buy it. "I'm going to save my money!" he smiled, waving two golden-rod colored $500 bills.
He expected praise, because that's what he earns in real life for saving his allowance. "That's usually a good idea," I said. "But sometimes you have to spend money to make money."
Big Guy heard the "spend" part loudly and clearly - he follows that philosophy in real life anyway, which is why he was begging Boots to buy him an ice cream at the shoppette a few weeks ago after he'd blown his wad on pizza the girl next door was selling to raise money for science camp.
He landed on St. James Place and promptly snatched it up. "Can I buy a hotel now?" he asked, eager to spend more
"No, because I own the other two oranges. You have to have all three before you can build," I said, reaching for a house that I was about the build on North Carolina Avenue.
The house, plus the fact that I bought Reading Railroad out from under Boots, led to my run as Bernie Madoff. I spent a lot of time in jail, but I was collecting rent the entire time so I wound up winning.
My world domination didn't discourage the guys. Instead, it intrigued them. They wanted to play again and again and again, trying on various pieces of my strategies until they were able to win. Or, at least, Big Guy was. Boots still is too hesitant to let loose of his money to be a tycoon, which is fine. Big Guy will need to live somewhere after he overextends himself on rental properties during the 2030 housing boom.
As a result, I'm proclaiming Monopoly a success. It wasn't the first grown-up game we'd played - Big Guy loves Uno, and Boots is a whiz at Sorry! - but it was far complicated than the others. I'd feared the worse as flashbacks of family riots over the Monopoly board flit through my head.
Boots did get bored after about the fourth game and quit. Big Guy kept on, determined to beat me.
The first game, he focused on buying color groups so he could build hotels. That blew up on him when, fresh from building spree, he landed on one of my properties and didn't have enough for the rent. Eager for the game to continue so I wouldn't have to wash the dishes, I generously cut a side deal with him. He at least learned from the experience and starting waiting until after payday to build. But the generosity was a big mistake on my part.
My next roll landed me on Boardwalk, which was part of the Big Guy empire. I cut a side deal that sent Big Guy 90 percent of my empire in hopes of holding on but then hit Boardwalk again two rolls later. Game over.
"Can we play again, Momma?" Big Guy asked.
"Not right now, babes," I replied. Honestly, it really was because I had to do the dishes.
Copyright 2011 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.