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Monopoly and mad skills

Submitted by on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 One Comment

It’s one simple board game, but in our house it has seemingly endless variations.

There’s the Bernie Madoff Monopoly Edition, where I sit in jail for as long as I can but still wind up with all the dough. This strategy works when the guys start running low on funds and I’d rather hide in the hoosgow than bail out and risk paying them rent. Meanwhile, they keep paying me and I win.

There’s the Home, Sweet Home Monopoly Edition, where Boots cares only about buying enough property to build a tiny house for his imaginary friends to live in. If there’s ever a Mr. Roger’s remake, this kid is just a cardigan shy of a lock on the title role.

Last night there was the Real Estate Bubble Edition, where Big Guy displayed a previously unrevealed deviousness that saw his brother lose his land and wind up in bankruptcy. Sound familiar?

It was the first time we’d used auctions when we played, mainly because I’d never read the official rules before and didn’t know about them. I was almost embarrassed early on at how many properties I picked up for $10 or $20. Eventually, Big Guy caught on. He also figured out that I wasn’t going to bid much over the list price,  though I did go up $100 when I was trying to keep him from buying a third railroad.

Later in the game, he figured out that Boots was panicky because he didn’t have a single deed and only three remained in the bank. Not that that took any great detective work to deduce. It was pretty obvious, what with Boots moaning, “I need a property! I need a house!”  I could hear in his voice the longing I heard five years ago in the voices of folks on the verge of paying $300,000 for 1,200 square feet.

I landed on Baltic Avenue – list price $60 – but I didn’t want it. Boots, of course, did.

“$100,” Boots said.

“Why do you want to do that?” I asked. “It’s only worth $60.”

“Hush, Mom,” Big Guy said. “$200.”

“$300,” Boots countered.

“$350,” Big Guy said. It was way more cash than he had on hand, but that didn’t stop people five years ago either.

“Stop,” I advised Boots. “Make him pay it. He won’t have any money left.”

But faster than a mortgage company pushing a liar’s loan, Boots took the bait. “$400!”

“You can have it,” Big Guy smirked.

That’s right, folks. Baltic went for more than Park Place. Talk about a financial world out of whack.

The speed with which Big Guy formulated and executed this plan was astounding. In a matter of an hour, he learned the auction system, assessed his opponent’s emotional state and came up with a strategy for achieving his goal of screwing over his brother. Who says today’s kids can’t think critically?

I still don’t know whether to be impressed or appalled at the display. I probably should start saving real-life bail money, though.
Copyright 2011 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • ‘I’ve been trying to catch him my entire life!’ | 9to5to9 (author) said:

    [...] things he can do already that Big Guy can't. Boots can smoke his brother at any board game except Monopoly. Boots' penmanship is neater, too. I keep reminding Boots of all that, but he doesn't accept it. [...]