Sunday, April 24, 2011

Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Punch Your Grandmother

Monopoly is the most popular board game in the world, which is not surprising since it's one of the few games guaranteed to make you hate your entire family.  All it takes is one ill-timed trip to Boardwalk with a hotel on it and someone's flipping the board over, tossing property cards in the air, and firing the dangerously sharp battleship token at the Boardwalk owner, potentially poking his eye out.  Also, the game takes seventeen hours to finish, not including the mid-game fisticuffs.  For those reasons, I stopped playing Monopoly when I was about twelve.  Being called a "greedy, money-grubbing, property-hoarding swindler" by my own grandmother was what finally did it.  Not that I didn't deserve it, but there was no way I was giving up Illinois Avenue and Short Line Railroad for Water Works.

I mean, really.

In the thirty years since that fateful day, I gave very little thought to Monopoly except of course when McDonald's used it as some sort of game promotion.  Big Macs and fries have been a staple of my nutrition program for as long as I can remember, so my exposure to McNopoly was bound to happen sooner or later.  One Saturday afternoon, I peeled Marvin Gardens off my large order of fries and discovered that I was one-third of the way to winning a 1997 Jeep Wrangler, unless I happened to be related to an employee of McDonald's or Parker Brothers or their affiliates, which I wasn't.  But aside from the McDonald's thing, the game of Monopoly didn't cross my mind again until a couple years ago when a teacher at my school started using it as a way to reinforce his sixth grade students' math skills.

Tim Vandenberg is an outstanding teacher.  His students love coming to school, he spends time getting to know them and teaching them in a way that ensures success, and his class consistently scores at the top of the charts as far as state testing goes.  Tim is also a Monopoly wizard.  He has systematically determined all the statistical probabilities involved in the game.  I'm not talking about dice rolls, such as how often double-fours come up.  Asking Tim to calculate dice probability is like using IBM's 1.025 Petaflop Roadrunner Supercomputer to play Tetris.  No, Tim has created a Monopoly board that includes the average rent earned by each property, the chances of landing on various color groups, and precisely how many rolls of the dice will take place before Aunt Jenny blows a gasket and whizzes her battleship token at your head.  Basically, Tim Vandenberg is the Monopoly version of Rain Man.

"Uh oh!  I just bought St. James Place.  Orange monopoly, the most profitable color group on the board with an average rent-per-roll of forty-seven cents, definitely forty-seven cents.[1]  With two of my opponents' tokens coming around the corner, there is definitely, definitely a 59 percent chance that one of them will land on an orange property.  Better build houses, definitely three houses, because the rent-to-investment ratio is the most advantageous at that level."

He's smart, is what I'm saying.

Tim (facing camera) competing at the US Championship
Tim and his class were featured in a documentary about Monopoly entitled "Under the Boardwalk."  I know what you're thinking.  Someone actually made a movie about Monopoly?  What's the running time, thirty-six hours?  Maybe it should be called "Go Directly to Sleep, Do Not Pass Go."  

That's what I was thinking also.

When the movie was released on DVD, Tim gave me a copy and I checked it out.  I was sort of hoping it would be a compilation of people yelling and arguing, throwing game boards and properties up in the air, pelting each other with cast-iron race cars and thimbles, culminating in a climactic battle scene where a fifteen-year-old kid named Butchie tells his Uncle Frank exactly where he can shove Reading Railroad.  Sort of like a Hasbro production of "Sling Blade."

As it turns out, though, "Under the Boardwalk" is fascinating, taking a captivating look at the history of Monopoly and some of the people who play it.  The movie wraps up with coverage of the 2009 National and World Championships.  Tim, in fact, was runner-up in the U.S. tournament.

With a new-found appreciation of Monopoly, some co-workers and I began playing on a regular basis.  Having been somewhat brain-washed by Tim and his mathematical gobblety-gook, I quickly realized that the orange properties are by far the most valuable, the brown and green groups are worthless piles of sheep dung, and when it comes to whizzing a token at your opponent's face, the thimble inflicts the most damage.[2]  The rounded side can cause bruising, while the opposite, open-ended side is good for cuts and abrasions.   After playing for a few months, a couple colleagues and I had improved our skills to the point where we were beating Tim as often as he was beating us.

One evening, Tim set up a game for three of us to play against Matt McNally, the 2003 U.S. National Monopoly Champion.  This may not sound like a big deal to you, but to us it was like being invited to play a round of golf with Tiger Woods, with possibly a lesser chance of nailing a cocktail waitress afterwards.  This is not to say that Mr. McNally isn't smooth with the women, but I think you get my drift.

If Vandenberg is Monopoly's Rain Man, Matt McNally is Obi-Wan Kenobi.  A soft-spoken, laid-back guy with slick negotiating skills, McNally is fully capable of using the Jedi mind trick to acquire the properties he wants.

"Mr. McNally," says an opponent.  "I'll give you Oriental Avenue and the Electric Company for B & O and Reading Railroads."

"You don't want the railroads," replies McNally, waving a hand in the air.

"I don't want the railroads."

Me and a co-worker Paul with Matt McNally (center)
"These are not the properties you're looking for."

"These are not the properties I'm looking for."

"You'll give me your two yellow properties for Baltic Ave."

"I'll give you my yellow properties for Baltic Avenue."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

Ten minutes later, McNally has hotels on the yellow group and his opponent is being strangled to death by Darth Vader.

So we got together with Matt and played a couple games.  Sure enough, toward the beginning of our first game, Obi-Wan McNally mind-tricked me into giving him the yellows when he had over 900 bucks to spend on buildings.  He proceeded to build hotels like Steve Wynn and Donald Trump on a Twinkie-and-Red-Bull bender.  The other two players (Paul and another guy named Matt, but we'll call him "Chuck" to avoid confusion) looked at me like I was a complete moron, which of course I am.  Before long, Paul and Chuck went bankrupt, leaving me in a head-to-head matchup with Obi-Wan.  The odds were completely in his favor, but that's when Lady Luck decided to intervene.  For about twenty minutes, I continually skipped over the yellow group while he hit my greens just about every time around the board.  It was pure luck, no question about it.  Finally, he rolled a six and landed on one of my green properties, Pacific Avenue I believe, and went bankrupt.

So now I can say I defeated a U.S. Monopoly Champion.  It's definitely going on my resume.

Brimming with confidence, I signed up to play in a regional Monopoly Tournament in Redlands, California.  The event attracted several Monopoly "pros," including a lawyer named Ken Koury, who is featured in the role of Dastardly Villain in "Under the Boardwalk."  Koury is a "win-at-all-costs" type of player who will, without any hesitation at all, bilk a Cub Scout out of Park Place if it suits his purposes.  He also seems to think that everyone else who plays the game is a cheater, including our old buddy Tim, who Koury dubbed "The Dark Prince of Monopoly."

Ken Koury's "Stealth Iron," AKA "Exhibit A"
Which brings us to Mr. Koury's place in "pot vs. kettle" lore.

In the Redlands tournament -- I'm not making this up -- he used a custom iron token that he'd painted to match the color of the Monopoly board, rendering it invisible to the naked eye.  That way, his opponents would overlook it and forget to ask him for rent when he landed on their property.  To me, this smacks of chicanery.  Seriously, if your pre-game preparation includes a trip to the Sherwin-Williams store to pick up a can of 6933 Clean Green touch-up paint, you might be going against the spirit of fun and fair play that the folks at Hasbro originally intended.

I can just hear Attorney Koury making his case in Monopoly Court.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let me present Exhibit A, which we will hereafter refer to as 'The Stealth Iron.'  According to the Official Monopoly Tournament Rulebook, Article 14, Section C, all players must use one of the tokens included in the tournament game set.  Clearly, this rule is in place to maintain the integrity of Monopoly tournaments by banning 'novelty' tokens such as Rocky Raccoon from Beatle-opoly, the milk bottle from the Hello Kitty set, and -- my personal favorite -- the Johnnie Cochran token from the Simpson Edition.[3]  The Stealth Iron, however, was originally part of a set that I myself purchased at Tom 's Toy Store in the Glendale Galleria on February 16, 2002.  Since the rules do not mention anything at all about altering tokens, I should be allowed to play with my Stealth Iron."

Imagine the havoc that could ensue in future tournaments, if such subterfuge is permitted.  Players playing with severed Scottie Dog heads, flattened shoes, and maybe even thimble dust.  Mass hysteria!

So anyway, I had a great time playing in the tournament.  I placed second in my first round match, while at another table, Koury and his Stealth Iron were bankrupted almost immediately.

Not that I am bragging.

In the second round I was at a table with another tournament regular, a skilled player with a good sense of humor.  Early in the game, I acquired all four railroads and built up cash reserves that proved to be insurmountable.  Eventually I bankrupted my opponents, and the tournament pro, demonstrating sportsmanship and class that would make the Parker Brothers beam with pride . . .

. . . whizzed his battleship at my face.[4]

***CONGRATULATIONS TO DVSDAVE, WINNER OF THE "UNDER THE BOARDWALK" DVD DRAWING!  DAVE, PLEASE E-MAIL ME -- KNUCKLEHEADHUMOR@GMAIL.COM -- WITH YOUR MAILING ADDRESS AND I'LL GET YOUR DVD SENT OUT ASAP.*** 

[1] After reading this, Tim texted me letting me know the actual rent-per-roll for St. James Place is 38 cents.  See what I mean?

[2] Followed closely by the Scottie dog.

[3] Other tokens in Simpson Monopoly include a bloody glove, Judge Ito, Kato Kaelin, a knife, and a Ford Bronco.  Also, the Chance deck contains nothing but "Get Out of Jail Free" cards.

[4] Okay, I made that last bit up.  He took the defeat graciously.


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48 comments:

8424c696-390c-11e0-9801-000bcdcb8a73 said...

Argh, I gave up on Monopoly years ago! We usually played "house rules" where we didn't have all the hotels. But being much younger than my brother and sister, it didn't help much. I always was the first one to go bankrupt!

BK said...

What? No other entries yet?! I remember the first time I played monopoly with my then-boyfriend.... He was vicious. Coming from a family of 9, he played HARD, and normally beat everyone in my family...

Jed said...

Favorite Monopoly moment: like you, I mostly remember people getting mad while playing (including myself every once in awhile). But I'd have to say my favorite Monopoly moment was learning that building up a pool of money for Free Parking is not in the Monopoly rule book. Made the game go from 10 hours to 1-2 (sometimes less if the cards fall right...but when it's less than one hour, you usually get the tempers flaring).

I'm interested in entering the drawing!

JoAnna R said...

i turned Monopoly into quite an experience with some friends! We ended up putting some exciting twists on some of the rules (go to jail in the game and get handcuffed literally, and beg to get out...bribe the bank and not have to pay the money!)
sneaking and grabbing a lil free parking money!
You had to pay attention and stay "on guard" in order to not have things taken, rent not paid to you,ect ect! I even noticed houses being "hidden" or added!
I enjoyed playing this way because my friends did not get bored! Keeps ya on your toes! But yes, playing the "cop" and involving the handcuffs and more of a "jail" pretend experience was funny! Also, the cards like chance and community chest were laughed at/acted out at times...fun fun fun as i have always LOVED monopoly and collect Monopoly games/"stuff"!

Michelle said...

I'd like to see the documentary. :)

As a kid, my dad would play Monopoly with me just to keep me quiet, but as I got older, he'd refuse to play stating, "It takes too long. Let's play XYZ instead." Eventually, I began playing by myself. I even went ahead and bought a copy of the PS3 version so I could play against a computer.

Needless to say that got old quick, and I traded in my PS3 game, but every once in a while I'll pull out the physical board game for a little one–on–one with myself. :)

Adam said...

One of my favorite monopoly experiences was when I was with my friends playing after dinner. One guy wanted to trade with me and I just kept refusing because it was some nonsense like trading his railroad for a couple of my green spaces. The whole thing got kind of out of hand because they kept asking why I didn't want to trade even though I thought it was obvious. I ended up going on to win the game but they always remember now that I don't make trade, even though I do they just have to be reasonable and profitable. I'm not a businessman for nothing.

JoAnna R said...

PS I would be interested in the drawing!

The Rockstar Voyage said...

My favorite moment would have to be when I was 16, working at a church camp, the staff decided to play. I had never played with people who cheated before, and when I realized that what they were doing, I got up and yelled "oh my gosh! You're all cheaters!" and they banned me from ever playing again. Lol! :)

Gina_84 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gina_84 said...

Playing Monopoly in a Marine Corps Barracks room with my friends... one guy says I'll sell all my properties for $1. The rest of us in SHOCK - my then boyfriend says "ok". We all argue you can't do that. They argue yes you can. *uhg* Not in the spirit of Monopoly.. and of course my then boyfriend won. I truly believe they plotted this as any normal person would have been in shock like the rest of us. I had a baby with that man anyway so yes we keep in touch, and I remind him anytime the word Monopoly comes around, that he is a cheater! :D

--Interested in the drawing

Miss Andi Marie said...

No one from my family will play with me because I get into the game to much. But one of my favorite memories from when we did play it was on New Year's Eve. My mom had about 10 $500s and then she got the card that said she had to give every player $100. Since she had so much money and we were all poor, we made her give us $500.

Uncle Skip, said...

If someone doesn't "lose it" when you're playing, then you're playing it all wrong.

dvsDave said...

I recently rediscovered my love for monopoly. I have many different editions of the game, including the red sox world championship editon (funny as all get out when other Sox fans come.... Ah, Johnny Damon... Pass... mumble... traitor... mumble)

Since I have so many editions, our family has combined all of the tokens from all of the versions, and we have a giant pool of tokens to choose from. Forget gameplay, we can get into arguments about the tokens! "You had the battleship last time! Take the Segway! NO! Battleship blows up the segway EVERYTIME!! Fine! I'll take the laptop and initiate thermonuclear war against you!"

I would very much be interested in the drawing!

Scott said...

So, very interesting article by the way. Might just pick up the documentary... But anyways. I have been an avid Monopoly player for years. Even though i sit here at only 22, i have played well over 1000 matches of Monopoly. I have at least 4 different boards on hand at all time. 2 in my car, 4 in my apartment, 4 at my parents house. But my favorite memory of all time when it comes to my crazy, headache, complete frustration matches comes on my first week of college. I had just moved out to Austin and was put in an apartment with 3 other guys. (None of whom I knew from the beginning.) But we decided as a male bonding expierience we will play a game of monopoly. By this point i had a streak of 243 straight games without a loss. Of course i was big headed. So we were playing and i was in a very slight pickle.... I had properties I dont usually go after, Boardwalk and PP. and a few RR and Utilities. But the most interesting thing, I had $7. ONLY! I was accepting the fact that this time i might lose. I would have to deal with it. But then Lady Luck decided to be nice to me and everything started going my way. Free Parking, skipping owned properties, Chance, Community Chest. By the time everything was done... I had won and had well over 4 grand on my side. My roommates never played a match with me again.

Nicholas said...

My favorite moment includes owning Park Place and Boardwalk... having enough money to build hotels and crushing my opponents.. unfortunately I can't get people to play my favorite game very often... and when we do its not usually a full game :(

Loved the article.. would love to see the dvd!

Thanks,

Nicholas

Josh said...

My friends and I, instead of having poker nights, have Monopoly nights bi-annually.
It's our time to get together, reconnect, and slowly hate one another as we envy the owner of the hotel on Illinois Avenue.
Monopoly has brought together a lot of people in my life that would have otherwise stayed isolated from one another.

And everyone knows, I'm always the cannon.

Josh said...

Also, I am interested in the drawing! ^^^

shaun.mcalister@ncl.ac.uk said...

My favourite Monopoly moment was my very first game when I was about 8 years old. I totally failed to grasp the rules of the game and refused to buy anything in the belief that I would be able to keep all my money that way. Needless to say I was very very wrong. I now own 62 different Monopoly boards and have never made that mistake again!

Lady Jane said...

I used to play Monopoly for literally hours every weekday after school for three years. My friend Liza and I had constant games going. And we played fast, while she was moving their piece, I was ready to roll the dice. We switched off acting as banker every game and we were winning pretty equally. We were well matched, Liza and I.
I Wholly credit this game for my ability to count money.

My favorite memory of all of my time playing this game HAS to be when I played my little sister. She HATED playing with me because I jumped my piece instead of counting each square, bought everything I landed on, built up my monopolies immediately (to the magic 3, of course) and I always won. One day I convinced her to play by telling her I'd teach her how I win.

My Mistake.

Not 15 minutes in, my 13 year old sister spanked me. I mean I got it good. She landed on the oranges and yellows and grabbed them, saved up her money and built the three houses and then started buying up railroads, and wouldn't you know it, I hit those damn railroads every turn. I couldn't buy anything and I was losing cash every turn!

The one turn I actually didn't land on B&O RR, I was on the Pennsylvania railroad, pulled a double 2- New York Ave, Hotel. I'm praying for a Chance, but no. Straight over to Marvin Gardens where she had another Hotel.

The game lasted less than an hour, probably closer to thirty minutes, and the rest of our lives of her gloating!

Suffice it to say that my favorite game ever was one I lost HARD.

John C Freeman said...

I'm interested in the drawing. I'd love to win & share the DVD with friends & relatives in our "game night" experiences.

My story of frustration with Monopoly comes from an adamant stepfather's affection of playing hardball with my brother, sister, mother, & I in one such LONG WINDED game of Monopoly.

George (we'll call him) was a fanatic monopoly fella who even supplied a calculator to our "family fun" of playing WITH him around the monopoly board.

He was an avid number crunching retired navy cook who must have really stretched the mess hall's pantry to the very last navy bean between ports.

One particular night we'd all had enough of George's antics & strategy. Almost all of us were mortaged to the hilt & doubtfully headed toward bankruptcy. We all were tired & ready to just throw in the towel, but George WOULDN'T HAVE IT. He insisted we PLAY OUT the game to the end.

After all this wasn't a card game you could just "fold" & walk away from. He had to finish the game. Talk about ego-centric?! Mom told us we could go ahead & go to bed...after we did. I'm pretty sure she told him he could FINISH the game all by himself!

It wasn't too much longer before they divorced. Money isn't everything...the love of money is the root of all evil!

Danger Boy said...

Hilarious. I'll have to remember the injury quotient on the Thimble, I had assumed the Scottie was the most violent.
Although the pieces in the Star Wars version are quite meaty indeed...

00dozo said...

My favourite experience would be this post (and, no, I am not sucking up for the prize), and this paragraph:

"When the movie was released on DVD, Tim gave me a copy and I checked it out. I was sort of hoping it would be a compilation of people yelling and arguing, throwing game boards and properties up in the air, pelting each other with cast-iron race cars and thimbles, culminating in a climactic battle scene where a fifteen-year-old kid named Butchie told his Uncle Frank exactly where he could shove Reading Railroad. Sort of like a Hasbro production of "Sling Blade.""

I otherwise hated playing Monopoly. Too long, too greedy and my cousin was your proverbial "Uncle Frank".

RRfanXX said...

My mother used games, especially Monopoly, to teach us to "play nice together" as a family. She was a tough task master, there was no arguing, no token tossing, no flipping out n' flipping the board. In a way, that took some of the fun out of the game, but those are still some of my favorite memories. So it would be very intriguing to see the movie. I still love the game and I own several dozen Monopoly games boards and I'm tempted to do a dvsDave's family and combine all the tokens :)

BaytownMom said...

I think my favorite moment was the first time I won against my own 'rain man' Dad. He is one of those people good at everything.

I don't own every board there is, but I try to get every anniversary edition and a few specialty boards that catch my eye. Of coarse, my kids think I own every board ever made. I especially like the Star Wars pc edition. Just love the sound fx.

Bob said...

I remember playing with my brother who always cheated, and ended up crushing him in one game. That was all it took to ruin his spirits. From there I kept beating him. It was amazing.

Super-ordinary said...

I always start a game of Monopoly with fervor...and then 117 hours later, sleep deprived and teary-eyed, throw my racecar across the room and walk away. I hope I win the drawing. i think I need to see this documentary.

d.scharf@radioliaison.com said...

I don't play very often and don't hold the game in too high esteem, but the most striking memory was one day when I said it was probably the stupidest things we could when 3 of my friends and my brother said we should play.

My brother loved his little dice rolling ability and started with 3 doubles (we play roll again if you get doubles, not sure if it's official) bragging the rest of the game about how awesome he is...

With little understanding I quickly bought out Boardwalk and Park Place thinking I was the best and richest dude in the game. After paying for the hotel though, I noticed it wasn't so good.

The first bankruptcy came with an ill timed roll landed the most fervent supporter on the game on Boardwalk... Thank-you hotel.

With a significant control of the board, all the remaining guys banded behind my brother; 4 against 1, fun.

The game ended with my brother denying that he had rolled double ones which landed him on Boardwalk after rolling double fives to land him on Park Place... completely crippling his empire under my hotels.

I wore the bruise from his thimble piece with pride... My friends, also disgusted with my victory, now endure my ramblings of honours past each time they suggest we play :D

Anonymous said...

I once played another Monopoly-geek like myself. We eventually arrived at a point where he wanted to do something that I felt was against the rules. So we stopped the game, wrote a letter to Parker Brothers for a ruling, and waited. About two weeks later the ruling arrived (they agreed with me)and resumed the game. I don't remember who won the war, but I definitely won the battle.

Eva Gallant said...

What a fun post. I loved monopoly! When I was a kid, I played with my older siblings; we also played another board game called Big Business which I don't remember as well. I think the last ime I played Monopoly was probably more than 40 years ago. My first husband and I played often with another couple. First hubby was a sore looser, and after having lost numerous times, wouldn't play anymore. I'm not saying that had anything to do with our divorce, you understand....

Rick said...

Enter me in the drawing, please!

Sadly, maybe as a testament to my masochism, my favorite memory is when I was completely trounced by my friend whilst playing Star Wars Monopoly. That alone wouldn't do it, but here are the parameters:
-I was Luke and he was Vader
-He had all of the $5,000 coins
-I lasted an unreasonably long time before he crushed me.
Good times.

Suldog said...

I wish I had a good Monopoly story to tell you, but I don't. I can say that this piece gave me the answer to why I have been a consistent loser at it, though. I always tried to acquire the green and brown properties because I liked those colors best. D'Oh!

M.T. said...

While in college back in 1988, I was having dinner and across the table was a fellow name Ron Burnidge. I told him, "I've been at this college a year and a half, and I can't find anyone to play Momopoly with." Ron dropped his fork, and said he LOVED Monopoly. We immedaitely put away our food (I'd had one bite, and he hadn't eaten at all.) and started playing. We'd play 5 games a day during finals week.

A friendship that is still intact came out of that, and to this day, Ron is my best friend. We still get together for weekends of games, even though he lives in the other part of the state, and YES, Monopoly is ALWAYS a huge part of it! We owe our frienship to that game.

Hildy said...

My mother has alzheimer's and Monopoly is one of the few games she "likes" (her sitter plays with her). I love to listen to them, because the sitter has to explain the value of buying/not buying or of putting houses/hotels on properties. Sitter also has to remind mother when she can use Get Out of Jail Free card or anything else of value. She has to be honest if she lands on mother's properties. But if mother lands on hers, sitter often gets an argument because mother doesn't like parting with money. It must suck trying to play a competitive game when you have to advise your adversary of things in their interest but not yours. Please enter me for the DVD!

markjdaniels said...

My wife refuses to play Monopoly with me. She thinks I cheat.

I have no idea why...

EmptyNester said...

Let's just say that the only reason Hubs and I have remained married for nearly 30 years is because we never played Monopoly together again after the first time--which was 25 years ago.

Suldog said...

Now, after reading other comments, I do recall a couple of interesting tidbits.

We played with fines and whatnot being accumulated for whoever landed on "Free Parking", which I'm certain is not an official rule. For some reason, we called this bonanza "The Pushki". Many a bankruptcy was avoided via the expedient of someone collecting The Pushki.

Once we became somewhat bored by Monopoly, we combined it with another board game called "Easy Money", laying both boards down side-by-side and playing by the rules of whichever board a piece landed on. It led to much consulting of the rules, if nothing else.

Finally, in what was perhaps the last game of Monopoly I've ever played, some 20 years ago, MY WIFE (at that time, MY FUTURE WIFE) sat down at the board with me, My Mother, My Grandmother, and my Uncle Rick. It was the first meeting of MY WIFE and Uncle Rick.

MY FUTURE WIFE, in a misguided effort to impress my family, volunteered to be the banker.

The game was going along smoothly, no major arguments or other catastrophes, when Uncle Rick, who was seated to the right of MY FUTURE WIFE, put his left hand under the table and tapped MY FUTURE WIFE on her thigh.

Repeatedly.

Now, MY FUTURE WIFE didn't know Uncle Rick, and her first thought was, "Oh, My God! My boyfriends is sitting next to me, and his uncle, on my other side, is trying to feel me up. What do I do?"

Meanwhile, Uncle Rick taps her on the thigh again. MY FUTURE WIFE looks down, and sees that Uncle Rick is trying to pass her a note under the table. This does nothing much to assuage her uncomfortable feelings, but she figures what else can she do, so she reaches down and takes the note. She reads...

"This is a stick up. Give me unmarked bills."

Needless to say, she was relieved to find out he was just a thief.

Bill Yates said...

My favorite Monopoly memory is actually an antimonopoly memory. When I was a kid in the '60's, someone got me a game called "Go For Broke." In that game, you started out with an inordinate amount of money, and the object, of course, was to be the first person to get rid of all your cash and go bankrupt. The game was structured so that just as you were making progress, something would happen to infuse additional large amounts of cash into your possession. It was quite fun and helped prepare me for my life as a spendthrift.

Alice Shen said...

In 10th grade English, we had to create our own countries (don't remember what this had to do with literature), so I created a world called Monopolia, shaped like a Monopoly board. Our religious leader was the Dollar Lama, and our motto was E. Pecunium Unum (out of money, one - instead of "many," "money?" Get it?)

Not exactly a playing Monopoly experience, but I am rather obsessed with the game and collecting different editions.

I'm interested in the drawing!

Alice Shen said...

^ alice_in_punderland@yahoo.com

Julie Dunlap said...

February 26, 2011, I beat my husband after an 11-hour game that did include the systematic dismembering of our children's bank accounts and property holdings but did not include feeding them dinner. But, as I said, I won.

April said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
April said...

my favorite Monopoly experience was when I was about 8 yrs old. I beat the game against my Mom, Step Dad & older Sister. We played every evening for 3 nights in a row after dinner. My Step Dad & I were the last 2 still in it. He kept trying to get me to quit..but I was too stubborn to give in & won!!

Fred Miller said...

The little dog is most likely to become embedded in the eyeball

notactuallygod said...

I think it's hilarious that Suldog, who retired from Blogging less than a month ago, left you a blog post sized comment.

Miss the game, Sully? Then c'mon back, there's already room for you, dood.

My family also left all fines under the free parking corner -whomever landed on it collected.

mtbchick said...

The first time I met my future brother-in-law and his wife we played Monopoly. it was a great evening and I saw a new side of my future husband. It was a night I will never forget and a treasured memory.

I'm interested in entering the drawing!

mtbchick said...

I should have added tania (dot) mask (at) gmail (dot) com

Mike said...

I'd use monopoly to keep kids busy if i was a teacher.

Also, I hate kids.

Probably a good thing I'm not a teacher.

Kelley said...

THIS is absolutely cracking me up! I love it! It makes me think that the game should actually be played on a felt table with all the players sitting on barstools in the middle of a large Casino. He has got it DOWN! Loved this post.

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