Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Under the Boardwalk

Visiting my grandparents this past weekend, I played more games of Monopoly than recommended for someone still granted the use of their legs, and was given a glimpse of the naive optimism that a young Rubber posessed when playing the game at the age of 11, before the weight of the world killed her spirit. While I'm grateful for the sense of voracious capitalism instilled in me at a young age (I have distinct memories of my 11 year-old self purchasing my broke opponents' actual game tokens from them and forcing them to play with scraps of paper found on the floor, purely for sport), I'm worried that it might have built up my expectations; namely, that I would one day ever own property, win a beauty contest, or find free parking (not to mention the less-frequent-than-I-was-led-to-believe encounters with Scottie dogs and top hats).

Oh, just visiting an angry monkey with thumbs in prison. Ho hum.

Encountering the game again in the twilight of my midtwenties, I found myself even more money hungry than fifteen years ago, especially when playing against my crunchy Vermont cousin, who, God bless her stoned little heart, actually WANTED to be Banker (it was a bear market, and I didn't have the heart to tell her that the current fiscal climate and low interest rates were NOT going to make it a lucrative position, as it would harsh her mellow).

That seems kind of counterintuitive.

After we'd quickly cleared the board of anything and everything that could be purchased, rents were due, and I was struck by how little money is actually involved in the game. It's the same amount as it was back then, but having lived in Manhattan for three years, the idea of paying $18 for one night's worth of rent made me almost giddy with savings; I decided to purchase Mediterranean Avenue and not do a goddamn thing with it just for the God complex (I should mention that I'd found an old bottle Kahlua under the counter at this point). And $200 of salary, for 10 minutes of work? Tax free? Clearly I'd never appreciated the generous tax breaks that Milton Bradley had passed along.

It's not even worth going to the reading for a hundred bucks.

Sailing around the board, managing my properties, crushing my poor cousin, who had not realized that blood does not, in fact, run thicker than imaginary pastel currency. I was heady with power, enjoying the life of luxury (taxed at only 10%!), until I looked down and realized that in a world where an entire avenue can be purchased for $120, a world created during the fucking Depression, I had more money in the pile in front of me than I did in my actual real-life bank account. Whatever nanothread of childlike innocence I had left in me died at that moment.

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At July 13, 2006 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

see as a child the game went on so fucking long that it just made me want to be a communist

At July 13, 2006 10:23 PM, Blogger shirley said...

Yeah right, you killed your childlike innocence years ago.

At July 13, 2006 10:29 PM, Blogger shirley said...

Blogmad hit - I'm not paying rent - kaching!

At July 14, 2006 2:15 PM, Anonymous asian from 4416 said...

Ultimately, the problem with Monopoly is that you have cards that just say "Go to Jail." Oh, just like that? No due process? I don't even get to kill anyone, drive drunk, or import fine LSD-laced cocaine? Well, what fun is that?


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