These days, there are so many subjects one has to tiptoe around in a discussion. Politics, religion, even certain pop culture references, can all sometimes make a civil comparison of ideas and opinions become tense and personal. Tempers can flare, feelings can get hurt, lifelong friendships and even whole families can be torn asunder.
There is one subject of interest, however, that for some reason, can have the very same effect on a family, regardless of status, religion, passion, party, health, wealth, crisis, or creed.
This siren song, this gold-in-the-hills, this divisive force, can twist all good intentions into grotesque charicatures of it’s selfish will, turning the most sane of men into wild beasts, and the purest of hearts into the most devious of crooks.
Plus, it’s a cracking good time!
The following are actual conversations I’ve had with my family during monopoly and similar games. Enjoy our undoing.
1) The Investment Scam.
Me: “Sure, I’ll sell you Park Place for next to nothing…if I get a discount rent rate when I land on it, plus I want a 30% share in all future profits.”
The Mark: “Well, I guess that sounds fair, and it’s such a low price…”
Other players: “Don’t do it, it’s a trap!”
The Mark: “That’s a really good point. Imma do it.”
I wiped the floor with them that day. We now actually have a rock-solid, permanent house rule that prohibits all purchasing of shares as a result of the pandemonium that ensued after this deal. It was glorious. g l o r i o u s.
2) The Miser.
Me: “But–what?! I let you give me an IOU last night when you couldn’t pay your rent without opening a mortgage! You never even payed me back! Just let me owe you–it’s one stinkin‘ dollar!!!
Previous Victim: “Yeah, well, that was then, this is now.”
3) The Art of the Burn.
Me: “Oh my God, please have mercy!!!”
Landlord: “Sorry Sweetie, but this how grownups do business.”
4) The Master Plan.
Us: “Are you sure you want to auction that?”
Schemer: “Yes, I have a master plan.”
Us: “Are you sure you want to pay that?”
Schemer: “Yes. I have a master plan.”
Us: “Don’t you want to buy more properties?”
Schemer: “No, I have a master plan.”
Us: “It’s getting pretty late. We could just wrap this up and stop–”
Schemer: “NO! We can’t, I have a master plan!”
Us: “Okaaay. We’ll just write down where we had our pieces…”
(The next day.)
One of Us: “Ha. I win…”
Schemer: “WHAT NO–how?? I had a master plan!!!!”
Us: “What was your plan?”
Schemer: “To own Park Place and Boardwalk, and just build on them…”
Us: Oh, dear.
Also Us: “Well that was stupid.” / “Sucks to be you…”
5) The Subtle Resentment.
Me: “I don’t like you.”
Landlord: “That’s fine as long as you pay your rent.”
6) The Jumping of the Broom.
Me: “You know what? I’m fine. This is fine. I’m fine with this. I’m totally fine just watching my money disappear.”
Other player: “You sound like a father at his daughter’s wedding.”
7) The Charitable Insult.
Broke Player: “What’s this?”
Us: “Take these properties, and you can stay in the game–”
Broke Player: (hisses) “I don’t need your pity! I can claw my way out of this hole on my own, you’ll see! You’ll all see!!!
8) One Rental, to Rule Them All…
Me: “OK, you gonna buy this?”
Broke Property Goblin: (playing it cool) “Yeah, sure, OK. Why not, right?”
(I hand him the card.)
Broke Property Goblin: (shrieks and dives across the board to snatch it from my grasp. He clutches it triumphantly) “MY PRECIOUUUUUUUUUUS!”
9) The Vendetta.
Player: (lands on my three houses) “Oh man. How much?”
Me: “That’s only…..three hundred dollars. ^-^
Player: “What if I traded you this prop–”
Player: “I’m going to pay this money. And then, I will devote the rest of this game to the soul purpose of tearing down specifically you. Nothing else. Not winning. Just you.”
Me: “Wow….I’m really scared. Pay up.”
10) The Comedienne
Me: “What if I traded you these three mortgaged but high rental properties, for those two unmortgaged but low rent ones?
Property Goblin: (bursts into wheezing laughter) “No.”
Me: “But–look at the potential for growth here!–”
Property Goblin: (interrupts) “–Aww, (turns to other players) it’s so cute when she plays pretend businesswoman like that.”
which leads us to the next and last segment,
11) The Taken Aback.
Me: “I will have you know one thing. I posses a certain set of skills. Skills which, in the wrong hands, could end this game very quickly. You have two options. You can either put that property down right now, and we can both walk away, back to our normal lives, and pretend this never happened. Or, you can run. But know this: if you take that property from me, and run, I will hunt you down to the ends of the Earth. I will find you. And I will kill you.”
What do YOU think? Was that intense or what? I assure you, we’re lovely people…until we get competitive. What are some of your board game stories?