Monopolic Adventures


Advance token to Boardwalk.

Take a ride on the Short Line Railroad.

Go to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

This weekend, as part of his 20th Century history class for the older kids, DJ borrowed a Monopoly set. It was kind of a surprise to realize that they weren’t at all familiar with it. They had no idea that Marvin Gardens was yellow, or that you can form a deep attachment to the Iron or the Shoe, or that rolling doubles is all fun and games until it happens the third time.

Well, now they do. DJ is a good teacher, and patiently taught them the rules. Good heavens, do you realize how utterly fussy Monopoly is? It goes like this:

Roll the dice. If you roll doubles, you go again. If you roll doubles three in a row, you to go Jail.

To get out of Jail, you can roll doubles, wait three turns, or pay $200.*

You get $200 for passing Go. Unless you’re going to Jail.

When you land on a property, you can buy it. When you’ve got all of one color, you can build houses. When you build enough houses, you can build a hotel. If you land on somebody else’s property, you have to pay rent. If you can’t pay rent, you can mortgage your property. You have to pay extra money to the bank to redeem your property. If you need a property that someone else has, you can strike up a trade. Or auction a property. Somehow. Kind of fuzzy on that part.

In order for Railroads to be worth anything, you need all four. You also need both Utilities. Chance cards are iffy. Community Chest cards are better. You can put your Chance money in the center of the board for a chance to win it with Free Parking.

Hey, you gave me a 10 instead of a 100, I know, they’re both yellow. Hey, you’ve got B. & O! (snork) The Bank demands that everybody change your 100s for 500s! My dice went off the board! That roll doesn’t count! You own the entire blasted side of the board! Hey, hey, hey, do I have a business proposition for you — a Railroad and Oriental Avenue and Waterworks… plus $100? Please?

Surprisingly, the older three caught on pretty quickly and thought it was great. The fact that the games lasted less than an entire freaking day helped the fun factor.

So they’ve learned a lot — about properties, rent, and counting money. DJ enjoyed passing on this bit of American culture to our children. And I was glad as heck I could just sit and watch it happen.

But, okay, I did catch a ride on the Reading Railroad to Boardwalk, just for old time’s sake. It’s as posh as ever.

*Sparkler says it’s $50, not $200. I guess I wasn’t listening when DJ went over that part. Either that or my siblings extorted money from their younger sister when I learned the game.


2 thoughts on “Monopolic Adventures

  1. Am laughing and loving this account of a game which I nevervplayed to the end. But I thought the red properties were beautiful.

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