It seems there’s a new Monopoly game out that caters to cheaters.  You heard me right; it encourages the players to cheat by stealing money from the bank, foreclosing on properties, and collecting rents not owed them.  And if you go to Jail you have to wear a pair of handcuffs (that come with the game) until you get out.

The decision to come out with a “cheaters” version of Monopoly was made after a company-sponsored survey revealed that 50% of the people who play Monopoly cheat.  (So that’s why I always lost! Or maybe that’s why I didn’t win).

It never occurred to me to cheat at any game, but evidently Monopoly lends itself to this sordid behavior.  In fact, in the new version each player gets a turn at being the banker, and along with the Community Chest and Chance cards there are 15 “cheat” cards encouraging the players to do just that.

Monopoly was always a frustrating game to me especially when playing with my sister Melinda.  Melinda always beat me and she usually did it by acquiring Boardwalk and Park Place and buying five or six hotels to put on them.  I don’t care how much money I had, it was never enough to pay the rent on those two properties.  After one particular beating I scraped Boardwalk off the game board with a butter knife.  Nonetheless, Melinda continued to beat me because “everyone” knew where Boardwalk was located.

A lady named Lizzie Magie created the game back in 1904 and called it the Landlord’s Game.  However, it’s purpose, according to Smithsonian Magazine, was not to celebrate wealth but to demonstrate the evils of accruing vast sums of wealth at the expense of others.

“Well, that didn’t take,” Ronnie exclaimed.  ‘I guess Carnegie and Rockefeller never played the game, and if they did they missed the point.”

Something told me where he was going to go with this one and sure enough he did as he exited the room humming “Hail to the Chief”.  I might also add it was amid a hail of two magazines and an empty plastic cup.

I don’t know this for a fact, but Monopoly is probably the number one board game followed by Clue, Risk, and Life (not particularly in that order).  Thirty years ago I was playing “Life” with my son.  In the game of “Life” the player spins a number and you advance according to setbacks and successes.  The object of the game is to finish college, get a job, get married, buy a house, have children, etc.  We were getting close to the end of the game when my son frantically announced, “I’ve got a house, a car, a wife and two children.  I can’t be bankrupt!”

To which I replied, “That’s life!”

I’m sure it won’t be long before they come out with a “cheaters” version for all board games.

Have a great week and don’t forget to Smile Awhile!

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