AMY KIRK: Classic board games beat reality TVMy son loves board games and I’m not talking about the fun, enjoyable ones. I’m talking about the torturous kind that take so long to end that they require breaking for meals and bedtime. You know, like Monopoly.
My son loves board games and I’m not talking about the fun, enjoyable ones. I’m talking about the torturous kind that take so long to end that they require breaking for meals and bedtime. You know, like Monopoly.
Not having satellite, cable, or local television at our house is partially to blame for my son’s Monopoly obsession. Monopoly is one of those games that either you love it or you don’t. There’s really no in-between. I don’t love it — there’s really no in-between.
Monopoly is a game for people who possess a unique characteristic known as “patience.” I’m partial to games that can be over in less time than it takes to travel to Maine.
Regardless of how quickly I let my Monopoly money run out, it can still feel like a game of infinity. My son is the only one in our family who truly finds the game enjoyable.
Our Monopoly game is usually hard to get to, mostly because I see to it that it is, but sometimes he actually moves stuff around to find it if he really wants to play.
I secretly used to invite family down just so he had new people to talk into playing Monopoly besides us. No matter how tough recruiting players got, his grandmothers were always dependable targets.
He developed various ways to get hesitant people to play or continue playing using his Monopoly modifications in addition to the game’s fast-play rules. His biggest Monopoly playing year was back in 2008. He single-handedly kept my mom in a game after inventing the U.S. government edition known as the “Bailout” version.
It enabled Grandma to keep playing when she ran out of money too soon and ended the game in less than four hours. Government Bailout Monopoly has since become a favorite version among extended family members wanting to experience getting money handouts as consequences to corrupt investing.
Another time when our kids spent a week with their other grandmother, my son was so desperate for his sister to play Monopoly with him and their grandma that he was willing to let sister play Monopoly via Grandma’s phone intercom system.
She agreed to play from the third floor loft while he and Grandma played out on the deck. This allowed little sister freedom to hang out in the loft and have an excuse to use the intercom while appeasing my son’s desire for an all afternoon Monopoly game.
Whenever it was sister’s turn, Monopoly Dictator would call her on the intercom, roll the dice for her, draw the necessary cards, and advise her on her options. She would then intercom her game-playing decision, permitting him to manage her money for transactions.
In lean times back home, when lenient game rules wouldn’t even sway resistant family members to participate, he had to reinvent the game. During these desperate times he would be other players and play against himself.
For several months that winter I had to walk around a perpetual Monopoly game spread out on his floor.
Playing Monopoly may not be my preferred way to spend my free time but I’d still rather be talked into playing Monopoly by the standard rules than have to tolerate being exposed to one episode of dim-witted reality TV programming.
Amy Kirk and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth-generation cow/calf operation near Pringle. She blogs at ranchwifeslant.areavoices.com.