No sooner had I complained about the exile of the perfectly exquisite little thimble piece than a bunch of others, including my beloved shoe, were rounded up and marched to the Bastille, and for no reason whatsoever. Marketing. Someone in Marketing thought there weren’t enough people talking about Monopoly and they decided the people should have a say on the tokens. “Have a national conversation around them,” as they’d probably put it, in Marketing. Screw Marketing. There is little evidence, and certainly no recent evidence, that The People can be trusted to make wise choices about anything just because they can vote. We already have too many choices. Breakfast cereal takes up a whole aisle. There should be no more than two types of screw-heads, and one shade of black.
Don’t tell me it doesn’t matter. Of course it matters. People need something to hold onto. Everybody has a favorite Monopoly piece. Dave, for instance, likes the man on the horse. If he can’t get the man on the horse, he takes the cannon. His fingers lack slenderness and he wants a tall piece to move around. I like the shoe, but I’ll settle for the thimble. They both have a roundness that appeals to me. The other night we talked about this with friends. Both Mort and Dave liked the horse-and-rider, so immediately there was some tension. Mort is a nice man and he acquiesced. “I guess I can always take the wheelbarrow,” he said.
This stuff is personal. Hell, we even judge other people, just a little, for their choices. “I like the race car,” someone will say, and some little part of you will think Really?
They’ve already messed with the board. Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues are brown now, for no reason. The Poor Tax is now a Speeding Fine. (We don’t have a poor tax anymore. We call it Jail.) You used to be able to decide whether to pay a percentage of your income in the Income Tax or a flat tax of $200, but now it’s just a flat tax, which makes sense, because it favors the wealthy and people who can’t do math, both trending demographics.
So I don’t care much if they change more of the board. Free Parking can become a bike rack, and Jail can be Cell Service Dead Zone. We can put a homeless camp on the Just Visiting square, so you’ll still be okay but feel kind of icky passing through. Maybe they can make it so if you buy the Water Utility, you can change it to Nestle’s Bottling Plant and charge everyone a hundred times as much for their water. Whatever. Just leave the tokens alone.
They’ve changed before. Dave’s horse-and-rider didn’t exist before 1942, and neither did the Scottie. But those don’t count because they happened before I was born, which was when Time began. Which means, it’s always been this way, just like indoor toilets and jet travel.
But that should have been that. Instead we have a Cat now, which is no surprise, since they’re an invasive species. And also a penguin, a rubber ducky, and a Tyrannosaurus rex. And of course they’re all plastic, because there are still one or two sea creatures that haven’t choked on any of our shit yet.
It ain’t right. And don’t get me going on blue M&Ms.