Sick of the same old Chance and Community Chest cards in Monopoly? Try spicing things up by introducing some new surprise options. How about the ‘Harry Redknapp’ card? You can play this like the ‘get out of jail free’ card only it’s called the ‘I’m too thick to go to jail’ card. The HR card can be kept then used in the face of apparent financial malfeasance. There’s the X-factor card too. A player picking up this card can sing a whiny version of a crap 80s ditty then whizz round to Go, collect a wad of money, pay a huge commission to the person running the game then plop onto the Free Parking slot. The player then stays there while the others pass them by saying – wasn’t she…? Nah.
Perhaps you’ve had enough of Monopoly. It may be that you are sick to your stomach of what passes for competition in the current climate.
Recently my heart sank when yet another school project arrived home masquerading as a cheap TV winners-take-all type contest. Small groups were to compete to make money with their own business schemes. True to real life, some took it seriously, some did not, the playing field was bumpy and skewed, some made a lot of effort, some made none and the results bore no resemblance to the amount of blood sweat and tears invested. One or two had a leg up from competitive parents while others used whatever rules suited themselves. At the end of the day one group gets a treat and the majority who took part will not see any direct reward for all the hard work they put in. Stressed and bickering and non-the-wiser as to what they were supposed to achieve or learn, the debacle ended as a less than a damp squib. Maybe that was the lesson? A couple of parents who were all for the scrap, reckoned it was preparing kids for life. I can only assume they were imagining their little darlings smarming round a futuristic office in a wet dream of ‘The Apprentice’, ordering minions to stir their skinny latte to the left and hold all calls.
This is ironic when I think of the son of a friend of mine with his M.A, now stacking shelves for a living or a friend’s daughter with a B.A hons first class from a redbrick university (who wanted to and should have done an MA but couldn’t afford it) depressed and miserable on her first teaching placement. She’s been set the kind of work load – including nightly marking - that is currently giving her sleepless nights and she’s been told to ‘tone down’ because people find intelligence intimidating.
I wonder what lessons she’ll want to teach her pupils to ‘prepare them for life’.
Perhaps another card we should insert in to the Monopoly game is the ‘child of the banking crisis era’ card. For ‘crisis’ read – ‘unpunished criminal activity’. The recipient of this card would be told - do not pass Go, do not collect £200, do not get a house, do not start a family until you’ve paid off your student debt, do not hope to be out of this crap any time soon.
What about the Russian oligarch / Arab royalty / Old Etonian card? Proceed to
Mayfair, or anywhere else for that matter – it’s all yours.