Risky Monopolising

Some say that the only way to find your true inner self is to go on some sort of namby pamby journey of self discovery, the kind that gap year students spend the rest of their lives boring people with. Others seek religion to do such things, assuming that their God whichever one or many it may be, helps them find out who they truly are. Sadly, sometimes it turns out they are fundamentalist nutcases. I have shunned both of these and yesterday I realised exactly who I am as a person, and it turns out I am a ruthless money grabbing capitalist dog. How did I discover such things? Well, my real personality would say you could send me five monthly installments of £49.99 just to find out the secrets, but I wouldn’t want to post my address here incase you all come round my house and paint rude words on the wall. So instead, here, just for you, is the true path to self enlightenment: Monopoly the board game. Its incredible what board games and a competitive attitude can do to people. Last night’s game lasted nearly four hours and involved all sorts of vicious percentage deals, immunity clauses and telling a 7 year old girl she can’t count cash and that she’s swindled our money. There were no concessions for younger players and no niceties in terms of swapping or auctioning properties. Never have I heard such comments as ‘Are you alright for money over there?’ dripping with such sarcasm as someone’s last £100 orange bit of paper is paid into the bank as ‘Income Tax’. It was the sort of game that made you wonder if one of the episodes of the Apprentice should merely have Alan Sugar watching via cctv as the contestants play a massive game of the world edition Monopoly and see who comes out tops. I was in a team with Layla’s sister-in-law’s sister, Christina, who having worked in banking type jobs for several years, is vicious. Without her I don’t think I’d have been in the winning team, but I relished every moment of asking those poorer players to cough up upwards of £900-£1400 for landing on one of ‘our establishments’. We had all the blues, all the pinks and the double whammy of Mayfair and Park Lane, which along with some shifty tactics ensured a swift victory. Residential houses were bulldozed down for hotels and people were sent to jail for just being in the wrong square on the wrong roll. When our main nemesis team featuring Christina’s fiancé and Layla’s sister-in-law Sarah mortgaged all their properties and declared themselves bankrupt it took all my willpower not to get on the table and do a victory dance. That and the fact I would have set alight to my trousers on the candles. It was horrible but brilliant and it gave me a temporary insight into what life must be like for a big evil rich banker. Then I realised I preferred not being a purveyor of evil and I also liked not having friends that say ‘Yah’ instead of ‘Yeah’.

I forgot how awesome board games are. The past few years, computer games have completely taken over, making you forget that nothing brings out the true evil bastard in a person quite like a good board game. Last night’s venture reminded me of what I will forever know as the most mega game of Monopoly I’ve ever played. Myself and seven of my good friends, Star Wars Monopoly, some booze, and tons of crafty and brutal strategies culminated in eight hours of gaming that would have made the Dark Side wince in despair. Entire corporations were formed between players, business deals struck, and my friend Wilz going bankrupt and then making himself a loanshark for hire who would break other players legs rendering them unable to move for five goes, if you paid him enough cash to do so. That is board game playing at its finest. Its only the games that allow you to take the role of those that in reality would be classed as right-wing elitist scum that work in this way. Those that allow you to, say for example in Risk, step into the shoes of someone who doesn’t care about human life. Countless times at university, I would command my armies into enemy territory as a decoy, knowing one of the other players would make them cannon fodder and remove my tiny plastic dudes from the board within minutes. They were scenes that would not seem odd in Saving Private Ryan or other war based film classics. Well, only if there was a scene in those films where the special effects budget had run out and actors were replaced with tiny plastic dudes being pushed over by a seemingly giant hand. Which some may say might ruin the entire atmosphere and effect of the film leading up to that point. I say that actually the first 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan would have been awesome if they had done such things. It could have escalated to some of them getting burnt by a magnifying glass, or eaten by a cat. All in all these things give me a tiny insight into what my life would’ve been like if I’d become a war general or a rich banker. Then I realise that I prefer to not be a spawn of the devil or have friends that say ‘Yah’ instead of ‘Yeah’.

I’m now home again. If I was to list what I ate yesterday I’d probably be sick. Then as a consequence of being sick, I’d have an empty stomach and would be able to eat loads again. As it is, I think I’ll be full for several days. I could probably not eat a morsel till at least Thursday and survive adequately, like some sort of fat drinking camel. I have worn myself out typing this much and will have to slowly wean myself back to normal life by perhaps leaving the sofa once today, then maybe, if I can handle it, twice tomorrow, until maybe by next week, I’m able to walk again for more than 5 minutes without wheezing and seeking some cheese or wine. Don’t pity me, I am hugely content. I shall wallow in my newly gained waist size and imagine how I might go about charging everyone that visits our flat for simply ‘landing’ on the property. We’ve got several friends coming round tomorrow, I could make a packet. Even better, I could build three other houses on our house, then knock them all down, build a hotel and charge them thousands! Everytime the postman delivers a letter – £1200! Everytime my parents visit! Mwhahahahahahaha!

Oh god I think laughing like that has pulled a muscle in my side. I must heal it with trifle.