I heard the news today, oh boy. I was on my way to work, just
entering downtown, when the radio announcer gave me the news. The
Monopoly iron was getting the boot - as opposed to the boot token
which could have resulted in a word play frenzy for the media. I
was unaware that Hasbro was planning the retirement of a token, so
when I heard the proclamation I have to admit I was shocked. Though
I didn't actually blurt out, "What the hell?" my brain was a little
The iron? Why the iron? I loved the iron. It was one of the most
petite game pieces and it didn't tip over like the stupid dog or
the ship. It had a handle which made it easier to maneuver
especially if you were sitting close to Connecticut Avenue and your
game piece was strolling on Ventnor. The iron was often my token of
By the time I pulled into the parking lot and huffed up five
flights of stairs (my self-imposed cardio workout) I had all sorts
of conspiracy theories concocted. Why the iron? Was it a sign of
the times? Women's lib. We don't iron any more. It was once
designated as women's work. It's sexist. Irons are obsolete -
unless we are talking about a ceramic one that flattens our hair.
How could they mess with tradition? Bring back my beloved iron
(which I actually still plug in and use every morning.)
When I got to my desk and signed on to my laptop, the first
thing I did was a Google search on the Monopoly iron. That's when I
discovered there was no serious basis for the iron getting the
boot. It was a Facebook popularity contest! Really? Is this how we
topple tradition these days?
If we are going to make changes to the iconic games of our
Boomer childhoods, let's do it across the board (no pun
Chutes and Ladders - this is a major lawsuit waiting to happen:
Kids climbing ladders and sliding down chutes with no helmets and
kneepads. Sorry, this entire game needs to be scrapped. Like they
say, "It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt."
Clue - weapons include a dagger, a candlestick, a rope, a wrench, a
revolver and a lead pipe. Shouldn't these be updated to automatic
assault rifles, dirty bombs, machetes and cyber attacks?
Life - time to change up the cars to minivans. Money, promissory
notes, stock certificates - no one has these today. Goal of the
game needs to be survival of bankruptcy court.
Operation - where's the malpractice insurance option?
Mouse Trap - yep, this one still makes sense. There are all sorts
of technological advances in the mouse-catching field, yet a little
peanut butter on the old-fashioned, wooden spring trap is still the
most efficient way to eradicate the little rodents.
And since we are making upgrades to Monopoly, how about
replacing houses with condos and townhomes? Shouldn't the hotels be
times shares? A luxury tax for $150 - don't we wish?
The Chance cards are also outdated. A bank dividend of $50 or a
$200 pay off for a bank error in my favor? Ain't happening.
Let's talk ATM fees, late-fee penalties on credit cards and soaring
interest rates on loans. And how about the one for getting elected
as Chairman of the Board and paying each player $50? Bribery rates
are exorbitant. No way an election would only set the candidate
back fifty bucks a voter.
The only truly realistic card is the assessment for street
repairs. This was always the killer card you dreaded after you had
built your empire of houses and hotels from Baltic to Broadway. You
were obligated to pay $40 per house and $115 per hotel. If you had
not collected rent in a long while, this card could cause you to
start mortgaging properties to pay up. Passing go was a drop in the
bucket against the street repair assessment.
Let them take my iron, I don't play Monopoly any more anyway.
Who has the time? And if I do have the time to relax with a board
game, I want something that challenges me. I'm going for Scrabble,
though it is tough to find an opponent these days. When a player
tries to spell words the same way he does in texts, well you may as
well just go do a crossword puzzle by yourself. Or go iron some