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Monopoly on the Couch

What you favourite pieces say about you...

By Kendall Defoe Published about a year ago 4 min read
Top Story - May 2023
34
Monopoly on the Couch
Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

Does anyone still play board games?

I have to wonder about this after many returns home over many years and noting the number of movies watched, drinks imbibed, sporting events ingested (I will not say “enjoyed”) and debates over politics and culture shouted across living rooms and kitchen tables. In my family, playing board games was very much a part of the deal. My mother taught me how important it was to play a game like Scrabble because of its use as a tool to learn how to spell and discover new words (and also a means to destroy an opponent’s sense of self-worth when they challenged your words and you sent them running to a dictionary to confirm a small victory). I played Scrabble on almost every trip to aunts, uncles and other relatives, along with endless sessions of Sorry!, dominoes, various card games, and the most challenging one for me: Monopoly.

Maybe I started this off on the wrong foot. Monopoly does not seem to be going anywhere. There are endless versions of the game that can still be played on a table with real dice and a real board, along with the online game I discovered and am intrigued by (maybe I should download the app), but I wonder…

As I said, the game was challenging to me. I would often start off with all of my cousins and relatives as we travelled around that square of property until there would only be two of us left. That would be a gentleman who proceeded to destroy me and drain all my assets by the end of the night (the fact that he was also my barber and soon-to-be relation through my brother’s marriage seems apt). He was a genius at reading the game and deciding what should and should not be bought, and how to turn all those trips past Go into more than just a $200 drop in the bucket.

I never beat him, and I never wondered why I never beat him…until very recently. It seems that I have my own system of playing that links up directly with my choice of token. And you all know what those tokens are: top hat, battleship, race car (1930s roadster, actually), iron, thimble, cannon, boot… lantern, wheelbarrow, purse, cat…

Hey, wait a minute. These are not all of the pieces that I remember. I am sure that they are not the pieces that you remember. Well, you better hold on to those memories when you find out that many of the ones on that list have been retired.

Yes, retired. The fans have spoken. After doing a little research on this, I found that everyone has their own preferences. And we all go after them if we get the chance to play a round.

But why do we do this? What does it mean that I prefer the terrier - proper name: Scottie - every time I play? Does it indicate something about my nature that I was not aware of (is there something in you that remains undiscovered)?

A small collection

I have decided to analyze each piece and form some thoughts about them as identifiers and totems. I will stick with the original six – boot, cannon, thimble, iron, battleship, top hat – with only the dog added as a personal favourite (believe it or not, the racing car, wheelbarrow, and rider and horse were added later). Fans have recently voted about which ones will stay and go. I have my own opinion about this, but I will stay silent about this (perhaps another article might be worth the rant).

Again, an amateur view, but with some interesting insights:

Boot

An old comfort

Untouched by laces, it is a comfortable token for the player who just wants to have a friendly and familiar object in their hands and on the board. You like to have something long term and reliable.

Cannon

A retired classic

Well, look at you! So aggressive over a game without real money that can be played for far too long over a very long weekend. Sorry, that sounded a little hostile... You like to let people know that you are in charge. Stay strong.

Thimble

Also retired...

A cautious and careful piece. I think that the fact that we cannot fit it over a finger - unless you happen to slip it over your extra-small pinky or are a child - is telling. Keeping your distance seems to be important to you. Can also be used as a drink receptacle for an action figure.

Iron

Also gone...

Order and control are on your mind. Note that it is a very old-fashioned device that would have to be heated over time and then put to use. A disciplined player would grab this one right away to make a clear point.

Battleship

Still in commission?

Again, it is easy to see it as an aggressive piece, but I feel that this would be something more likely to end up in a collection of toy soldiers or ships-in-bottles than in a weaponry cache. You see the game as another thing to add to what you have already gathered.

Top Hat

Cannot lose this style

So elegant to have it in the game. Mr. Monopoly could not wear it better than anyone who pulls it from the collection and claims it as their own. You are styling and see this game as another way of making a statement.

And finally...

Dog

A delightful terrier

You have absolutely no chance of winning the game and should give up before you are completely destroyed and humiliated over another long holiday season.

Sorry, Scottie. It is very emotional for me.

An unfair situation

*

Thank you for reading!

If you liked this, you can add your Insights, Comment, leave a Heart, Tip, Pledge, or Subscribe. I will appreciate any support you have shown for my

You can find more poems, stories, and articles by Kendall Defoe on my Vocal profile. I complain, argue, provoke and create...just like everybody else.

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About the Creator

Kendall Defoe

Teacher, reader, writer, dreamer... I am a college instructor who cannot stop letting his thoughts end up on the page.

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Comments (22)

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  • Silent Scarlett12 months ago

    I definitely want it on the couch ;)

  • ThatWriterWomanabout a year ago

    Hahaha I'm a Scottie too!

  • I always choose the Iron. This was so fascinating to read! Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Colton Mckayabout a year ago

    Pretty interesting! Still love playing board games but the wife hates monopoly with a passion 🤣

  • L.C. Schäferabout a year ago

    My son has recently coded the entire game. For fun. It's great! Not a patch on the actual board and dice, though. 😁

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Babs Iversonabout a year ago

    Enjoyable read!!! Was traveling down nostalgia lane. Remembering games against my sister, I can't seem to recall which piece used. Left some love💕💖💖

  • Testabout a year ago

    Oh, I feel this--Scottie is my downfall, as well. 😄 Excellent Top Story, Kendall.

  • Sarah Danaherabout a year ago

    I was always the top hat and put that on my finger too and I did enjoy reading this. Congrats on top story

  • Testabout a year ago

    I’ve always been all about the thimble. That checks out.

  • J. R. Loweabout a year ago

    Well I’ve learned something new today. I have to say I agree and relate to your love (and hate - but mostly love) of board games and relate to this article so much overall. For some reason I was usually one of the last to choose a piece when we’d play monopoly and I’d usually end up with the thimble, but when I got a choice I was always the terrier (makes sense now why I lost so much 😂)

  • Naomi Goldabout a year ago

    Congrats on Top Story 🥂

  • Carol Townendabout a year ago

    I was so excited to read this. I still love Monopoly. I can play it for hours with friends or family. I have many favorite games from the past. Scrabble, Up and Away!, Game of Life, and timeless Chess. In my opinion, the old games are the most entertaining, and it is a shame a lot of them are dying or have already gone. Excellent story!

  • Stephanie Hoogstadabout a year ago

    This is a very entertaining read. I can’t believe they’re retiring the thimble! It’s my second favorite. The dog will always be my top favorite, though. It’s my mom’s favorite, too, and she always wins—and I mean ALWAYS—so it might be a more aggressive piece than people give it credit for.

  • Dana Crandellabout a year ago

    A really entertaining read, Kendall! Congratulations on Top Story! Pam and I still play board games occasionally. I prefer Scrabble, because, yes, I'm that person. Pam's choice is Backgammon, because 1) she grew up playing it and 2) I suck at it. I blame it on crappy luck with dice. My family used to play Monopoly. I learned to hate it because 1) I suck at it, 2) games took for.e.ver and 3) someone always gets angry (often me). I generally chose the cannon. I think I'll skip the connotations. Oh, and don't even get me started on card games. 🙄

  • Donna Reneeabout a year ago

    Oh no, is that why I never won either?? The dog is still my fav! 🤣. Congrats on your TS!

  • Roy Stevensabout a year ago

    Top Story, congratulations Kendall!

  • Naomi Goldabout a year ago

    LOL, this was such a fun read! I love playing board games, especially with my son. Scrabble and Monopoly are my favorite. My son sometimes gets frustrated when he starts to lose, so I’ve been teaching him metaphysical ways of attracting money in Monopoly and in real life… because I’m great at both. I’ve always chosen the thimble.

  • Kendall, you had me right up to the very end. Then you broke me & I could not help but laugh.

  • Dana Stewartabout a year ago

    Fun read! I had no idea some pieces were retired. I was always the top hat, but not by choice. We haven’t played in years, though. 😑

  • Roy Stevensabout a year ago

    I haven't played in a very long time and now I would like to. Well done Kendall!

  • Brenton Fabout a year ago

    Monopoly will always be synonymous with that episode of The Young Ones " You have won second prize in a beauty contest... [Rick Laughs] smash Rick over the head with the bank!" Your take on this is refreshing and enlightening!

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