The Big Issue : Edition 496
12 THE BIG ISSUE 16 – 29 OCT 2015 loser goes cup-of-tea-making duty. No alcohol will sully the table; the mind must be as steady as the hand. But enough preamble; the contestants have arrived at the table and we hand over to our commentary team... First blood goes to team Dorian and Bruce after a tense dice roll-off. Shouting level is lively early on. Kerry refuses to trade from the outset, setting off a mortgaging frenzy among players desperate to offload their worthless properties. An early jail stay prompts an unusual response from Ricky, electing to roll rather than pay to get out. The gamble doesn’t work, and he loses valuable time. A tense debate over ruthlessness versus niceness was never going to end well. Karen is cash rich but struggling to increase her property portfolio as the game enters the second hour. Concentration is flagging for the banker, as simple mistakes result in mass shouting about alleged corruption. Ricky takes advantage of a fortunate Free Parking collect to make Kerry an offer for the last Purple, which, against her nature, she accepts. Karen makes a repeat stay on the newly developed Purple and is the first player to start mortgaging. Over on the kitchen-window side of the board, Kerry’s eyelids are drooping as apathy takes hold – a telltale sign of Monopoly fatigue. Other contestants sense weakness and look to pounce. A Free Parking windfall perks Karen up, but it’s a double-edged sword as she admits to secretly hoping to be eliminated and retire to the lounge room to watch the late-night news. With Oma ordering a hurry-up to the game, Ricky suffers an uncharacteristic bout of kindness over ruthlessness and offers up his lone Light Blue to Bruce and Dorian cheaply, allowing the struggling pair to finally complete a set. It’s now 10.50pm and action is really heating up in the kitchen with deals now flying everywhere! Kerry has her hands on the lucrative Dark Blue while Ricky has obtained his second set, the highly sought-after Orange. Meanwhile, a seesaw battle commences over developments on the window-side of the room, as Bruce and Dorian trade blows (and properties) with Kerry. A terminal dice roll spells doom for Karen. She scrambles for cash, mortgaging everything under her nose, but it’s futile and she retreats to her latenight news. Bruce and Dorian soon follow, with Kerry claiming their scalps and inheriting their assets. Ricky is now worried. Despite developing Brown, Orange, Purple and Red he can’t avoid Kerry’s Dark Blue. His demise is swift and heartbreaking. Kerry is not a humble winner. She gives him a short, unanswerable send off: “You’re f#*$#@* useless, Ricky!” But his many supporters needn’t fear: he’ll be back stronger next year. “Normally gentle, unmaterialistic people are instantly transformed into cutthroat capitalists. No inch is given; relationships are sorely tested.” PHOTOGRAPHSBYJAMESBRAUND IT SEEMS LIKE only a week ago that I was offering up vain protestations over hearing about the All Blacks while on holiday in New Zealand. “Watch every game LIVE!” scream the adverts. Thanks, but I’d rather be dead. Yes, the 24-hour news cycle is still jammed black, but I’ve come to an astute realisation: the public needs a distraction from rugby. And if live coverage is what you want, it is only my duty to provide. For the first time in publishing history, this column will be written LIVE, direct from the famous competition cauldron of Oma’s kitchen. Forget rugby, we’re in for a game much more bruising tonight. Props and locks, hookers and flankers would be reduced to quivering wrecks should they have the misfortune to enter the room. It’s a family tradition so intense it borders on the psychotic. It’s ugly. It’s deranged. Yes, folks, it’s the annual family game of Monopoly. As far as family traditions go, Monopoly in my family is particularly vicious. Anyone marrying into the family faces the same shocking ritual on their first foray to the kitchen for this seemingly benign after-dinner game. Normally gentle, unmaterialistic people are instantly transformed into cutthroat capitalists. No inch is given; relationships are sorely tested. Only the toughest will last the night. To the winner goes bragging rights; to the » Ricky French (@frenchricky) is a writer with a long history of board game frenzy. When playing Monopoly he always picks the wheelbarrow, as it reminds him of simpler times. RICKY Do Not Pass Go...