Thursday, 12 March 2009

Monopoly Money

Build or Go Bust

I stumbled upon a blog brouhaha.

A certain Anonymous criticized a blogger for writing about a party thrown by some artistic friends. In addition to concluding that the vast majority of bloggers were self-absorbed and self-indulgent, Ms Anonymous contended that writing about parties was a slap in the face to struggling Americans.
Do you people know there is a recession? wrote Anon.

Well, yes Anon; I think that we are all very much aware of the general economic decline around us. How could we not be? But perhaps -- and this is just a thought -- blogs are a place to get away from the front page and the sliding stock market?

I am the fretting sort, and I can't seem to stop myself from endless speculation and worry about it all. Just as the ancients scrutinized animal entrails for clues to the future, I listen to conversations and scan my own middle-class landscape for signs of economic health or sickness.

Although we know a mostly affluent group of people, the overwhelming majority of them are involved in finance and property -- two occupations which have suffered from a dizzying reversal of fortune. Nobody is talking -- well, not much -- but yesterday I was with a woman who burst into happy, relieved tears when she found out that her son had just won a major scholarship. (Her husband has been out of work for months.)

This weekend, when my husband and I endured a family bout of Monopoly, I couldn't help but draw parallels between the strategies of this game and the real-life financial world.

I taught my children to play Monopoly using Ganny's Rules -- as instituted by my game-loving grandmother. Perhaps Ganny was a trader at heart, because she liked to emphasize the elements of risk and reward. Wheeling and dealing were encouraged, and so was incentive -- in the form of a big pot of money. We always kept a $500 bill tucked under Free Parking, and any tax/penalty money got deposited there, too. If you were lucky enough to land there, you ended up with a fat bonus that could potentially save your bacon. We all speculated wildly, plowed all of our funds into development, and suffered from the dramatic windfalls and declines which made the game a tad more exciting. My brother ALWAYS wanted Park Place and Boardwalk -- the most expensive properties. He would trade for anything in order to get his hands on them. He often went broke trying to develop them, but if he succeeded, he would inevitably drive everyone else out of the game.

Sigmund wasn't having any of that. He made us play by the rules: no extra money; no borrowing; no trades. For most of the game we played in a state of boring gridlock. Everyone owned something that someone else needed, and all property development was thus stagnant. It reminded me our banking industry, frankly. I finally caved in and traded youngest daughter what she needed . . . in a deal that had no benefit to me. Although I had built up a sizeable fortune through the conservative investments of railroads and utilities, I eventually lost it all. There's always that one expensive hotel stay too many.

Our financial world has lurched, sickeningly rapidly, from the first "strategy" to the second -- and now we are in the widening gyre. (This famous phrase of Yeats' suddenly occurred to me, but a financial writer had already gotten there first.) Everyone's instincts are to rein back on spending and tuck any surplus under the mattress -- people are being criticized for having parties, for goodness sake -- but that will just drive more businesses into bankruptcy. (My friend whose husband lost his finance job? She's in catering: mostly weddings and parties.)

Who could possibly forget, even for an hour, about this strange, shaky new world we live in? There is never more than one degree of separation between a person who is still okay -- and a whole bunch of others who aren't. My list of friends and acquaintances read like News items. A friend of a friend lost all of her money with Madoff. A friend is stuck with buy-to-let tenants who are months behind on their rent. An acquaintance had to lay off nearly all of their employees when the Royal Bank of Scotland called in their loan. (Perhaps they needed the money for Sir Fred Goodwin's £703,000-a-year pension pay-out?)

Why shouldn't we occasionally want to read or think about something else?

Woolworth's: gone, but not forgotten
Our local storefront is drawing the musicians who play for small change


She said...

I like Ganny's rules for playing Monopoly!

Everything all feels so tentative now that we have to join together. We need to not be divisive like good ole Ms. Anon. was in her comment!

My kiddos and I are reading a book together called TURNING TO ONE ANOTHER by Margaret Wheatley. Our conversations have provided a space for them to discuss how this climate is impacting them. It's been awesome. Lots of concern but also a great deal of laughter.

If we can't come together during this time for parties and gatherings where we talk about what matters to us and play games and have fun, then I think we've really missed what's important!

Loved this post. Love all your posts!

willow said...

I think I am safe to say that most of us would love to read about something fun, upbeat and normal, like a party. This is a chapter of life that we all must endure and we can do it a lot easier through mutual support.

Excellent post, Bee.

By the way, I am completely amazed at what people will say under the cover of "Anonymous".

Anonymous said...

How sad to see Woolies desolate and no longer trading. Some of my first childhood memories are of shopping there and being totally spoilt by the lovely ladies who worked there.
I think that anon is a prty pooper and does not know the benefits of a simple socail gathering. Fod alone is not the only sustance we need. Friendship is these unstable times is much needed.

ArtSparker said...

Good point. I try to keep my terror out of my blog and don't always succeed. When I do succeed, it's the reverse of self-absorbed in giving visitors a brief sense of shelter (even when the whole vast machinery WAS working, it was just a grander dog and pony show).

I liked very much the description of the Monopoly game. Very funny, we all have different coping strategies too give us a feeling of control, but the roll of the dice is something else entirely.

Debski Beat said...


I have just read your blog and was overwhelmingly moved to rush to the animal entrails (always available for such events) and decided to look into the future. The entrails read that: The future will be bright as long as we all stay as happy as we can, respect each other to the best of our ability, love one another and keep our families close to us. The entrails also said that partying is a major path to joy in the future as it is an aid to keeping us all happy.

I am sure that all 'entrailologists' can see the same thing.

Dumdad said...

In our family we also play to rules similar to Ganny's. The Free Parking pot sometimes is staggeringly high. (Actually, we haven't played for ages).

You're showing your American heritage: Park Place and Boardwalk. I think those are Mayfair and Park Lane in the Brit version. Coincidentally, my younger brother always tried to buy these properties at whatever cost. He's now a businessman.

julochka said...

love the parallels to monopoly. and it's interesting to think about the rules of the big monopoly game in these terms.

i'm beginning to think that the whole thing is actually nature putting the brakes on unsustainable growth, tho' of course, there are many things that seem unnatural about it. i'm not done thinking about this. your thoughts are definitely adding to my equation...

flawsnall said...

insightful post as usual...leaves a lot to chew blogging about parties the same as blogging about going out to restaurants and blowing $X on food and drink (lots of drink)? my philosophy is pretty common, in the midst of economic havoc, you need a little some-hum some-hum to for revival...

BTW--I have two jobs!

tangobaby said...

Of course we can play games and have parties. My god, my office is almost a deserted wasteland and my friend just lost her job on Tuesday with only a day's notice. I find that friends and fun times is what keeps many of us from feeling absolutely isolated and desolate.

Monopoly's was always quite fractious in our house as a child so I don't like to play it. I think I even ripped up the Boardwalk card once in a fit.

The Regulator said...

Play by the rules or not at all. Ganny was a lot of fun but Monopoly rules were devised over the years to produce that tedious game. If you want a fun evening don't get the Monopoly board out.

Parties - Anon has no sense. So much cheaper (especially BYOB) and less decadent than going to even a moderate restuarant. Home entertaining is entirely in tune with the Depression - Sorry but it's looking that way rather than recession. Unless of course partying at home involves getting JoLo in but even the Russians are thinking twice on that.

A rare posting but I have to defend my apparent hard-arse actions !

JaneyV said...

In life there should always be room for a party. I may be showing my Irish heritage here but I've always been a firm believer in the "shindig mentality". It's where the wake comes from. Basically when life turns miserable - we have a duty to get happy. To celebrate whatever lame excuse we can find. Instinctively I just know that giving all your energy and attention to negative things just brings more of it your way.

The other thing I know for sure is the the world has a way of self-righting. The financial world is not different. The balance of things was so skewed it didn't take a genius to see a crash was coming. This should not have been a shock to anyone. The people I know who work in banking had been putting their houses in order for a year or two before things went south. Isn't the ideal a balance between Granny's rules and Sigmund's?

I was talking to my eldest son about this today. He was studying an editorial in English that was arguing that the doom and gloom mongers were instrumental in blocking financial recovery. I happen to agree with this point of view. Leaving aside the any criminal mismanagement of finances which have contributed to the current situation the fact is that we were due a downturn. This was inevitable and expected. We've been here too often not to have recognized the signs. But as sure as eggs is eggs after the downturn comes an upturn. And it's never as far away as people expect. But too much of the stock market runs on whispers and rumour. So the more we talk up the bad stuff, the more scared people are investing and the longer it all lasts. We don't have to be stupidly optimistic to change the tide - we just have to stop being so damn pessimistic.

Throw a party! Cheer the place up!

(I'd just like to add, that I do fully understand the consequences the current situation is having on the financial community and I hope that none of my comments seem trite against the struggles being faced. I sincerely hope that the tide I spoke of turns soon. For all our sakes.)

Beth said...

Anyone who has not yet felt the effects of this economic downturn is extremely fortunate. For those of us who have – and who know people who have – what we do in our lives to soldier on in the face of loss (or the fear of loss) indicates courage, fortitude and hope.
(Note – My sympathy does not extend to those suffering “a loss” due to diminished corporate bonuses, pension pay-outs & once-excessive salaries…)

Anonymous said...

Enthusiasts of the films of Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski (Blind Chance, Dekalog, The Double Life of Véronique, Three Colours Trilogy, etc) are invited to drop by my chatroom at the Brasserie Alizé on the anniversary of the director’s death, this coming Friday evening, 13 March 2009, from around 1800 GMT. Please pass on the invitation to others and hopefully see you there!

Bee said...

She - I've been reading about Wheatley's book and also checking out her guidelines for how to conduct a conversation. You are doing awesome work with your students; hopefully this bad stuff will yield good stuff.

It IS difficult to imagine how ONLY focusing on bad news (which will make us ill, anyway) is going to help matters. (Thanks so much for your kind words.)

Willow - I think that one of the reasons your site is so beloved is that people know they can visit there and learn something and be entertained . . . AND you do that with such a light touch. As for ANON, yes -- people should claim their words.

Bon Anon - Food, friendship and fun: May we never be short on any of these.

ArtSparker - There is a fine line between honesty and whining, right? A bit of realness is good, but most people do not visit blogs for a full helping of angst.

Debski - YES to your entrail reading. Parties can be a major stress-relief.

Dumdad - I've never even seen a British Monopoly! You're right: the American is really coming out in me. Interesting that the Mayfair/Boardwalk phenom is universal, though. There have always been little Trumps with an eye on the biggest lollipop.

Julochka - Yes, I'm not sure why Enron's demise didn't change things more. It should have been obvious how much of it was perception, Ponzi scheme, leverage and cooked balance sheets. The housing value growth here was CRAZY -- and definitely unsustainable.

flawsnall - I don't know; yesterday I went to a birthday lunch at one of our nicer local restaurants and I really worried about how empty the place was. I think it is bad to spend money that you don't have; but there is also a really negative knock-on effect when people who have money aren't spending it.

Tangobaby - Yes, I think that a lot of people have bad Monopoly memories! Even if it's only a game, being bankrupted isn't fun.

I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

Sig (aka Regulator) - I like your point about in-home entertaining, and fully acknowledge that Monopoly was never your idea. I disagree with you about the rules, though. :) Also, I'm still mad that you wouldn't trade with me for that green property. That was just mean.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Bee, I am sending my support to you, and my views that the world is engaging in a bunch of Schadenfreude - Times are tough, for all, some can weather it better than most, but what we ought not to engage in is a bunch of wrist-slitting opportunities fuelled by a media that wants doom and devastation just because it makes better news!

We need to make our own entertainment - Why not party with friends, rather than buying a new pair of shoes we don't need? Party on, Bee! xx

Bee said...

Janey - It took me so long to answer my commenters (in between running downstairs to throw together dinner) that I crossed you in the mail. As usual, your views strike me as eminently sane. Yes, that bubble was due a bursting . . . and a lot of the hot air of bonuses and inflated house prices was really no good for the majority.

Let's have an Irish Wake and then try to move on. Also, your points on the stock market and media hype are spot-on. Sigmund goes crazy about the traders who haven't got a clue about the industries they are betting against . . . it really is like a Monopoly game for a lot of them.

Beth - Courage, mon amie.

Thanks, Alexandre.

A Modern Mother said...

We downsized two years ago so this is all old hat to me. You'd be surprised how you can bend to the shape of the mold.

Delwyn said...

I agree with Janey's comments.Fortunately in Australia we have not been hit so hard, but the negative impact of the media surreptitiously undermines any little whisper of confidence that people grasp on to.

Lisa said...

What a great post. Lately I've found myself wanting to start many blog posts with the sentence "What is wrong with people?" (cleaned up version since I'm here and not at my place.)

Anon has the wrong end of the stick with her shaming and finger wagging.

It's no mistake that the same year my family is going through very difficult financial and emotional times, that I would all but abandon political blogging and move towards personal, and hopefully, more humorous writing.

If ever I've needed a laugh - it is now.

Thank you for all your kindnesses.

Gifted Typist said...

So important to say.

Being in my own shitstorm of economic worry and woe, I find comfort in intelligent, thoughtful blogs like this. We have to stay sane for our kids and ourselves. And there is strength in laughter.

Maggie May said...

Agreed for sure. A wonderful and fitting metaphor for what's going on. And those who scowl on those who laugh in times of darkness don't understand anything at all.

sallymandy said...

Thank you...very well said. We need diversions now more than ever! I stocked up on resale games like Monopoly and Scrabble last fall to give our family some free stuff to do at home. It's been really fun. We need it.

I just found your blog from A Thousand Clapping Hands. Lovely writing.

Dave King said...

Well done you. Good to hear of folk with the sense to modify rules, so many gamers feel that the rules were written on tablets of stone and the world might end if they were to change them.

Nimble said...

I loved getting the Free Parking pile 'o money, it was my favorite part of playing that game. I think my mother taught us that rule, or maybe it was the next-door-neighbor kids. We just kept it in the middle of the board, like a poker pot.

I was hearing a news story last night about American saving habits. Apparently after being well and truly spanked most of us are trying to save something now and not live on credit. Which is a good thing for individuals. But as a result there is less capital flowing and that makes business expansion difficult, etc. etc. One commentator explained that this was why we needed a government stimulus package. It is hard to figure out how to get the whole shooting match onto firmer ground.

Bee said...

A woman - I always love reading you because I get a sense of joy and fun from your voice -- no matter what your troubles might be.

A modern mother - I worry most about my friends in not-very-well-paid jobs (like education or non-profit) who never had much, if any, fat to trim.

Delwyn - I think that part of the media problem is that stories can lack context and/or proportion . . . so the reader comes away with a gloomier outlook than is necessary.

Lisa - Your sense of humor always shines through . . . and that's why you have so many devoted readers. You gotta laugh.

Gifted Typist - There IS strength in laughter (not to mention friends!)

Maggie May - Last sentence? So well said. I know you are an expert an laughing in the midst of darkness.

Sallymandy - Thanks for visiting me -- and also for your kind words.

Dave - Do you mean this metaphorically or literally?

Nimble - Clearly, a lot of people made up the Free Parking bonus! (I didn't even realize that it wasn't part of the proper rules.)

Yes, there must be a line between buying too much on credit -- as opposed to nothing at all. We aren't going to have much of an economy if we do away with credit altogether . . . although clearly matters had swung out of control.

D.A. Riser said...

I'm with you on the Monopoly. Free Parking should always have lots of cash. More, more!

I think I'll see if I can't get a game of Monopoly going this weekend.

LadyFi said...

Well said Bee! In these uncertain times, we need to find comfort where we can...

Elizabeth said...

Thoughtful and interesting as ever.
I always lost at Monopoly because I really didn't care enough.
Ditto at Risk where I used to burst into tears if attacked.
The current economic climate is very un-nerving indeed.
However, I think blogs are just outlets for thought and ideas - not places to try to impose one's own views on others.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Are we just supposed to wallow in depression until the financial situation has rebounded? Is this what Anon is suggesting? We need diversion, we need parties and get-togethers with friends. We still need to have a release, to laugh, and to be human.

Love Ganny's rules! Makes things much more exciting. I also enjoyed the comparion to the current state of the economy. Very clever!

Thanks for letting me know about Braja! That is such sad news.

Lucy said...

If we'd had someone around like Ganny I might have seen some point to Monopoly, or Monotony, as my sister and I used to call it. As it was, it was a kind of war of attrition which my brother always won as he was the only one who could stay the distance, and we all just gave in in the end. The best bit for me was choosing the little figurine one played with (always the Scotty dog for Battersea Dog's Home, what does US Monopoly have?), after that it was downhill all the way.

Before Christmas we allowed ourselves to be talked into buying a case of expensivewine from the Jura which we hadn't even tasted, and I'm sure our main motivation was to cock a snook at the recession and our imminent indigence, that and that we were rather impressed by the salesman's performance. Unfortunately the wine has not yet arrived, but as they haven't cashed our cheque either we aren't too worried. That's about the nearest we get to being party animals.

Those 'anonymous' a**holes, or a***holes, as we say in Britspeak, are just sad little naysayers, it wouldn't amtter too much what was being written about they'd have had to get sanctimonious about it.

Good to see Sigmund making an appearance!

Fantastic Forrest said...

You are so good.


You feel my philosophical-chat-needin'-while-keepin'-it-real-and-tied-to-our-family-lives soul.

I will savor each of your commenters' comments later, because I have no doubt there is some thoughtful goodness in every bite, but I wanted to let you know I loved what you dished up here.

I will undoubtedly come back for seconds and reread it and say something vaguely worthwhile. But this is all about LOVE for you, Bee.

So good to read what's on your mind.

Bee said...

D.A.Riser - What's the point of a game if it can't be better than real life? I want a legitimate chance to win the lottery!

Lady Fi - Exactly! Escapism (in all of its forms) always does well in hard times.

Alyson - Wallowing really doesn't make sense -- certainly not psychologically, and not financially, either!

Lucy - Monopoly can definitely be monotonous! Sig groaned when the children chose it, but we were trying for some family time and that is what they wanted to do! (American Monopoly has the little dog, too. I always end up being the iron FOR SOME REASON.)

Good for you -- buying the wine. And why not?

FF - The comments are definitely worth a read. I'm grateful to have such fantastic feedback. And thanks for this awesome compliment, FF. I've been feeling really down, and you've made my day.

Reya Mellicker said...

Anonymous comments are something I don't allow on my blog because if someone wants to winge, fine, but they have to show their face, such as you can do that on the internet.

Frankly I'm amazed that there aren't more people using the comments sections to vent their spleens. When I get a comment from someone who is just looking for trouble (as opposed to simply stating a different opinion) I feel free to delete it right away.

Monopoly - was never good at it, not ever.

Pam I Am said...

I'm not sure why Enron's demise didn't change things more.

Perhaps you forget who was in charge of the country when that happened.

Ganny must be a distant relative of mine or a friend of a friend or something, because those are exactly the rules by which we play.

The current mess is hitting one member of my family hard. The rest of us hold our breath, hoping that his misfortune will be it for us, and try to literally and figuratively support him until we all come out on the other side.

In the meantime, of course we should laugh and enjoy one another's company.

Is there any point to life otherwise?

Fragrant Liar said...

If we don't have parties or otherwise take the time to enjoy being alive and in the company of people we love, then why the hell are we here? To rue the economic mess? I'd rather live my life now and look forward optimistically than stop the world to get off and wait for things to get better.

Pigtown-Design said...

Bee... thanks for the link. Your commenters seem to agree with most of mine, except the anon one who castigated me for writing about a party, and the one who was shock that we dressed for a Moroccan party, since "all Arabs are terrorists".

It has been an interesting discussion with lots of support from people. If you look at a lot of the design blogs, you certainly see more high-flying things than my friend's party! And most of them go by unscathed.

The thing about Anon that irritated me most was not being called fat, but being repeatedly called middle-aged!

Anonymous said...

Cheers, Bee! I agree with you. This is a place we can share some fun, spread some kindness, recall the good old days, and ask for a good thought or prayer to be sent our way.

I am fretting too. I think of posting about it, but still look for the right words to do so...

Jan said...

Good to read all this so shall return ASAP!

Fantastic Forrest said...

Pigtown Design has closed the comments to the post, which is probably a good thing because that troll was getting increasingly obnoxious. I just don't get people like that.

A nice little party that some eejit felt compelled to attack. It takes all kinds...

Dick said...

Party on, I say! Sure, avoid Elton John excess - a couple of bottles of Grolsch and a pizza will do it - but donning mourning garb to honour the fallen isn't going to help anyone.

However's, let's not disengage ourselves to the extent that we simply demonise the bankers as saboteurs of a system that was working virtuously to the general benefit of all. Whatever political stance one might take, do we not have to accept that the driving force behind capitalism is not justice, equality and the common good, but the generation of extreme wealth for its protagonists through rapacious competition? Praise it from Wall Street or denounce it from the barricades, that's what it's there for. And the strict regulation by government of its practices would simply remove incentive on the part of the venture capitalists who are down there in the engine room driving it along.

This crisis was, to coin a phrase, an historical inevitability. Party time or puritanism, quo vadis now?

Anonymous said...

Love Monopoly, used to have Monopoly marathons with my best friend when we were little.

CJ xx

dancing doc design said...

This is a brilliant post! Thank you for your thoughtful and healthy take on the remark from Anonymous...I agree with is a retreat,for me blogging has served as a balance...reading other people's blogs lightens my day and offers me a chance to connect when it seems like there is a lot falling down around us....not to mention Bee,you shared the great story of Monopoly games from your youth and now your children's. All this is soothing to the soul --so much thanks and Salut du Midi! Blogs about parties are a delight!!! ps I heard Woolies is being reopened by a manager ?

La Belette Rouge said...

Really? Someone criticized another blogger for having a party? Wow. I am gobsmacked. Just because there is a recession we aren't allowed parties? Hmmm...I didn't get the memo.

The Clever Pup said...

Hey I love your blog. I can't believe I haven't told you before. It has a great tone.

We have certain similarities in our profiles too.

The party looked harmless to me. I was just at the best party I'd been to in about 2 decades. We don't all have to be wearing sackcloth and ashes. Somebody's got to keep the ball rolling.

Sarah Laurence said...

What a strange coincidence – this is the second post I’ve read today on Monopoly. Cindy Lord is using it for a scene in a book. You are illustrating something darker although you found a few rays of light.

Sad about Woolworths. There used to be one in my neighborhood in NYC and now it’s yet another Banana Republic.

Butler and Bagman said...

Boo on Anonymous...yea on parties. We need to find reasons to celebrate particularly when things are hard. That's how we get through them. I love your blog and added it to my follow list.

Phoenix said...

Excellent post! We don't stop living if life gets difficult.... difficult times call for more thoughtful measures, but not a total 'no-more-fun' policy... if we cannot do a little celebration, and feel a little happy.. how would we live through the times?

Barrie said...

We do live in scary times. You've had such great comments that I have nothing to add. This may be a first! Anyway, I nominated you for a blog award.

Bee said...

Everyone -- Thanks so much for helping me weigh in on this topic. I'm working on the sequel!

xx Bee

Tessa said...

Interesting analogy between the game and the rather dismal financial state of the nation....or nations. Coming in late to your post, it was a bonus to read the comments by your readers, all of which I found to be equally worthy of note.

As far as my blog is concerned, I probably rank amongst the party givers of this world. Mostly, I suppose, in an attempt to allay the horrors that face all of us every day. However, I do read the FT after my husband has discarded it. I enjoy Lucy Kellaway’s observations in particular.

Robert Nagle said...

Oddly, I played Monopoly for the first time in about 25 years with my niece and nephew. It was interesting. (Oh, yes, it was some idiotic Star Wars themed monopoly game).


1)It's very good at teaching math and business concepts.
2)Make sure the banker is trustworthy and good with numbers
3)It's good to set a time limit for the game.

The flaw inherent in Monopoly is that there are too many pieces on the board. About half the time when somebody rolled the dice, three houses or hotels are knocked off the board....

BTW, it's good not to put the gameboard by any pets.

Robert Nagle
idiotprogrammer at

Fantastic Forrest said...

Since you're still getting comments on this, I feel compelled to share about a book I read by Tim Moore - Do Not Pass Go. Amazon describes it thusly:

In this entertaining and irreverent guide, comedy writer Tim Moore takes a zany trip around the Monopoly board - or rather the 28 stations, utilities and streets of London that form the setting for the world's most popular game.

I loved this book, and think you'd really enjoy it, Bee.

An Uncommitted Pundit said...

Ganny's rules were not according to Hoyle, per se, but were always consistent. The foremost of Ganny's rules was: that if you wanted to play with the grownups, you played to win, with little sympathy for hurt feelings. The game was not for building false confidence. If you ever beat her (a rare occurrence) you knew it was earned and well deserved. Ganny was a true child of the Depression. As a youngster, she and her siblings collected the unbroken whiskey bottles from the railroad tracks to cash the deposits. I used to revel in the stories of the candies that could be had for the penny earned on a pint flask. It was always interesting to me that Monopoly was invented in the 1930s rather than the 1920s. Why did the generation scorched by an economic crash become so enamored by a game of entrepreneurship? It is hard to fathom a similar reaction by generations who have come to expect a trophy regardless of performance.

Chris said...

I actually enjoy hearing about people who aren't worried about the recession. I have a friend whose spending money like crazy because her husband makes a ton. She's not worried. It's refreshing. In a sick way.

Bee said...

Robert - good observations! Anyone who has played the game will recognize these pitfalls. And about the die knocking off game pieces . . . you could read that metaphorically you know.

FF - I just found this! Thanks for the recommendation.

An Uncommitted Pundit - And so, a family tradition has begun . . . where children so often beat the adults -- not because they are allowed to win, but just because they are BETTER.

Chris - Yes, I always feel better when I see people out shopping, eating at restaurants and booking holidays.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.