Finally I did it, after nearly 50 years: I won my first game of Monopoly! My boot heralded the New Year by stomping all over London’s streets and kicking everyone off the board.
Actually, I hate Monopoly. I’ve always thought it a metaphor for life, or my life at least: failing to make wise decisions before the random throw of the die. My father, a consummate risk-taker on the board, is a cautious man in real-life, while my brother-in-law marries his monopoly-ambition with an astute business sense, making a stash of cash on and off the game.
And me? Well, I’m a philosophy teacher with no monetary sense whatsoever. Monopoly is my nemesis. Or it was until yesterday.
So how did I become a winner rather than a looser? (A self-help manual on the way…).
First: change the rules, exploit them and wait for divine justice. I paid my taxes and my school-fees, and gave the Government my £200 as I ‘passed go’ on numerous occasions. All those monies were pooled in the centre for the person who landed on ‘free parking’ and though I didn’t collect the first hoard or the second, the third and fourth were mine. I went from a £1 pauper to a rich woman.
Second: sacrifice a good deal to help your mother, and wait for divine justice. Then – just in case divine justice doesn’t exist – exploit your mother a second time and ensure you get the upper hand.
Three: when no one is looking and you’re down on your luck steal £100 from the bank and never confess, not even at the end of the game when you could pay it back ten-fold.
Four: gamble everything on hotels, even if it means mortgaging three streets, all the your utilities and your stations. All you need is one poor sod to land on Fleet Street and you can resurrect your empire.
Five: the die will roll, willy nilly, just as the wheel of fortune will turn. You need patience, you need faith. Like Moses in the desert, I roamed the wilderness for forty years, but finally my day came. Now I know with utter conviction, that 2016 is My Year!