The game of Monopoly I played with some friends on Sunday afternoon has been described as epic. I was described as a fat-cat. This may have something to do with my attempts to create a monopoly on the board, which is, after all, the name of the game. There is no Monopolies and Mergers Commission to investigate how one person ends up owning half the property on the board. Actually, there is no Monopolies and Mergers Commission. It was renamed in 1999 as the Competition Commission. Maybe they should be investigating why second prize in a beauty contest receives only a tenth of the amount given to the winner of a crossword competition.
The cat in my house doesn’t deserve to be called fat – in fact we frequently marvel at how Phoebe manages to fit under the side gate. I think it’s to do with her shoulders or something. But she has been known to launch hostile take overs, or perhaps thoughtless take overs.
She’s not keen on laptop computers. I think she feels they are taking over her rightful place and while they may warm the lap, she is more affectionate. I think my work netbook has instructions that it should not go on the lap because of danger from the heat. She wouldn’t argue with that, although I think it’s more than a little ridiculous. But I digress.
Playing Monopoly does demonstrate how much better off you can be when you own lots of property. Even unexpected pay-outs can be financed rather easily if you have a large portfolio of assets which can be easily sold. My Mum would say that it’s not that easy selling a house some times, but we are finally celebrating the imminent completion of the sale of my grandmother’s bungalow. Other friends have also struggled to sell their houses over the past couple of years, but trying to sell one particular property in a buyers’ market is different to having a wide range of options.
While my competitive streak did appear during the game on Sunday, I did my best to be pleasant and reasonable in my requests for payment and in accepting alternative offers. I was a friendly fat-cat. Of course, being friendly and pleasant is rather different to a true redistribution of wealth. However, the game would have gone on even longer had I shared in the way some players might have liked. Currently the UK GDP per capita is around £22,000 ($35,000). I wonder how different the UK would be if every person (including children) received that share. My own circumstances would be about the same although a lot of people around me would notice a big change. I still wouldn’t have to pay back my student loan debts. One day I might be a professor or a more senior academic with a better salary. If that is the case I hope I will keep an awareness of how it is more than my share. I need to be a good steward of what God gives me since it all belongs to him really. It all goes back in the box at the end of the game.