Covid Lockdown ( Day 7: The Monopoly Game )
The mood in the house after seven days of lockdown has become sombre. Frank hasn’t come out of his room since yesterday and my wife has been watching reruns of Dawson’s Creek all morning in her underwear. She swears loudly every time Dawson comes on screen. Considering he’s the main character in the show, it’s a lot of swearing.
If we continue like this, who knows what kind of condition we will all be in by the time the lockdown finishes. I need something to bring us all together. Something to get us around the table without a fight. I rummage through the game drawer and find it.
“Monopoly! No one has ever fallen out over a game of Monopoly”, I whisper to myself.
I put on my most dramatic voice and loudly profess. “Gather round family, for we shall embark on a journey together and travel down a road many have gone before, but few have mastered”.
My wife pauses the television and looks at her watch.
“It’s only lunch time, are you drunk already?”
“Yes, but never mind that. Let’s all play a game of Monopoly. Go get Frank.”
I can tell she doesn’t want to play, but her interest in Dawson and his floppy hair has waned. She turns it off and calls for Frank.
“Frank! Fancy a game of Monopoly?”
A loud thump can be heard coming from Franks room. We can hear some heavy stuff being moved around and what sounds like a large door bolt opening, along with a series of intricate sounding levers and pulleys. As the door opens, a sound which can only be described as a sheep baaing, loudly escapes the room.
“Is he keeping sheep in there?” I ask my wife.
She shrugs her shoulders. Frank walks out to join us, his familiar back eye patch back on. He has a bit of a limp. I’m not sure what he got up to last night, but I decide it best not to ask. He never could resist a good old game of Monopoly. You might not think it to look at him, but he’s quite competitive for a cat. I take the board out and begin to set up. First, we need to decide who gets which piece.
“Right, I’m taking the car out of the game.”
“Why?” asks my wife.
“Because everyone wants to be the car and it always starts a fight”, I say.
Frank jumps onto the table and grabs the car. He returns to his seat and hisses at me.
“Right! So, Franks the Car. I’ll be the Iron and you can be Top Hat.”
Franks rolls first and lands on Kings Cross station. He immediately throws the money in to buy it. I see what his game is. Buy up all the railway stations, then shut them down so none of us can use the trains. Frank distained public transport. He hated the trains and has been known to assault the occasional train driver.
It’s my wife's turn. She picks up the dice and rolls a two.
“Yes! Community chest”, she says with excitement and picks up the card. “Go to Jail!”
Frank and I laugh as her happiness is quickly turned to misery. I grab the dice to take my turn.
“No!” she shouts. “I’m not going to jail. Why should I?”
Frank rolls his eyes and gives me his, “Have a word with your missus” look.
“What do you mean you’re not going to jail? You have to go to jail.”
“Because the card says so”, I say.
“Well that’s not good enough. I want a reason. What have I done to deserve three turns in jail?” she asks.
“Just go to jail will you and play the game”, I say.
“No, not until I get a good reason.”
I don’t want to give up on the game so readily. The family bonding must continue. I think up a suitable reason for my wife's imaginary incarceration.
“Okay, how about the police have raided your house and found your fridge freezer full of severed heads”, I say.
Her mouth drops. Even Frank looks at me like I’m some sort of lunatic. He hops off his chair and heads to his room. He knows what’s coming next. As his door opens, the sheep from earlier lets out a loud baa. At least I think it’s the same sheep. He might have a couple of them in there.
I can feel my wife staring at me. A torrent of abuse usually follows such a stare. I close my eyes and await my punishment. This was not the kind of bonding I had hoped for.
No alcohol remains.
To be continued...
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