We spent half the night playing Monopoly. We haven’t enjoyed the board game in quite a while and last night’s game was boisterous and full of asaran.
We would have started playing after lunch but Sam didn’t get up until around 2.00 p.m. (she spends her nights watching DVDs). Then, it was time to prepare the evening meal and the game got postponed again. After dinner, we finally laid out the board on our bed, turned on the aircon and started playing.
You may need to have a working knowledge of the rules of the game to understand this entry but I’ll try my best to make it comprehensible even for those who have never played Monopoly.
The object of this very capitalist game is to accumulate as much properties as you can, build houses or hotels, if you can manage it. Each player starts with equal amounts of cash. The dice are rolled and the player has the option of buying the property where the dice land or open it for bidding. The prices of the properties differ according to their locations. Hence, one player may be able to buy more lower-valued properties or less higher-valued properties. It all depends on the player’s strategy.
If a player lands on a property already owned by another, he has to pay rent.
Once a player has bought all the properties in a block, he can start buying houses. The more houses on a property, the higher the rent. When a player has accumulated four houses on any given property, he may opt to buy a hotel with the four houses plus cash. A hotel jacks up the rent dramatically.
My strategy was to go for the mid-priced properties. Once I have bought all the properties in a block, I started buying houses. I was able to buy up two mid-priced blocks and one low-priced block.
Speedy’s strategy was to go for the highest-priced properties. Alex was buying up the utilities. I didn’t know what Sam’s strategy was. Well, except that she participated in each and every bidding — not really buying but only to jack up the prices so that the winner would end up paying more than necessary.
So, it came to a point where I had three hotels and more than a dozen houses. What can I say? I was relentless; I always play to win, games or real life. Every time they landed on any of my hotels, they had to pay a thousand dollars rent. Pretty soon, Alex and Sam were bankrupt. Since they could no longer pay rent, I started to accept payment in kind. They paid with their property deeds.
Then, we reached a point when they were running out of properties. I started giving them my deeds. I gave Sam the deeds to three properties (that’s an entire block and all the properties had two houses each). Alex owed me 950 dollars in rent and couldn’t pay so I loaned her two utilities — the electric and water companies — and told her to use the rent to raise cash and she could pay me when she had enough profits.
See, I realized that you can own all the properties and still come out the loser. If everyone else was bankrupt, what would I do with all the properties when no one could afford the rent? No one could transact with me anymore. In short, the game would have ended unless I started bailing them out so they could have a second wind.
That was when Speedy started exhibiting those long looks. He wasn’t happy. So, I gave him a free jail pass worth 50 dollars. I mean he owned the most expensive property; I figured he would survive the game.
Then, everyone felt hungry. It was almost midnight and we didn’t have bread. Speedy drove to Pan de Manila while the girls and I prepared everything we’d need to make sandwiches. After the midnight snack, that was when Speedy blurted out, “Madaya ka; may favoritism ka!”
We never finished the game. Maybe we’ll play again tonight.