OK folks, we are playing for civic pride today – and the game is Monopoly.
The toy company Hasbro, which apparently bought Parker Bros. some time ago, has announced it will issue a new version of the property trading board game later this year in honor of its 80th birthday.
But “Monopoly Here & Now” will feature U.S. cities on the property spaces instead of old standards like St. Charles Place and Illinois Avenue.
And as of today, the Holy City doesn’t even rate a Get Out of Jail Free card.
According to Hasbro, Charleston is currently No. 36 out of 60 cities under consideration, which is a great insult to the crown jewel of the East Coast, the Belle of the South.
How can the most popular tourist destination in the Milky Way galaxy not be part of its most popular board game?
Of course, the game, because it requires the use of dice, is technically illegal under South Carolina law.
Sure, some cities – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta and Phoenix – have a bit of a voting advantage. But the laws in this election are every bit as liberal as the conservatives have warned: anyone can vote as many times as they want.
Obviously that’s how Wichita and Milwaukee are faring so well.
The voting ends March 4, so it’s time for us to do a little ballot-box stuffing – just to make sure the country knows Charleston is a real player and not that stupid, discontinued iron token.
Get to www.voteMonopoly.com and start clicking.
Charleston really deserves to be more than one of 22 property spaces in a game – we should have our own version of Monopoly.
We’ve got the streets for it – East Battery for Boardwalk, Murray Boulevard for Park Place. Meeting, King and Queen could be the green properties.
Fill in your own joke for Baltic Avenue.
And if somebody bought Mayor Joe Riley a monocle, he could be our Mr. Monopoly.
Of course, there would have to be a few changes to the rules in Charleston Monopoly, you know, to more accurately reflect our unique customs.
For instance, some spaces would be designated marsh land and could not be developed — unless the player agreed to conserve another space.
The game must include more than one cannon token for our players, or there is liable to be a fight.
And a player could put as many houses on James Island as he or she wants. Obviously.
King Street could not be developed with houses or hotels, just bars. But if you land on the space during happy hour, you’d get a discount from the owner.
And after midnight, the space is closed.
If a player lands on Fort Sumter, they are allowed to start their own game — but lose all their property on the original board. The player would be allowed to spend the next 150 years carping about it.
And obviously we wouldn’t need that space for “Free Parking,” seeing as how we don’t have any.
There also would need to be a few changes to the Chance and Community Chest cards as well, things that might seem strange to people from off.
A few suggestions:
“Arrested for being an unlicensed tour guide – Pay $900.”
“Take a ride on the Best Friend Railroad. If you pass Go, collect $200. In six months, your boiler will explode.”
“Your drawing of a duck just won second place at SEWE – Collect $50 from each player.”
“You just placed 28,575th in the Cooper River Bridge Run – Pay $40 for the privilege.”
“Carried a plastic cup of wine outside during Art Walk – Go to Jail, go directly to jail.”
There are obviously issues of greater importance in this community, but every now and then folks just need to do something silly – and it’s too cold to stand around in a public park drinking this weekend. So why not get on the Internet and vote for Charleston to gain a little more national notoriety?
But if we end up winning a spot on the Monopoly Here & Now Board, somebody has to call Hasbro. Tell them the color of our space is subject to approval by the Board of Architectural Review.
Reach Brian Hicks at email@example.com.