As Long As You're Under My Roof, You'll Play By My Monopoly RulesCommentary • Opinion • products • parents • kids • ISSUE 43•28 ISSUE 41•38 • Sep 21, 2005 By Fritz Becker Fritz Becker Son, enough of these complaints, all right? You're old enough to know by now that I'm in charge of this family, and anytime someone lands on a Chance space, they pay me $150. When you're 18, you can move out and call the shots, but as long as you're living under my roof and participating in my family board-game night, you'll play by my Monopoly rules.Let's get a few things straight, shall we? As long as I draw breath, you will never be the banker. I'm the banker because I'm your father, and as long as I'm the one payingand passing outthe bills in this family, you will do as I say. When you can afford to buy your own home Monopoly set, you can be the race car. But for now, your older sister is the dog, your mother is the iron, and I am the race car. You can either be the thimble or the old shoe. You can't be the top hat. That's for Grandpa. And don't ask to be the wheelbarrow. No son of mine will ever be the wheelbarrow. I have my reasons. I know your friends pay $400 if you land directly on Go, but in my house, you will either pass Go and make $200, or you will make nothing.The Community Chest will never be part of our game, son, and no amount of pouting is going to change that. The idea of a Community Chest has never sat well with me, and when I became old enough to make my own Monopoly rules, I did away with it. Don't bother looking for the cards, either, because I destroyed them shortly after your mother and I got married. It will all make sense to you when you're older. In the meantime, there will be no Community Chest cards in this house! Except, of course, for the "get out of jail free" cards, which go to me. And what kind of real-estate-trading game forces a player to keep the same number of houses on properties of the same color group? If that was true in real life, why, there would be a luxury hotel right next door to us. If a thriving tycoon wants two houses on Park Place and four on Boardwalk, then he should be allowed. That is, if he has a special relationship with the bank, as I do. I've said many times, I can't abide by the idleness encouraged by the Free Parking space. If you're going to sleep on the job, then there's no reason why I must pay rent to you. The real-estate business requires round-the-clock vigilance. I swear, you're the only one who complains about it. Maybe next time you land on Free Parking, I should teach you a lesson and seize all your properties, as I do when you land in jail. You think that's unfair? Well, if you'd simply pay the $50 fine immediately, you'd get them all back. I've told you this time and time again. You jailbirds think you can beat the system by rolling doubles, that's your problem. Well, that might work in casinos or back alleys, but not in the world of finance gaming. Not as long as you're under my roof. I don't care how the "other kids" play Monopoly. If they played Scrabble with all the vowel tiles intact, does that mean you'd go off and do the same thing? Of course not. Son, listen to what I'm about to say, because it's for your own good: For now and always, we play Monopoly one way, and that is my way. Why? Because it's more fun, goddammit.