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Shipping the wheelbarrow back to Baltic Ave.

January 13, 2013
By WES BURNS - Copy Editor (wburns@timesrepublican.com) , Times-Republican

There were no childhood arguments ever as intense as arguing about a board game.

There were arguments with your siblings about who got to ride in the front seat and who, exactly, put an empty carton of milk back in the refrigerator.

It was me. I put the empty carton back. I still do that.

There were arguments with your friends about what best/worst movie/TV show/ comic book/video game and there were arguments about just what to do regarding this life threatening boredom.

But all of these confrontations could be litigated down to a simple skirmish with enough time and/or Nesquik. Not so with the a board game argument.

Did a friend just hit you with a Skip-Skip-Draw 4 in UNO? Looks like somebody better start looking for a new friend! Did you accidently spring the Mouse Trap of Mouse Trap fame too early? I guess I'll have to "accidently" get you deported. Knock over the tiki head in Fireball Island? Then you are dead to me forever!

A fiery aside: I don't care if no one but me remembers Fireball Island. It was awesome and you should hold your childhood cheap for never having played it.

And there was no greater argument then "which piece was MY Monopoly piece."

Fortunately my sister Charity always liked the Dog, and me, being a fan of the Battleship, there was little need for arguing. But it is to my understanding that piece preference has led to more than one argument/fist fight/prison term.

But now Hasbro, proud makers of Monopoly and Ouija boards (Really? Still?) has decided to "spice up" their flagship board game by letting that most literate and educated populous of Facebook (if you don't 'like' my pic of kittens then all the kittens will die! Do you hate kittens?) decide which piece of the classic set of eight will be dropped and what new/terrible piece will take its place.

For a quick refresher here is the list of pieces as it currently stands: a battleship, iron, racecar, Scottie dog, shoe, thimble, top hat and wheelbarrow.

Right off the bat I can tell you that Battleship isn't going anywhere. And not just because of my personal preference; this is 21st century America. We've got two wars past the 10 year mark, guns for teachers and epaulettes on all the hipster shirts; things aren't getting less militant any time soon.

And the dog is safe too. Nobody ever votes out a dog, although I was unaware that the dog had a proper name.

Shoe? Not interesting enough to be voted for or against. It should make it through the cut fine.

Thimble? I have always been on the belief that the Thimble was included as an accident and was, in fact, just a regular thimble.

Top hat? Nothing says "I wish I was rich" like Monopoly and nothing says "rich" quite like a top hat.

Obviously, the answer is wheelbarrow. Do people even use those anymore? Maybe at some artisanal beet farm, but that's about it.

Of course, there is a good argument to be made against Iron. For starters, it isn't even a modern iron. There is no plug-in or extension cord, just a piece of iron that you would have to set in ... fire, I?guess ... until it was warm enough to press your trousers in time to return to your 20 hour shift at the steel mill.

Not exactly modern.

So what will be taking the place of the Iron? The list of options are robot, helicopter, guitar, diamond ring and cat.

You just HAD to put Cat on the list, didn't you Hasbro? Has your super Ouija board powers not divined the outcome of ANY election held on the Internet where one of the options is "Cat?"

So now the Kittygensia gets to spam out Hasbro's Facebook page with votes for the Cat piece, all the while reducing the Robot lobby to a mere whimper. Great.

Just one more way for a board game to lead to bloodshed. I wish I could fireball this whole contest right off the island.

---

Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or wburns@timesrepublican.com.

 
 

 

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