True stories with a twist!


If there is one board game that is familiar to most of us, it is the game of Monopoly. Legions of stories are told and retold by elders in families about their experiences with the game. I remember as a small child watching my older cousins play Monopoly for hours at a time. It’s a game that teaches the lesson of changing luck and changing leaders. One person might be winning but then lands on a property with a hotel. The rent the player must pay can bankrupt him. And so, fortunes are made and lost in the course of a game.

While thinking about the game I thought about how it could be used for better and more interesting reasons than playing Monopoly as a pastime. What if there were a way to include world leaders in an international game of Monopoly?

Here’s how it would work:

A world-wide Monopoly game is played between Democratic countries and Dictatorships. 

The audience is assembled. Pulses race. Blood pressure rises just below the stroke level. A great deal rides on the results of this game. 

A dice toss allows the country with the highest score of the dice to begin. Assuring all other nations that there is no collusion, Russia goes first, chooses the dog as his marker, and advances to Park Place. As one of the two most expensive properties on the board, Putin snaps it up. Dreams of glory and victory show on his greedy face as he immediately buys and places a hotel on Park Place. Now he hungers for it’s sister property, Boardwalk. If he owns two properties of the same color, a marker landing on one of the properties must pay double the rent.

Although President Trump thought it would be a difficult concept for Putin to get involved in a capitalist themed game, Vladimir accepts the challenge of wheeling and dealing instead of his usual style of paying and accepting bribes. He continues the game, wanting to make sure that he is not accused of collusion.

Bashir Assad throws the dice next and lands in jail: a harsh joke to most of the world glued to the action. Thousands of fans watching the game hoped to see this happen in reality; not only in a board game.

Now it’s Theresa May’s turn at the dice, and she lands on “Pay Taxes,” a subtle reminder of England’s debt to the United States during World War Two. And Brexit.

Although it is Mexico’s turn, there seems to be some confusion about which warlord has the right to represent their country in the competition, with El Chapo still in jail. Nobody is bold enough to step forward to claim his turn at the Monopoly Board. El Chapo has claimed his right to represent Mexico. Nobody dares to step in and challenge him.

Then Benjamin Netanyahu fixes his jaw into a rigid grimace to show the world who’s the boss. And spins two sixes. He lands on “Pass Go, collect $200.00.” He can use that money to add to his defense budget, as he rolls again. What luck; to have a second chance because he spun two sixes; a double, his first time up. He moves ahead to the first of the Railroads, which he snaps up immediately. He’ll be able to use railroads to connect some of the settlements being built on the west bank.

The Arab countries, in  a rare show of unity, pool their chances by joining together on the same team for a singular turn of the dice. They are so fierce and angry as they throw the dice that the dice hit the table with force, bounce up, and disappear in secret corners of the room. The arabs had been told about how to throw the dice, but they insisted on doing it their way. It was hard to force them to listen to the rules. They broke the rules of the game the way they break treaties.

New to the game is Kim Jong Un. He chose the airplane as his marker. Kim was disappointed that there were no atomic missiles to choose. The other country’s representatives didn’t want to anger Kim, because nobody wanted to take the chance of being poisoned at the airport on their way home.

The dice continue to rule how many squares the players may move ahead. The game continues, and as the tension mounts, the world awaits more news about the progress of the game. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, requests an immediate  cease fire, and the world awaits with baited breath. Putin refuses to leave the board, Kim Jong Un insists on keeping his airplane marker, Assad demands an immediate release from jail, Netanyahu decreases his military budget, Trump says,”I told you so, and the Arabs are still looking for the dice.

Comments on: "MONOPOLY" (37)

  1. Phenomenal…
    Clever and informed, it sounds so much like the game that’s being played.
    Great stuff.

    I love the comments it generated too.

    I’m not sure if it’s true, but I heard that when Trump had his turn, he filed
    bankruptcy to keep from paying the window washer.

    • Thank you for your kind comment. As for the “gossipy” story about not wanting to pay his window washer, that seems like a far way to go to for an excuse of not paying his bill. On the other hand our president doesn’t seem to mind going a long way to achieve any of his goals…

  2. I’m thinking this game is rigged because Trump already owns all the properties on the board. They’re just in trust while he’s president. Make Monopoly great again!

  3. Jerry Warshaw said:

    UPDATE: Trump tried to buy the entire board. However, with questionable assets, nobody would sell or succumb to his rants. He then tried to buy Boardwalk, until Stormy exposed him for what he did under the boardwalk. Then he threatened to acquire Park Place until all the hotels took his name off the buildings. Finally he was left with Go To Jail, and Mueller said he is working on it.
    Jerry Warshaw

  4. Wow Ronnie, you certainly came up with an interesting idea of World leaders and Monopoly, do you think they could come to some agreement first on who actually gets to throw the dice first ?, I can envisage a World War breaking out over Old Kent Road and a couple of Pubs.
    Kind regards, entertaining post Ronnie

    • That’s a story for another post! Glad you enjoyed the fun of what it would be like if world leaders got together for a competitive game. That would be a better solution than sending young men into battle, wouldn’t it?

  5. Helen R. Carey said:

    Ronnie, you have an awesome mind. What an analogy- how do you think of this? Loved the piece as I do all of yours.

  6. Arrgh IF ONLY! Ronnie.. I would have leaders head to head everytime.. Instead they play the game of Chess with us as Pawns..

    Great analogy… 🙂

  7. Brilliant concept – I loved your post. Question – what happened when Prez Donald had his turn? or did I miss something?

  8. Gaye Fulton said:

    Brilliant! How do you do it?

  9. A fascinating concept. I wonder if my grandmother would have sat it out. She always accidentally knocked the board over when she saw no hope of a satisfactory outcome (for her)

  10. Ronnie, I love this! I think you’ve so uniquely tapped into a way of diffusing the angst of watching the world leaders in all of their chaos. It often feels like an international game with such incredible consequences that I sometimes, although watching closely, can’t keep everything straight. If they were all on a game board it might actually help! 🙂 You’re so clever!

  11. Harvey Hammer said:

    I think there is a message from President Macron.he wanted to know if you ran out of markers,because he can’t imagine France being left out of a game of Interenationsl monopoly?
    Maybe this issue requires an emergency meeting of the UN special committee on monopoly?

  12. Clever, Ronnie. Would be fun to watch.

  13. Scariest game of Monopoly ever.

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