A remade Monopoly misses its mark. But if you want to know how things really work, play on
Compiled by Steve Schneider, Edward Erikson Jr. and Liz Langley
You know your community has arrived when it's immortalized in its own edition of the classic board game "Monopoly." But the just-released "Orlando Edition" of the Parker Brothers favorite (marketed under the "USAopoly" imprint) is an utterly unrecognizable, two-dimensional representation of actual O-town life. A pure product of corporate sponsorship, its board space is taken up entirely by big-bucks facilities and concerns, leaving no room for the humbler, quainter experiences that fill most of our lives. (The omission of Wally's Tavern alone is inexcusable). So allow us to posit a more useful, on-the-money alternative.
One player is chosen to be the bank, hereinafter referred to as "First Union." He (for it must be a he, and a white he to boot) is in charge of allocating all cash, distributing houses and hotels, and translating ATM readouts into Spanish.
Each player starts out with one year's worth of a minimum-wage salary, a SAG card, and a heart full of youthful hopes and dreams (which may be traded for one house at any time). Playing pieces are chosen from among the following: Lymmo, palmetto bug, handgun, football helmet, mouse ears, Mears shuttle, Shamu, basketball sneaker, and Carrot Top. The game then begins, with a typical player's progress going like this:
Move 1 -- Select Lymmo as your piece. After three turns, discover to your dismay that it can only move two spaces into the board. Agree to purchase Mears shuttle from another player for a ridiculously high sum. Wait two hours for it to arrive, then proceed.
Move 2 -- Advance to South OBT. Collect lap dance from player to your right. Pay $10 for the dance, then another $10 for the overpriced non-alcoholic beverage he/she demands that you buy for him/her/it.
Move 3 -- Leaving South OBT space, you're stopped by hooded Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation squad. Go to Jail.
Move 4 -- Attempt to get out of Jail by rolling doubles. Swiftly realize that this is futile, as you've been playing with single, six-sided die left over from "Club Z Edition" of vampire role-playing game.
Move 5 -- Pay $100 to First Union to get out of Jail. Advance to "Chance." Draw card: "American Gladiator kicks your scrawny ass. Pay $150 to Winter Park Hospital."
Move 6 -- Opposing player with the most liquid assets announces she's running for mayor. You mull a challenge, then opt out when you remember you were severely penalized in a previous game for distributing roofies to creditors in lieu of rent payments.
Move 7 -- Advance to Free Parking. Pay $1. If disabled, pay $2.
Move 8 -- On his turn, player to your left draws "Chance" card naming him to Code Enforcement Bureau. Despite full meter, your piece is towed. Pay $50 to get it back, minus the Erykah Badu cassettes you had stored in the glove compartment.
Move 9 -- Player to your second left is caught loitering on Orange Avenue at midnight. All players under the age of 18 go to Jail. You're 33, so you're let off with a warning.
Move 10 -- Caught speeding. Advance to Improv Comedy Traffic School. Throw up at sight of crash footage. Comedian then takes the stage. Vomit again. Unexpected windfall: Puking twice is considered "rolling doubles," so you graduate without paying fee.
Move 11 -- Player across from you plummets to his death from Church Street Station railing. Collect $300 and free order of conch fritters from Sloppy Joe's.
Move 12 -- Chance: "You contract encephalitis. MetLife refuses coverage. Pay First Union $1000 to drain head."
Move 13 -- Advance to Mark Two Dinner Theater. Oldest player suffers stroke. Collect whatever's in his pockets.
Move 14 -- Gentrification wipes out Winter Park slums. Revert all houses (but not hotels) owned to First Union.
Move 15 -- Richest player elected mayor in one-woman race. Immediately begins playing "footsie" under the table with player acting as First Union.
Move 16 -- Adolescent opposing player lands on your space. You own one home on the property, so you shoot the "predator" and collect $50 reward.
Move 17 -- SAG card gets you job at Universal Studios. Collect $1 for every hot dog sold.
Move 18 -- Land on State Road 436 during daylight hours. Miss six turns.
Move 19 -- Advance to Celebration. Attempt to purchase house. Submit three years' tax returns, your golf handicap and DNA sample. Get put on waiting list.
Move 20 -- Community Chest: "You are named winner in Miss Apopka Foliage beauty pageant. Pay $200 for dental repairs."
Move 21 -- Player owning Lockheed Martin facility initiates missile testing. Remit two houses and one real property to First Union.
Move 22 -- Land on Orlando Arena space during a Predators game. Show us yer tits!
Move 23 -- Advance to Gatorland. Lean too far over railing, losing arm to hungry reptile. Columbia refuses coverage; pay $500 or remaining limb to Adventist Health System.
Move 24 -- Frustrated by lack of construction options on her downtown properties, player acting as mayor Krazy-Glues two hotels and Palmetto Bug together, terming result "Performing Arts Center." Rent: $5,000. Pool resources with other players to pay for long-distance call to Parker Brothers rules line.
Move 25 -- Carrot Top lands on space you already occupy. Take everything he owns. Not because the rules say you can, but because he's so damned annoying.
Move 26 -- Advance to Terror on Church Street. Avoid paying rent to owner by arguing that it's not a location, but a state of mind.
Move 27 -- Arrested for jaywalking downtown. Go to Jail. Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go Lounge. Do not collect spare change.
Move 28 -- Attempt to use "Get out of Jail free" card is thwarted when it mysteriously turns up in the possession of player convicted of calling out a hit on his wife. Pick up soap.
Move 29 -- Still in Jail, you're beaten to death by enraged listeners of Real Radio 104.1's Russ & Bo. Game over.