Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Monopoly Man And I Flee For Our Lives

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

A guy can get tired of running. But then again, a guy doesn't want to get killed by those who are chasing him, so he finds the strength. Roger and I were running once again, this time from a frenzied mob of amusement park patrons down the five and a half mile boardwalk. I chose the boardwalk for the traction.

Roger had spent his life, money and countless surgeries trying to look like the Monopoly man, and now with the anti-trust movement at its murderous apex he was nothing but trouble. You would have thought, with those short little legs, I could have easily outpaced him and left him to the dogs, but the little freak was enhanced with glands that weren't meant for you and me, and though I ran like hell, I couldn't shake him. I had to find some new friends.

"I don't understand it," Roger said. "Atlantic City is my hometown. They should love me here."

"Atlantic City is the Monopoly Man's hometown, Roger. You're from Wichita!"

There was some extra commotion behind us. I think the combined weight of our pursuers was too much for the flexing planks we drummed across and some of them had broken through. There would be injuries and chaos. Good.

But more of them came, and once we hit the concrete there was no slowing them down.

"They're going to kill us, Roger!" I screamed. "We're screwed!"

"The Hell you say!" Roger said. "I know how to deal with the little people, my boy." And with that he reached into his topcoat, pulled out scads of pastel paper and threw them over his shoulder.

"That's Monopoly money, you jackass!"

"Of course it is, lad. The most recognized money in the world." He kept throwing money. I started to hope that they'd catch us, just so the last sight I'd ever see would be the crowd tearing him to pieces. There was a roar behind us and to my shock, the idiots pounced on the play money and forgot we even existed.

With the sun setting over the ocean, Roger and I stumbled into a hotel as soon as the mob was out of sight. The place was pretty posh, one of those mid-twenty-first century models cast whole in red plastic with a nod to Art Deco. The night was wonderful, an unending river of Martinis and cigars, punctuated with twelve courses of the finest food the Eastern seaboard had to offer.

The next day at check-out, the bill knocked Roger senseless. It seems that those socialist lunatics that chased us a day earlier pooled the money Roger had thrown them and bought up all the properties on the boardwalk including our hotel. They'd even had enough to buy Park Place. The bill they laid on us broke poor Roger. Like it was yesterday, I can still see him standing there with his out-turned pockets and pleading expression. I bought his top hat, mostly out of pity, though I did look pretty ritzy in it. With the money, he had enough for a sandwich and a bottle of ripple. Last I heard he was squatting in a little green house over on Baltic.


Glenn said...

It's "Wichita" (without the 't'). Sounds like the mob got out of jail free. :-)

Matthew Sanborn Smith said...

Oops! Thanks for the save, Glenn! I just fixed it. - Matt