Monopoly: Letting Style Standards Slip?

The Man From The Hornet writes…

I have just returned from holiday in the great country of Greece where I reacquainted myself with the great game of Monopoly.

(I realise, gentle reader, that this may seem a tad insensitive, gauche even – playing the great capitalist board game in the middle of such a fiscal calamity, in Greece of all places. Oops.)

The set upon which I rediscovered the pleasures of greed and familial bad feeling was a travel set picked up at the airport called Grab & Go Monopoly. And an economical (no pun intended) little thing it is, too. The board folds out and doubles as a box for the tiny money and title deeds.

Monopoly 1

One complaint, however. There was no top hat.

When playing Monopoly I ALWAYS go the top hat.

Monopoly 2

If someone should beat me to the top hat I will go to my threefold Plan B – the first part of which is never to speak again, for as long as I live to the person who has taken MY top hat.

Part two of Plan B is to go the thimble – it is at least associated with style and the rag trade.

Monopoly 3

If someone has taken the thimble, I take a deep breath, alter my Christmas card list accordingly and plump for Plan B Part three: the iron. Once again, it is a faintly clobber-related piece.

Monopoly 4

(What, you might ask, if the iron has been taken? Well I would imagine that things would take a bit of a Cleudo turn at this point, only with no mystery: the murderer would be me, the location the bank with the murder weapon being the pointy end of a toy plastic hotel. What a way to go.)

But I digress.

Not only was the top hat absent from the playing pieces… But there was no thimble… Nor was there an iron.

And so it was with a heavy heart that I went on to dominate the game (with the Scottie Dog as my playing piece), winning with my trademark bad grace, thus besmirching much of the holiday with Monopoly-bred resentment and bad feeling.

I had a thoroughly wonderful time.

But despite this upside, my heart remained heavy. Is it emblematic of the 21st century’s slipping standards of style that the top hat or indeed anything related to fine tailoring no longer plays a part in the game of Monopoly?

Dear Mr Waddington or Mr Hasbro (or Mr Parker in the U.S) if you are reading this, please can we have the top hat reinstated to the Grab & Go edition of your wonderful board game? I believe the stylish future of the nation – if not the world – depends on it.

This Autumn, here on this blog, The Man From the Hornet will conduct a guided tour of the London Monopoly board from a stylish perspective beginning next week with Whitechapel and Old Kent Road.


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