In a ploy that is bound to enrage wheelbarrow enthusiasts worldwide, Monopoly manufacturer Hasbro has recently announced that they are axing one of the eight longtime game tokens in favor of a new piece: a cat.
A cat with an IQ of 300 who knows how to purchase vacant lots in Atlantic City.
Well, Hasbro hasn't officially chosen a new piece, but the selection process relies on Internet voting, so of course it's going to be the goddamn cat. Also, there are no write-in candidates, much to the chagrin of some.
As for the rest of Hasbro's potential tokens, all of them are distinctly un-Monopoly-ish. The guitar, helicopter, and robot are totems of modernity, baubles out of place in a boardwalk-and-flophouse pocket dimension where technology peaked with the invention of Howdy Doody.
The diamond ring similarly doesn't jibe with us. We always assumed that Monopoly players were tacitly supposed to be scheming vagabonds, mugging vacationers for their Chance cards using irons and thimbles and old boots in a contest to become the God of Slumlords.
At least you can throw the cat at people.
The truth is that Monopoly pieces represent absolutely bupkis, as they originated as charm bracelet trinkets. But what if Hasbro instead proposed five tokens that actually epitomized the Monopoly-playing experience, what with its ups and downs and glaring lack of due process? We think they'd look a little something like this.
#5. The Rope from Clue
The rope symbolizes the human inability to maintain a full Monopoly set at any given time. If you're anything like us, hotels and property cards somehow disappear from the box for reasons that can only be chalked up to poltergeists. This leads to some truly regrettable stopgap solutions. We will never forget the time that Battleship peg erected a magnificent Cheeto at Marvin Gardens.
#4. Gimli, Son of Gloin
The pewter Gimli token stands in for the gobs of licensed editions of Monopoly, which apply the wheelings and dealings of South Jersey real-estate tycoons circa 1935 to such deliciously fictional destinations as the Dagobah system, John Arbuckle's house, and Cologne, Germany. (Side note: Our Lord of the Rings Monopoly and Risk sets share a common Tupperware container. We have no idea what game we're playing anymore.)
#3. The Flip-Flap Railway
The Flip-Flap Railway was an Atlantic City boardwalk attraction in the early 1900s and an antecedent of the modern roller coaster. A piece representing the Flip-Flap Railway would imbue Monopoly with further historical flavor and -- as this loop-de-loop gave its riders whiplash -- warn novice players that Monopoly is fun in theory but godawful in practice.
#2. A Vintage Nudist Magazine
In every game of Monopoly, there's inevitably the poor bastard who lands on either Water Works or Luxury Tax for three hours straight. The wise player considers this eventuality and picks this token, a tiny scale recreation of a real old-timey naturist periodical. Let those other jerks trade cuss words and dark secrets for Park Place and B&O Railroad. You're staying cool, ogling naked dames and dudes shucking oysters (or doing whatever was sexy during the Hoover administration).
#1. The Radium Suppository
The choice of the Machiavellian power gamer, this is an actual FDA-unapproved radium suppository from the 1930s. Should you encounter an impasse 23 hours into the game, you can prove your maniac resolve by shoving this game piece -- a toxic "virility-boosting" pellet -- up your own asshole. Be forewarned that this is a risky strategy, as it may inspire stubborn opponents to cram their race cars and top hats up their rectums. Should this occur, A) you'll have to break out the Cheetos again and B) you're definitely not playing Monopoly anymore.
You can find Cyriaque Lamar on Twitter.