It turns out, the Internet was right — people like cats.
Some people, anyway. Historically, the issue of feline affection is more divisive than most political elections. But enough people are on the tabby bandwagon to have voted the domestic silvestris into a revered community: Monopoly pieces. Last month, Hasbro opened a public vote to decide which of its original pawns would be ousted, and which of a set of five candidates would be brought on board (pun excessively intended). The results, as of Wednesday morning, have named the cat as Monopoly’s newest addition — beating out a robot (with a mustache!), a diamond ring, a guitar, and a helicopter.
But, more importantly, our focus shifts to the retired veteran: the iron, which is losings its spot among its longtime colleagues (the Scottie dog, the racecar, the top hat, the boot, the battleship, the wheelbarrow, and the thimble — perish the thought that our dear pitted needle safeguard be doomed to oblivion).
For many, the dismissal of the iron marks celebration, highlighting a new, progressive attitude inhabited by the board game — in fact, #LiberalMonopolyPieces began trending on Twitter when the change was announced. But as the iron is cast into the fire, we must look toward a new era of Monopoly. One for which we might not be adequately prepared.
Monopoly serves now as the perfect communion for any diverse family or clique. Suggestions to play are met with a universal, “Yeah, okay,” during middle school sleepover parties or winter getaways when everybody is too tired to go skiing. Everybody’s fine with it, because it has something for everybody. Not the gameplay, necessarily — only your a**hole friend Troy, who always wins despite the fact that he was a freakin’ fine arts major, seems to actually be having fun — but the pieces. More so than your choice of favorite ice cream flavor, summer song, or Ninja Turtle is your go-to Monopoly piece wholly telling of your character.
The Scottie Dog: You’re playful, the heart and soul of the group, more interested in a whimsical adventure around Atlantic City than in any cold-hearted buy-and-sell nonsense.
The Racecar: You’re ambitious, the cutthroat go-getter, the one who’ll probably take the victory via any means necessary (and brandish your company with shame as a result).
The Top Hat: You’re wry, a trickster of sorts, whose skills in Monopoly come from mindgames and a probing understanding of your weak-willed cohorts’ fragile psyches.
The Boot: You’re brutish and determined, but honest to a fault — you’ll vie for the win with hard-work and dedication, rather than deceit and manipulation.
The Battleship: You’re wrathful, tortured, haunted. You’re not out to win, but you are out to make sure your sworn enemy (everybody has one in their group of friends) loses, and you’ll team up with racecars and top hats alike to take down that nefarious jackass you so despise.
The Wheelbarrow: You don’t really know what’s going on. You’re pretty drunk.
The Thimble: You’re weird, and everybody loves you for it. Except maybe battleship, whom might want you dead.
And then there was the iron — the compassionate sort with a clean head on his or her shoulders, one to level the playing field when racecar sped ahead (for the good of the group), one who kept battleship’s warfare in check, one who enabled Scottie dog’s childlike yelps and scampers, one who held wheelbarrow’s hair back during mid-game vomit fits. But now, iron is gone… and we have cat.
And we have to wonder what this might do to the group dynamic. Can those likely to opt for cat uphold the responsibilities of iron’s good nature? Or will cat-choosers, like the featured mammal itself, instead adopt their own brand of cunning, duplicitous, antisocial gameplay (I’m a dog person, sue me), thrusting the entire well-manufactured harmony of Monopoly into chaos?
Fear for your lives, slumber party-goers and cabin vacationers. What was once a marginally fun pastime might now erupt in Armageddon. And here I always thought it’d be Don’t Wake Daddy that’d be our undoing…
[Photo Credit: Steven Senne/AP; Hasbro]