The days when you could collect £10 for winning second prize in a beauty contest are almost done. Hasbro, the maker of Monopoly, is ditching such delights in favour of a new set of sixteen saccharine sweet Community Chest cards designed to satisfy the sensitive younger generation.
The public has been invited to vote for more ‘community minded’ cards which will issue rewards in return for rescuing puppies, helping old people or knitting jackets for hairless cats at the cat shelter. Please pass me a bag to be sick into.
Even the cards that carry penalties possess a sanctimonious edge: Blasting music late at night? Your neighbours do not approve. GO TO JAIL. GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT £200.
While the new cards supposedly represent the public-spirited tide of love that has swept across the nation in response to the pandemic, they’re not really in keeping with the nature of the game which is won by the player who acquires the most property and unrelentingly crushes the opposition with exorbitant rents. Here are my suggestions for new Community Chest cards for the horseracing edition of the post-Covid Monopoly game:
- Kelso Racecourse names a race in honour of your horse Aye Right, the most consistent and fabulously honest steeplechaser in the country. He has lit up the jump racing season for thousands of fans, finishing placed in five races since October, matching strides with great horses like Cyrname, Cloth Cap and Nuts well at venues from Kelso and Wetherby to Cheltenham and Newbury. Collect £50 from each player.
- Covid hits Britain. Pay £40 for every house and £115 for every hotel that is on your racecourse.
- Your jockey is unseated. Pay doctor’s fees of £50.
- You’re able to claim furlough. Collect £20.
- You’re children aren’t allowed to go to school, instead they sit at home tapping away on a tablet. Pay school fees of £100.
- You’ve been vaccinated. Get out of jail free.
- Your horse, The Shunter, wins the bet365 Morebattle Hurdle and then a race at Cheltenham. There’s a bookmaker’s bonus payment in your favour. Collect £100,000.
- The monopoly of Irish winners continues – from the Cheltenham Festival to the Go North Racing Weekend at Musselburgh, Kelso and Carlisle. Your bet on Ceejaythedeejay (this week’s selection), in the Aye Right Appreciation Society National Hunt Flat Race, matures at Kelso on Saturday. Advance to ‘Go’. Collect £200.
- You express a passing interest in judging a beauty competition. You misogynistic dirty old man. GO TO JAIL. GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT £200.