Monday, August 10, 2009

A Monopoly On Education

I did my bit to help out the economy today.

Not on my own behalf, mind you - there were no shiny things made out of pure shiny with a shiny coating and some awesome on the side, nor were there piles of books to be lugged home and stacked up and worked through one at a time until my eyes glazed over and I fell into a deep and self-satisfied coma. That sort of thing only happens in my dreams, and frankly not often even there. I need better dreams.

No, the girls and I went store-hopping looking for school supplies.

Yes, I said it: school supplies. Because Not Bad President Elementary opens its doors in earnest on September 1 this year, and this is only three short weeks away. Because we have had two lists of things to send our children back to NBPE with stuck onto the refrigerator since May and I got tired of seeing the fridge list at such an angle. Because even in Wisconsin, a state known throughout the Union for the quality of its public schools, there is still a large group of people in government and out who think all that edumacashun stuff is just for left-leaning wine-drinking non-faith-based elitists and by gum if they approved enough money for the schools it would only encourage them to keep going and get some learnin' in 'em and start thinking for themselves and questioning things and we just can't have that now can we?


I don't remember having to do this when I was a kid. Of course, I don't remember a lot of things that happened when I was a kid so that might not mean much.

So we bought pencils and erasers, Markers, notebooks, paper, glue and rulers. Kleenex. Wet wipes. Backpacks. And more than a few other items.

No guns, though. The state legislator who spent most of his career trying to arm the teachers finally got voted out last year, and we saw no need to have the girls pack heat in self-defense after that.

Honestly, the depths of stupidity some people will vote for.

With all this behind us, I figured we needed some entertainment. So we wandered over to the entertainment section of our local ColossalMart and purchased a Monopoly game.

I know. It came as something of a shock to me that we didn't already have one of those, but there it is.

When I was a kid, the neighborhood gang - me, Nick, Kate, and occasionally Keith, Kirsten or Matt - would gather together for Monopoly games that would last for days. I think it was Nick's set, but we'd set up all over the neighborhood and play until we got called home for dinner, and then pick up the next day, and sometimes the next. Nick, being the oldest, usually won (come to think of it, he was also the banker; hmmmmmm....) but we had a great time anyway. Greed, competition, bankruptcy - what's not to love?

So we came home and set up a game.

Do you know they still make the tokens out of metal? So. Freaking. Cool.

Tabitha took the dog piece. Lauren got the ship. I was the thimble. And around the board we went. The girls actually have quite a knack for this game, which sort of scares me in a way though I imagine it will come in handy when they are paying for my retirement home. By the time we put the game away it was not at all clear who would win - my previously strong position having eroded considerably, while Lauren was holding steady and Tabitha had rebounded from near bankruptcy to full plutocratic power.

Saved by the dinner bell from the economic clout of my own children.

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