A bubo on the groin

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

And so, Rubber Ducky, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Penguin have recently been inducted into Monopoly’s family of tokens.

As luck would have it–and it often does–Harry, Janet and Becky decided to play Monopoly, and from this unlikely ménage à trois came this story, as rapidly as sputum is ejected from the back of an inflamed throat.

There were the usual pregame festivities, some of which involved a bowl of chip dip and a Victorian corset, but the place for such tittle-tattle is not in an article such as this (try subscribing to Netflix).

After the preliminaries, Janet hurriedly jumped on the chance to be Rubber Ducky (team Government); Harry greedily grabbed Tyrannosaurus Rex (The People), and Becky, a fiery redhead, who desperately wanted to be represented by an hourglass-shaped cerise blob of industrial plastic (she’s team History) had to settle for Penguin–and evidently there was no time to consider the allegorical ramifications afoot.

And, to make matters worse for the reader, Janet is a Democrat, Harry a Republican and Becky an independent. Now that your head is swirling (or feeling as though it has been suddenly pressed in a waffle iron), I endeavor to continue the story.

As with all board games, some board-side banter is inevitable. For example, Harry threw the dice with such vigor that the chaotic cubes ricocheted off the board, knocking over T-Rex in the process, one ending up secreted inside a Ming vase (which was on loan from a local museum–please don’t ask ) and the other in the unlaced corset. And as the search for the dice was underway, the conversation somehow drifted to the news and how the ideal newscaster ought to be a eunuch. But then Harry, soon cashing in on his string of casinos on Park Avenue, exclaimed, in a rather brusque tone, that mainstream news is fake. Strangely though, he believes his lies have the imprimatur of authenticity. Where I come from there’s another term for this assault on reason, but propaganda is such an ugly word.

Granted, some journalism misses the mark. More and more it’s news as told by the Radio City Rockettes or by some peeping Tom in a nice suit. But the choice is between propaganda and ineptitude. I know where I stand.

History suddenly piped up: “Hey, look at me. My truth, sandwiched between two slices of morocco leather, is sacrosanct.”

“Get down from your high horse, corn beef and rye” retorted Janet. “History is viciously penned by the victors. And, by the way, you owe me rent for one mole-infested hotel. Whine about it later, in chapter fifteen, if you still have an agent by then.” Becky ( she’s so sharp) bowed her head in mock-shame.

Between Government’s lies and History ‘s quavering truth, between Scylla and Charybdis, the People must decide. At this point Janet landed on the dreaded GO TO JAIL square. Then, drawing inspiration from Godfather III (available on Netflix), a swat team crashed through the ceiling, but that’s fake news, as this sort of thing only happens in the dodgy realm of fiction.

Janet, it needs be said, was an inveterate smoker and terrible at board games–and notably unlucky with IT: Some time ago the server in her basement contracted a pneumonia, coughed cacophonously, and died in agony shortly thereafter. And even though she’d been designated as banker for the game (must have occurred in the pregame shenanigans), her own wad of Monopoly money was in rapid retreat.

Now GO TO JAIL screamed for Harry, who felt sure he had rolled his last double. His face turned a pale shade of black: “This is such a pain in the aspic, a bubo on the groin.”

A five-alarm fire ended the game abruptly (errant matches and corsets do not make such good partners).

Will the Phoenix rise from the ashes?


  1. If you can type Scylla and Charybdis without having to check the spelling then I’m in awe. I too know what side I’m on, and it comes from having Fox News the only channel that’s on my tele. In fact I didn’t know the NZ PM was having a baby until after the event – I so live in my head where I’m not living… (And I’m not the father that I remember). For dinner tonight we are having hamburgers and French fries and apple pie to celebrate our Dependence. Incidentally, your game of Monopoly was one of the best things I’ve read all year. (You could replace Charles Krauthammer.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • There is talk of independence on the rock too (we are a British Overseas Territory). My view is that any territory that cannot feed itself should not be waving the independence flag. We import everything and export nothing (except for brilliant writers, of course).

      A man with one watch always knows what time it is. I think it’s like that with television channels too.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t have a watch – but fortunately there’s a clock in the car that’s useful if something more specific than “on the hour” is called for. You posit a sensible criteria for independence (even applies to a child leaving home…)
        Is the poet Edward Braitwaite from where you are, or have I got my rocks in a tangle?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Right profession, wrong rock. Now you can appreciate why my seeds are sometimes sent to Burma, Barbados, Burundi. Hell, the world is a big place and there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of the letter B.

        Liked by 1 person

      • There’s no country beginning with a W, since Western Samoa dropped the Western. I know this because I cook a recipe each fortnight from an alphabetical list of countries – it’s one of the many silly things I do to fill in time while awaiting an event which will reduce me to the potency of matter.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Bruce Goodman, waiting for Godot, pots and pans in hand.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. ‘as rapidly as sputum is ejected from the back of an inflamed throat.’ – I might steal the opposite of this as an analogy, so inform your lawyers right now, all complaints to my solicitor; Ms Chastity Belter.

    You’ve hit the nail on this one Prospero dear, it’s sharp as a pin! It didn’t come up in my feed, so I missed it until a couple of days ago, a thousand gigalleon zoonish apologies.

    – Esme lacing the corset upon the Cloud

    Liked by 2 people

    • Being a botanist at heart, I am well versed in anaphrodisiacs, such as Vitex agnus-castus, the so-called chaste tree or monk’s pepper (obviously a reference to Thelonious Sphere Monk), and so your loose talk of loose corsets has little effect upon me, dear Esmeralda.

      Interestingly, the libido-crushing effect of the tree is unproven by the teams of men and women in lab coats who, in order to pay the rent, do the important work of verifying claims (or fake-work in this post truth era) and may have to recant. In other words, I would not expect it wouldn’t–a sort of double negative there.

      I’m also wondering out loud if Immanuel Kant ever had to recant. But since there is no need of philosophy in 2018 (mindless videos on YouTube have usurped erstwhile disciplines) I shall shoot the idea in the head with a legally obtained pistol.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve given you all a bag of likes each to take home and suck, suckers…heh heh…that’s a joke. Hey P, how are you, P? I was thinking about you and this is the latest post – so I suppose you died some point in August, sunshine on your chiselled cheekbones. I miss you,

    Liked by 3 people

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