anthony is a rabid monopoly player. how much does anthony like monopoly you ask? well, every day my kids get a dad hour with me (technically, it's more like 45 minutes on the weekdays because there just isn't enough hours in the evening given the number of family members i have). in your dad hour you get to say what you and your dad (me) will do to spend the time.
here are what people usually pick, in the order of prevalence.
- multiplayer minecraft--one of our own maps or a public server (blocking dead!!!, galaxy wars!!!!!!)
- throw the football or play four-square
- watch clone wars
marty (yes, marty gets a dad hour too, what kinda fool do you take me for?)
- watch a show (e.g. lost, x-files, freaks and geeks)
- go for a bike ride.
- trade it in for going to bed early (she's remarkable on many dimensions)
- have me clean the kitchen
- watch an episode of the office (we're far from caught up)
- sit about and talk
regarding monopoly, anthony is a fierce competitor. he knows a load about strategy and technique. his uncle taught him how to play when we were on a full family vacation last summer in michigan. they played one of the first nights, and after anthony got a taste, he prompted a game get pulled together every night of the weeklong trip ("we playing tonight uncle mike?")--and these were games that were played to conclusion. when we returned, anthony kept asking about how we could play and he clarified that he wasn't talking about "that monopoly junior" because that was for babies and little kids. he was only interested in the real thing. so the real thing i got him. a sealed 1977 version of the game off ebay (man do i love ebay for that sort of stuff). i fretted a bit about getting such a mint version of the game for a child but the worry was for naught as anthony is quick to chide anyone, even and especially me, for maltreating the money or properties .
- play monopoly
- watch dr. who
- play minecraft
my all-time favorite anthony monopoly-ism is his fervor in upgrading, something he calls "buffing" things up. this colloquialism leads to bravado-charged phrases like:
another thing i like is that anthony cautions some of my choices and the greatest, saddest, most telling thing is he's almost always right. further, later in the game when my choices come back to bite, haunt and end me, he recalls for me where my troubles began.
- ok! i think it's time i start buffing these babies up.
- dad. you might want to think about buffing those up.
- let's see how much that cost when it's all buffed up.
- i bet you're wishing i didn't buff those up, aren't you dad?
- i bet you're wishing you did buff those up?
 anthony is a shockingly polite about his protection of the board. the other day a neighbor boy was over when anthony's dad hour came up. i expected anthony to defer so he could keep playing with his friend but nothing but pure decisiveness came out of him.
ben you gotta go home.
because it's my dad hour and i'm playing monopoly.
can i play?
nope. we're in the middle of a game.
well, can i watch?
i can be banker?
if you'd like. come on dad. you ready to get whooped?
while ben was banker there were times, several times, he was having problems getting the money out of the bins, crumpling and crinkling the colored paper. each time anthony casually said, just as evenly as the time before, "be careful getting the money out. what you're doing can bend it." it's rare to see such simultaneous competitiveness, zeal, buffing up and respect all in one sitting. an enviable quality for sure.