A friend and her 9-year-old daughter drove down to visit one recent weekend. I got snookered into playing Monopoly with young Miss C.

She beat me two out of three games.

It’s not that she’s smarter than me. Well, she probably is smarter than me, but that’s not the point.

It’s not that she’s better at wheeling and dealing. I talked her into making a couple of really bad trades.

It’s not that she’s richer than me. We started off with the same amount of money.

What did me is was that, early in the game, Miss C built a hotel on Baltic Avenue, in the cheapest part of town — those two purple squares just as you round “Go.”

Every time I made it past “Go,” I would collect my $200 in salary, and then, before I had a chance to save my money or invest my money, I would land on Baltic Avenue and have to fork over $450 to the mortgage company.

I could never get ahead.

The deck was stacked against me. Every card I drew cost me money.

“Doctor’s fee. Pay $50.”

“Pay school tax of $150.”

“Pay hospital $100.”

“Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.”

I would have to mortgage my properties to pay my bills, which meant I was no longer making money off of my investments, and my only source of income was passing “Go,” and every time I passed “Go” I would land on Baltic Avenue and have to hand over my entire $200 salary and then come up with another $250.

All the while, Miss C was putting up houses all over town, then bulldozing them to put up hotels. All I could do was watch and sigh, “Well, there goes the neighborhood.”

Her money multiplied without her even trying. She would land on Free Parking and collect a pile of cash, or draw all the good cards:

“You inherit $100!”

“Life insurance matures. Collect $100!”

“From sale of stock you get $45!”

“Income tax refund. Collect $20!”

One time she did have to pay a “poor tax” of $15, which at that point was about .001 percent of her net worth. Plus, I never saw a dime of that money.

As Miss C got richer and I got poorer, she began to gloat.

Occasionally she would tip me a few dollars because she felt sorry for me.

I resented this.

I took the money anyway.

One time she drew a card that required her to pay for street repairs: $40 per house, $115 per hotel. By that point, she owned all of the hotels. Literally. The bank had run out of hotels to sell.

It was my turn to gloat.

But I could tell she was mad at having to fund infrastructure improvements.

“She better keep her hands off my Social Security,” I thought.

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.