Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Whatever became of the Monopoly kid?

I wouldn't say that I feel very motivated sitting typing this post after a fairly bad day at work- I did see blue eye shadow girl, and she actually spoke on the store microphone. Luckily, she didn't sound like, say, Bea Arthur, that would have been disconcerting. Speaking of microphones, the man who last night said at the Jeff Fenech fight for the crowd to give Josh Fraser a round of applause is on my hate list today because really, the only time I want to give Josh Fraser a round of applause is when he's leaving the ground for the last time and I never need to see him ever again.

Down here in Hobart there's not much going on right now - our new state Premier though wears a ring on his thumb, which is good for him, but the Mercury, our local paper, got about four days worth of stories out of it. One day to analyse it politically, one day of will he wear it, will he not, and two days of analysis from style experts. The style experts are probably the same people who run my favourite piece of journalism, the weekly fashion find in the "Attitude" (a poor mans Hit) section on a Friday. Basically, they find some bogan or goth or girl dressed in a bed sheet in the middle of the mall on a Wednesday, and take a photo of them. Everyone ever in this section of the paper seems to look horrendous and be having some horrific practical joke played on them, but they proudly talk about how putting a beanie and a Brisbane Bears jumper (and god I want one of those) and some longstockings together really accentuates their eyes or some such thing. The Mercury is definitely an odd paper. The sports section is now three pages long and full of adverts, and there's no longer some sneaky brothel ads in the classifieds. It takes about 10 seconds to read these days. 

However, the Mercury is spun gold compared to the paper I grew up with on the NW Coast, the mighty Advocate. Do you like Hagar the Horrible? Well, the Advocate had it three times a day! Did you win 50 bucks at bingo or have the same name as someone in the news? We'll be round straight away! Making rice filled heat packs for a Young Achievement group? Oh wait, that was me, and yes, I was in the Advocate, looking at the heat pack like it was a miracle invention. In fairness, it was hard being a journalist on the North West Coast - the place was very regional and they tried to instill a lot of local pride into the citizens. The trouble was, just about everyone my age was aggressively calling it a shit hole and couldn't wait to leave. I imagine the editors of the Advocate sitting around going "those kids getting drunk at Hiscutt Park? Why aren't they out making jam? Local pride is at stake!" - for once cynicism took over and the world got bigger, once Collingwood were more important to people than City-South, the Advocate lost it's way, and it could never get back to it's "integral part of YOUR community" place that it used to hold.

My all time favourite ever piece of journalism in the Advocate was this one time in about, oh, 1995, when this kid had just become Australian Monopoly champion. That's front page news up in the North West. And sure enough, it was front page news, and the Advocate really went to town. They came up with a special little inlet box about this kids hints and tips about how to play Monopoly. However, the kid really outdid himself. "I used to play my family," he huffed, "but they really aren't a challenge now." - I wonder sometimes when I see child prodigies what became of them, but really I wonder mostly what happened to him. I like to think he sends constant letters to Jacques Rogge, demanding Monopoly be put into the Olympics. Maybe he took up another board game, like Scrabble, for the sake of family harmony. Maybe someone one day made him bankrupt when he threw a double three, and thus he lost all his competitive spirit. I really would like to know one day, I'd love to find out what became of the Monopoly kid.

I bet he's on Facebook though playing online. I can just tell...

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