Carlos the Crazy loved analogies and comparisons. When he talked sports with his best friend, he’d compare a current college freshman basketball guard to the 1980-81 NBA Rookie of the Year.1 When he watched a movie with his wife, he’d point out the similarities to the 1979 sci-fi horror movie Weasels Rip My Flesh.2 So, when he mentioned that his daughter had just gotten a new Monopoly set for her birthday, Leroy the Lion wasn’t surprised where the conversion quickly turned.
[CC] Carlos continued, “Looking at the new cat token got me thinking… that’s Al the Almost! He’s very clever. He likes to play tricky, stalk, and pounce on his prey. He’s a friendly enough guy, but not overenthusiastic like a dog… which would be Yuri the Young Gun. Yuri loves to play poker, is always one of the first to arrive, offers to help put out the chips, makes sure the decks are full, and can’t wait for the next game… The battleship is Patrick the Pickled from the pub game. He’s forever launching bombs. Whenever he’s in a hand, there’s always massive destruction. He’ll bust out of the side game three times but end up the night with a massive pile of chips in front of him. We should start calling him Brine, because he’s always all-in… The shoe is Benny the Book. It’s not a sneaker, a sandal, or high heels. It’s just a plain, everyday shoe, and he’s a plodder, a blue-collar worker, and a very straightforward player… The thimble is obviously Mildred the Mouse. A thimble protects your finger from being pricked while sewing, and Mildred plays Hold ‘Em like she’s afraid of getting hurt… The top hat is Vincent the Veteran, an old school classic. He’d probably prefer to play 5-card draw and 7-card stud to Hold ‘Em… And that leaves the wheelbarrow, which is Elias the Eagle, if only because he needs one to carry out all the money he wins.”
[LL] Leroy leapt in, “I think you missed one, the race car.3 That’s you! Pedal to the metal. Raise preflop, cbet the flop, barrel the turn, and fire again on the river if necessary. Full speed ahead until you either cross the finish line or crash.”
[CC] “True enough. There are also the older Monopoly pieces to consider. You’d be the airplane. You fly high and fast and go places, usually to the final table.”
[LL] “Nate the Natural is the horse and rider, my sister’s favorite piece when we were kids. No doubt he’s played polo at the club and broken stallions at the ranch, because he’s good at everything he does and seems to have dabbled in everything at least once.”
[CC] “Deb the Duchess is the recently replaced iron. She’s solid and her play should carry a “Caution, iron is hot” warning. She’s not entirely domesticated but does bake up a storm.”
[LL] “William the Whale is the easy choice for the money bag. He’s worth more than the rest of us put together and only condescends to slum at our low stakes because he likes us.”
[CC] “Figaro the Fish is his opposite, the piggy bank. Sometimes I feel sorry for him because he never seems to win, but to find a lower-stake game, he’d have to play with grade school kids.”
[LL] “Stan the Stat is the cannon. He’d calculate the trajectory of the projectile to a millionth of a degree, taking into account the wind, the sun, the humidity, the barometric pressure, the phase of the moon, and the current price of Apple’s stock.”
[CC] “Oliver the Overanxious is the lantern, since he gives off bright tells like a light.”
[LL] “Tyrone the Telephone is the train. All aboard! It seems like he plays every hand but never gets out of line.”
[CC] “Harriet the Hazy is the purse, which is probably a little sexist unless you think about her as Ruth Buzzi’s Laugh-In character, Gladys Ormphby, who knew how to wield her purse as a weapon.”
[LL] “And Joey the Juvenile is the rocking horse as the youngest person we play with.”
[CC] “That’s all the old tokens I can think of, but the cat had four competitors to be the new token: the diamond ring, the guitar, the helicopter, and the robot. Roderick the Rock is the robot. His style is mechanical and inflexible, and he’ll never do anything illogical.”
[LL] “Kieran the Keeper at the bar is the guitar. He’s a talented musician — I think he used to be in a band — and he plays both guitar and poker creatively.”
[CC] “Iggy the Improver is the helicopter. He can fly fast or hover, and his playing style is agile, changing depending on the latest Hold ‘Em book or article he’s read.”
[LL] “Which leave the diamond ring, which has to be Gloria the Gorgeous. She wears a pretty nice rock and sure is nice to look at. Of course, while you’re dazzled by the shine, she’s managed to take half your stack.”
[CC] “And I guess we can make up some future Monopoly pieces for our other semi-regular players. Quincy the Quick would be a cheetah. He never takes more than a second to act, and he’s got that New York City walk that’s faster than some joggers I’ve seen.”
[LL] “Umberto the Unlucky would be a broken mirror, except that I think he’s already had way more than seven years of bad luck.”
[CC] “Xavier the Xenophobe would be a tin foil hat. He’s afraid of cell phone radiation, microwave radiation, nuclear radiation, assassination, immigration, overpopulation, deforestation, vaccination, fluoridation, and undoubtedly zombification. He’s probably even afraid of the amortization on his mortgage.”
[LL] “And Zane the Zany would be a straitjacket. He’s crazier than Carlos and Harriet put together. If a tournament ever came down to the three of them, I’d film it because the action would be you-gotta-see-it-to-believe-it spectacular.”
- Darrell Griffith was famously known as Dr. Dunkenstein.
- Yes, that’s a real movie.
- The race car has had several variations, starting as a family sedan in 1936. The World of Monopoly has an excellent article on the history of Monopoly tokens and this extensive chart chronicling the tokens over time.
- Hold ‘Em at Home Intro, including the cast of characters