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February 4, 1994

It was monopoly night at the old homestead a while ago, and let me tell you, when Scotto hosts Monopoly night, boy do the stars come out! (That's 'cuz I host it at night!) Naturally, my friend Laurel was there, along with her second cousin Crank Boy. He invited his grade school buddy, the Devil, and Laurel called the Archangel Gabriel. My new drinking pal, Beerbelly the Invisible Clown, also stopped by.

"I'm the wheelbarrow," I announced. The wheelbarrow, you see, has the most aerodynamic design. Crank Boy was the motorcar, the most environmentally unsound of all the pieces. Laurel wanted to be the top hat, but Satan wouldn't let her.

"You have to be the thimble," Satan said, "because you're the only girl, and girls love to sew." Sometimes Satan says the darndest things.

So Satan picked the top hat, and Beerbelly the Invisible Clown was the dog. Gabriel was the banker, which meant "no sneaking $500 bills from the pile, you rascal!"

Word soon spread than an action-packed game of Monopoly was happening, and the VIPs started to trickle in. I knew things were hopping when Charo shimmied through the kitchen looking for Cheez Whiz and Gavin Macleod.

Late into the evening, things started getting hot. Satan was not only building hotels on Boardwalk, but casinos as well. Beerbelly had captured all the railroad properties and refused to stop singing, "I've been working on the railroad!" at the top of his lungs. And Crank Boy had won the beauty contest three times, which certainly spelled some kind of doom for the rest of the universe.

Laurel and I were almost finished with our first bottle of Mad Dog when Beerbelly had an excellent suggestion.

"Let's take all the $500 bills out of circulation," he said, "and replace them with an equivalent amount of illegal drugs."

Well, it didn't take a quantum physicist to recognize the sheer brilliance of that plan. We called an intermission to get our various stashes. Gabriel agreed to guard the game from vicious troublemakers, like that ridiculous Ed McMahon, who had a side bet on Beerbelly with James Brown.

"C'mon," Ed cajoled, "just slip a few hundreds onto Beerbelly's pile, and you may already be a winner!"

"I live in heaven," Gabriel replied drolly. "I am already a winner, dig?"

I was the first to return, with a big water cooler of liquid LSD. Laurel brought several bags of hashish, some peyote buttons (cleverly sewn onto the front of her vest) and a big cactus with a tapper attached. Art Garfunkel wandered by, but we ignored him, just like the rest of the world. Satan came back with a host of nasty designer drugs. Beerbelly arrived with Ecstasy and some forgotten favorites from the 70s.

"Angel dust!" Gabriel exclaimed. "How adorable!"

Crank Boy finally returned with a Hefty bag of cocaine. He was covered in blood.

"Do you know how many innocent drug dealers I had to kill to get this stuff this late at night?" he asked, obviously irritated.

"Let's get back to the game," Laurel replied, glassy-eyed.

A crowd had now formed around us, and very soon, chaos reigned. Satan had been winning, but once he got hold of some of Beerbelly's Ecstasy, he was suddenly handing out his properties left and right, saying, "I don't want to sound like a Hallmark card, but... have I ever told you how much I loved you?"

Crank Boy and I, meanwhile, manned the water cooler and began passing out glasses indiscriminately. Crank Boy's Hefty bag split open, and a mad, star-studded scramble ensued. Beerbelly was speeding and juggling 19 invisible balls, not that we could he tell, since he was invisible too.

"I've got an idea!" someone shouted (I think it was Simon Le Bon). "Let's take over the city!"

And so we charged into the streets, overturning cars, setting houses on fire, looting businesses. Crank Boy was guzzling Robitussin and could barely hold the automatic weapon Tony Bennett handed him. They called in the National Guard, but Charo wowed them with a belly dance while the rest of us snuck up and ripped them apart with our bare hands and teeth. The city was soon totally under our control.

And frankly, my friends, it still is. Yeehah! Tomorrow we're playing Risk.

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