The family argument. As woven into Yuletide tradition as pigs-in-blanket and pre-breakfast boozing, and now at serious risk of becoming extinct.
At least that’s if Hasbro, the creators of Monopoly, have anything to do with it.
Following in the humanitarian footsteps of Crisis and the Samaritans, the board game manufacturer is laying on a dedicated hotline between 24 and 26 December, to act as peacemaker among warring family members and all their London-based property game angst.
A recent poll revealed that 51% of all Monopoly games end in dispute, with the most common complaints being that players make up rules, steal from the bank or – and this one teeters on unforgivable – act “too cocky” when things are going their way. We can only assume Hasbro has decided to step in before the inevitable “Monopoly murder” headlines become a thing.
The free-to-call helpline can be reached on 0800 689 4903, and its operators (that we sincerely hope are being paid time-and-a-half for this horseshit) are ready and waiting to explain the official rulebook, how best to resolve common complaints and, presumably, judge whether or not your older brother is “a prick because he was the race car last year and you can’t just fucking ‘call shotgun’.”
So if you’re likely to dust off the game this weekend, maybe input the number in your phone as a pre-emptive measure. Just don’t expect an answer around 6pm, as this is the time most commonly linked with a family barney.
Merry Christmas and, hang on, what’s the deal with Free Parking, again?