xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: The Game of Life

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Game of Life

Last night Child 2 and I played The Game of Life. You remember this game from your childhood, the one with the cars and the little pink and blue pegs for girls and boys that you cram into your car as you drive around the board having babies and whatnot.

Just in case you don't remember, or haven't played it recently, you drive around this board game, called "Life," and on the way you make choices that determine how much money you make, with the ultimate goal being to "retire" and be worth more money than your opponents. What a perfect game to play with your children, right? Where the goal in life is to make money, occasionally you get to sue each other to get more money, children are expensive and there's no mention whatsoever of happiness or quality of life or early death. It's just plain and simple capitalism.  Just like real life. Awesome.

The game starts out with you in your car, and first you are to choose to either go to college or start a career. They advise you that while the college path requires you to immediately take a $50K loan from the bank, ultimately you will make more money with a college education. So, being the mom, I tell Child 2 that he'd better go to college, even if means a lifetime of student loans. Not because he might learn a lot, have a wonderful experience, see new things or meet new people:, but because eventually he will end up in a higher paying career.

Just like real life.

So, we start out, and I decide to skip college and take the career path, because I don't want to have to extend my debt ceiling. And anyway, I believe in the American Dream; all I have to do is work hard and I will be able to achieve all of my life's goals. Just like real life. Child 2 takes the college path, and off we go!

Right off the bat he gets a job as a veterinarian making $80,000 a year and I get a job as a hairstylist making $30,000. Well, that's okay, because he DID go to college, and he DOES have student loans. We'll see where this takes us.....

We get to the part where you have to get married, and I decide to marry a woman, even though it's not (yet) legal in my state. Funny how they don't actually give you that option, of marrying the same sex as you, but whatever.... technicalities. I'm sure they'll get to that.... Child 2 chooses to marry a woman, and the game continues on.

We buy homes. I get a condominium and he ends up in a trailer park for some reason. I still haven't taken any loans because my wife and I are somehow managing to scrape by on my $30,000 a year salary. I guess she doesn't get to work but that's okay because women belong in the home. Just like real life.

Then I lose my job and take a new one as an "entertainer." You don't need a college education to be an "entertainer," and while the picture on the card shows a woman singing at a microphone, the increased annual salary clearly indicates that "entertainer" is actually just a euphemism for pole dancer. But what else am I going to do? I lost my job as a hairstylist and I have no college education, my only option is to show off my body for money and profit. There's no mention of how much I make in tips. The IRS doesn't need to know about those, though.

Then I get to the part where I'm able to go back to school if I want. Remembering that you will make more money with a college education, my wife and I have an important discussion about the situation and I decide to take a bank loan and go back to school. I guess I'm still working as an "entertainer," because I'm still making my salary, and eventually I graduate (with honors. I'm assuming. Because HELLO.) and am able to go out and get a new job!! YAY!! More money! A bigger house!! Maybe some kids? Just like real life.

But then I go to pick a college career card and what do I get? A teacher! A fucking TEACHER!! Making $40,000 a year AND I now have $50,000 in student loans to pay off! WHAT THE FUCK?? I didn't spend all this time and money to go back to school to end up as a fucking TEACHER! Making less money than when I was on the goddamn pole!

At least I don't have to pay union dues. Not that they mention, anyway. But I'm still happy, because shaping the minds of the next generation is enough for my personal satisfaction. Right? It's not like the whole point in life is to make money and die rich? Right?

Wait, yes it is! Luckily, though, at another point along the way I lose my job as a teacher and become... a DOCTOR! That's right, I've just been fired as a teacher, after having been fired as a hairstylist and then working the pole, which means I'm a doctor now, bitches!! Making $100,000 a year and I get to go golfing whenever I want! Just like real life.

Child 2, meanwhile, has become a lawyer, moved out of the trailer park and into some mansion, and has sued me twice, making me pay him a total of $200,000. I must have botched his wife's boob job or something. I'm sure I deserved it, I mean, I DO have a drinking problem. I guess you don't get malpractice insurance in this game.

We head toward the end and I decide not to have children.  Just like in real life, children are fucking expensive and now that I'm raking it in as a doctor I don't want to have to give any of my money away to any of those little leeches. Child 2 chooses to have kids and ends up with 2 boys (karma). Ultimately he has to pay $100,000 in college tuition for both of them.

HA HA!!!  Just like real life!!!!

The game ends with us both "retiring" at about the same time, and after we've cashed everything in, I end up with $10,000 more than him, which means I win. I think you can see from the choices I made along the way: work the pole for a bit and save some money, never leave your $100,000 condo once you've paid it off, and, most importantly, DO NOT HAVE KIDS, this is the life path one should choose in order to "win" in the end.

I hope he learned a valuable lesson from this experience.  Just like real life.