Here is my lawyerly tip for the day: don’t stab someone over a board game. In fact, don’t stab anyone. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican (that’s a newspaper, not just some New Mexican I happen to know), Laura Chaves, a 60-year-old woman, repeatedly stabbed her boyfriend after accusing him of cheating at Monopoly. The argument began, according to the victim, with a glass bottle over the head, but then the knife came out. The victim ended up in the hospital in stable condition, but according to the community chest card, he will likely still have to pay $50 for Doctor’s Fees.
The real question (and my feeble attempt at making this legally relevant) is an attempt to figure out what this argument started over. There is no board game in the history of mankind where the rules are as ambiguous as Monopoly. You are sent to jail with no due process (highly unconstitutional) because you are good at rolling doubles? In Las Vegas they would call you a wunderkind but in Monopoly World you are an instantly locked up. And don’t even get me started on Free Parking.
The fact of the matter is that the shear wear and tear of playing Monopoly can drive people to do crazy things. Especially towards the end of the game when you have someone on the verge of bankruptcy selling properties to the bank or trading them with another player for pennies on the dollar. It is almost as if everyone becomes a Bear Sterns trader bundling Baltic Avenue, Marvin Gardens and the Electric Company for B&O (at a highly inflated value) to complete your set of four railroads. The game last for 5 hours and usually the ‘winner’ is the person yelling the loudest at the end.
Perhaps the boyfriend was “miscounting” his spaces so he wouldn’t land on Grandma’s hotel ladened Boardwalk. Or there is the possibility that the boyfriend was the banker and tried to embezzle some extra cash. Embezzlement, which if done in real life, will lead to jail time, is a classic Monopoly cheat. My guess is the boyfriend made the rookie mistake of trying to sneak a few extra $500s. That denomination is too rare to not be noticed. Perhaps it started before the game even started when the boyfriend selected grandma’s favorite game piece, the thimble. On second thought, that can’t be it, nobody chooses the thimble.
Nonetheless, Chavez was arrested and charged with aggravated battery and is being held on a $5,000 bond. It is unclear if she was in possession of a ‘get out of jail free card’ at the time of her arrest.