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The Monopoly Variant

Dear Warren,

As you know I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to playing Monopoly.  No free parking, no free rides, include auction sales, nothing but official tournament rules.  Becky takes exception to this and bristles at my cut throat style of play.  My long-standing belief has been that if you’re playing Monopoly under my roof, then you will play it the proper way.

So a few weeks ago I was in the midst of pulling off a major swindle.  You see, the eldest boy still has an affinity for the choo-choos and cash on hand.  This is a losing strategy of course and I had no compunctions to giving the boy what he wanted.  However, Becky suddenly had enough of what she called “my antics”.  The game was unfair in her estimation; mostly based upon the luck of dice rolls.  I protested.  I pointed out my incredible winning percentage on family game nights.  But she claimed that it was because we play by my “stupid house rules”.

What!  “Stupid house rules”?  I play by “THE” rules!  How dare she?

As you could imagine, I was incensed and about to do something I would regret.  I’m ashamed to admit that it became one of those instances where my cursed temper came over me like a helmet of doom.  Suddenly, and without warning, a primal rage welled up inside of me.  For the next few seconds I would be a caveman.

I violently flipped the Monopoly board over, sending game pieces flying about the dining room.  “Fine!” I said.  “Play what ever bastardized version you want!”

I stormed from the room like a ten-year old but at the time had mistakenly felt my dignity remained intact.

I sat in darkness alone with my thoughts.  When my cursed caveman temper leaves me, he always takes a part of me with him.  His hunger is satisfied but I’m left feeling as if I were something just beneath a man.  This is stature lost that must be earned again.  The only way to do so is to gather what remains of your manhood and admit you are wrong.  I was going to make everything right.

Becky flung the door open, her dark silhouette stood before me with arms akimbo. “We need to talk,” she said dreadfully.

I fell on my sword and begged her to forgive my ghastly actions.  I promised that we would play a more fair brand of Monopoly that everyone enjoyed.  This ended the argument before it had begun so I went immediately to work on my rules variations.  I would call it “Fair Monopoly”.

First, I instituted a progressive tax on all income.  For instance, the first side of the board with Baltic and Vermont Avenues would not pay any taxes, the next side with properties such as St. Charles Place and New York Avenue had to pay a 10% tax on all rent collected, the next side of the board would pay 25% income.  On the last side, whoever owned the green properties like Pacific Avenue would pay a 50% tax, and then we would really soak whoever owned Boardwalk and Park Place by taxing them 65%.

Second, the whole “collecting $200 when you pass Go” had to be refined.  In Fair Monopoly if you are in last place when you pass Go you get $1000, if you are 2nd to last you get $500, 3rd to last gets $200.  Everyone else breaks even unless you are in first place.  In that case you would have to pay $1ooo.

Third, to account for the money it cost to house and feed inmates, the bank pays anyone in jail $200 a turn.

Finally, since utilities and transportation are very important aspects of society that facilitate commerce, we supplement their income with money collected through the aforementioned taxes.  For instance, if someone lands on a railroad not only do they pay the railroad owner, but the government kicks in an extra $1200.  Other tax collections go to cover shortfalls when a less fortunate player can not pay rent.  Also, if you fill out the right paperwork, you can receive a grant to build housing.

So here we are, 58 hours into our first game of Fair Monopoly.  Not straight through of course as we’ve been stopping for bathroom breaks, to sleep and to watch Dancing with the Stars.

I’m no economist so I’m not really sure how it worked out this way, but everyone has ended up with a ton of cash that doesn’t seem to be worth much and we all want to be in jail.  Around the 32nd hour of play we ran out of money in the bank.  Luckily, Mr. Lee from next door had a set so we borrowed some of his Monopoly money in order to remain solvent.  Hopefully Mr. Lee won’t need to play Monopoly any time soon.

Anyway, I thought you might be interested.

Regards,

Eric

P.S. Has anyone ever told you that with a top hat and cane you would look like Rich Uncle Pennybags?

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My Evening With a Scam Artist

Dear Mark,

I had an interesting evening whilst using Facebook.  What appeared to be a hot, young thang hit me up with a friend request a few days ago.  We had a mutual friend and she looked familiar.  I figured that after seeing some of her posts I would figure it out.

I never use the Facebook chat feature and no one ever hats with me anyway.  So I was really surprised when this person began chatting me up.  For a little while I thought this one of my real friends messing with my head.  I soon found out that I was dealing with a total scam artist.

So I decided to have some “fun”.  Here is the chat transcript:

—————————–

Wendy Cruise
hi babe

Eric
hello there.

Wendy Cruise
yah

Eric
I’ve got to be honest. I’ve been trying to figure out where I know you from. Who are you?

Wendy Cruise
cockrel hill sir why

Eric
hmmm… not ringing any bells. No reason, just wondering.

Wendy Cruise
oh i see

Eric
I’ve checked out all your pics. They are very nice by the way. You do look familiar, but i just can’t place you. Sorry for my bad memory.

Wendy Cruise
its ok
are u single ?

Eric
nope. i’ve been married for 18 years almost.

Wendy Cruise
cool
so wanna meet sometimes

Eric
Why would you want to meet a married guy like me?

Wendy Cruise
for fun

Eric
I would like to meet for fun. Who wouldn’t?

Wendy Cruise

maybe if u book me

Eric
How does one go about doing that?

Wendy Cruise
for fun

Eric
sure. what are the details? who do i go about booking you?

Wendy Cruise
to the main admin office sir u want to book me now so im reserve to u

Eric
okay. what do i need to do?

Wendy Cruise
pay my booking fee then the admin process it and allow me to meet u

Eric
okay… how do I pay?
never done anything like this before.

Wendy Cruise
using western union sir

Eric
why do you keep calling me sir?

Wendy Cruise
so are u willing to book me ?

Eric
I’m not comfortable just wiring someone money.

Wendy Cruise
hahah coz u are my client now
oh i see
but im not forcing you to book me

Eric
well… i couldn’t possibly send you money without knowing who you are and never meeting you.

Wendy Cruise
its ok i understand
maybe im not the girl u looking for

Eric
To be honest… I haven’t been looking for a girl.

Wendy Cruise
oh i see
sorry if i offend u

Eric
not at all!

Wendy Cruise
my only hopes is to be happy

Eric
Tell you what… give me a few more details. What is your rate?

Wendy Cruise
for 3 days and 2 nights is 500

Eric
That’s a good deal!

Wendy Cruise
yah

Eric
But I’m married so it would be difficult keeping you away from my wife for that long.

Wendy Cruise
just tell to her u travel
for 3 days

Eric
Where would you like to go?

Wendy Cruise
here in my place or cheap apartmen
do u think honey

Eric
we could have a lot of fun for 3 days. i mean a ton of fun. i would probably want to stay in the whole time and have fun over and over again. is that okay?

Wendy Cruise
yah yah :)))

Eric
How many times do you think we could have fun?

Wendy Cruise
well if i enjoy have some fun with u

Eric
I mean… what if we had fun and then after having fun we waited 20 minutes and had fun again. Is that good. we could maybe have fun 20 to 25 times in that time period.
oh, you would enjoy it all right.

Wendy Cruise
yah i love it !!!!!!!!!!

hope so

Eric
what sorts of different kinds of fun do you do?

Wendy Cruise
i do dogie

Eric
do you do oral?

Wendy Cruise
do you have yahoo messenger
yah i love oral

Eric
Nah… i haven’t used it for a long time. is it better than chatting here?

Wendy Cruise
ok
hmmm its that ok to u i call u babe or honey

Eric
babe is good. i like that.

Wendy Cruise
ok babe
so babe when u goin to book me
im excited to meet u and have some fun wiht u… and spend the night
i can wait for oral things :))))

Eric
awesome!
i’ll have to check my schedule at the office. But are you free second weekend of October?

Wendy Cruise
yah
ok how many times u come in my sweet pinkies pussy
?
so i have idea and prepare my self!

Eric
maybe 20 times or more. are you pretty tight down there?

Wendy Cruise
tighten babe

Eric
nice!

Wendy Cruise

babe
can u pay the downpayment so im am researve to u

Eric
sure. when do i need to do that? How much is the down payment?

Wendy Cruise
300 sent it to main admin office
hold on i email the my manager

Eric
okay.

Wendy Cruise
babe do u have acount to western union?
?

Eric
i do not.

Wendy Cruise
ok get account first babe
http://www.westernunion.com
?

Eric
working on it. I don’t know though. I don’t even know you. You could be stealing my money!! How do I know for sure?

Wendy Cruise
ofcourse not, how could i. i not the one who will recieve your money. its our admin and you will be given a reciet to your email..
and opps babe
i never let u dont ok this is real deal!
down*
u will have a transaction dirrectly to our admin
ok

Eric
okay so i have options here. should i send it online or like a home delivery?

Wendy Cruise
sent it online babe
tell me if u need the admin info

Eric
still working on getting it set up.

Wendy Cruise
ok babe here is the admin info
sent it to the head admin
FIRST NAME : GERSOME
LAST NAME : PAMINTUAN
COUNTRY : PHILIPPINES

Eric
Philippines????

Wendy Cruise
yes. they just moved there to get lower taxex.
taxes….

Eric
ahhhh… that makes sense. Do they move because Obama wants to raise their taxes?

Wendy Cruise
yes.. you got it babe…
its just a form of cost cutting to the part of the admin

Eric
I knew it! Next thing you know Obama is gonna chase all of our prostitutes out of the country. Then how will us guys have sex?

Wendy Cruise
so they could give lower rates to you babe..

Eric
that makes sense.

Wendy Cruise
that is what we are doing right now.. we are here and our admin were on the philippines..

Eric
Wait a sec… how far is your apartment from me?

Wendy Cruise
im here in cockrel hill
where are u located ?

Eric
okay… that’s not bad. It’s just that God damned Obama has got gas prices so high it’s hard to drive around without spending a ton of money.
I’m in Dallas.

Wendy Cruise
it will be esrie
it will be easier for us to meet then… thats good babe…

Eric
I feel like you are giving me a special deal cause I’m so good looking.

Wendy Cruise
yah thats
so what now babe ?

Eric
i thought I was going to send you $300. Wasn’t that the next step? Or did you need more money than that? Cause I’ve got loads of cash in my bank account. I would have more but that god damned Obama has been taxing the shit out of us rich people.

Wendy Cruise
yah babe did u sent already so i can submit it to our admin ?

Eric

how much did you need?
You know what. Is there any way I could get you for a week. Cause then we could fun each other’s brains out all week long.
How much for a week?

Wendy Cruise
800 babe

Eric
For real? That’s pretty cheap for a smoking hot babe like yourself.

Wendy Cruise
yah

Eric
okay I’ll go for that. i’ve got to clear some more time up from my calendar.

Wendy Cruise
so babe what now are u going tobook me and reseve ?

Eric
I told you I would. I’ve got loads of cash so it’s no big deal.

Wendy Cruise
ok babe but u can sent it cash

Eric
And you promise that Obama won’t get any tax money from this, right?

Wendy Cruise
yah

Eric
give me a second to fill all of this out.

Wendy Cruise
ok babe
babe hold on
are u paying onlines or cash ?

Eric
no problem. I’m still getting everything in order.

Wendy Cruise
? what u mean

Eric
I’m getting the western union acct set up now.

Wendy Cruise
ok\

Eric
can i put a tip on there now or should we wait until we meet and i can give it to you in cash?

Wendy Cruise
it cant babe they now allow me go and meet u .. u need to book me first since i am a model for a security porpose
so everything will be fine
ok

Eric
no problem. I’ll book you right now.

Wendy Cruise
ok babe

Eric
You aren’t the cips or anything right? Cause I don’t wan to get arrested. Obama would love to throw me in jail and take all my money so he can spend it on his wife.

Wendy Cruise
oh im not babe omg!! i a simple naugthy lovely girl

Eric
Great! All right. I think I have it in correctly, can you check?

Wendy Cruise
ok so did u sent the money to mr gersome ?
di u get the control number ?
did *

Eric
I’ve got a blank page but I think it went through. should i get a confirmation number from Western Union?

Wendy Cruise
yah
what does it say from the pahe
page
did u get the transaction number for pick up the money ?

Eric
Not sue which one of these numbers is the confirmation namber. should it start with ylc?

Wendy Cruise
the 10 digit number
money control number

Eric
the one with letters and numbers or just numbers?

Wendy Cruise
sent it to me so i can check it
sent it both
copy and sent it to me

Eric
I see one that has 9 digits.
I think that is the one for sure.

Wendy Cruise
the 10 digit
yah

Eric
or maybe it isn’t.

Wendy Cruise
did u sent it correctly ?

Eric
okay try this one: 63378909126
no wait… that’s 11 digit! This is so confusing!

Wendy Cruise
ok

Eric
can you check that one i gave you?

Wendy Cruise
its not a control number

Eric
okay how about: yl23985081?

Wendy Cruise
na it not babe its better call wenstern union hotline
1-800-225-5227

Eric
okay… give me a second. I’m getting really excited about this deal!

Wendy Cruise
ok babe

Eric
I’m on hold right now. Don’t go anywhere.

Wendy Cruise
ok babe

Eric
can’t I just give you my credit card number? it would make things so much easier.
I’ve got like a $50,000 credit limit on my mastercard.

Wendy Cruise
wait babe
did u click the sending money

Eric
i did. I’m still on hold with western union hotline.

Wendy Cruise
then did u sent correctly to mr gersome
?
first name

Eric
wait… i’m talking to a western union rep right now.

Wendy Cruise
ok

Eric
This western union lady is being rally rude. You think she knows I’m trying to book a prostitute?
I don’t want to get into trouble. I told you Obama would throw me in jail and take all of my money.

Wendy Cruise
no dont say that
tell to western union agent sending money to philippines ok
its easy babe

Eric
I did! She was rude to me and said that there are a lot of scams in the Philipines.

Wendy Cruise
oh thats rude

Eric
totally rude. I asked to speak to her manager.
so i’m on hold waiting for her manager now.

Wendy Cruise
just tell to agent in western union send money ok

Eric
okay… well i’ll tell the manager to when he gets on the phone. I’m gonna tell him to fire that rude lady.

Wendy Cruise
ok
check your account to western
look for the control number
Save time! Call 1-800-CALL-CASH® (1-800-225-5227) to send money over the phone now. A Western Union Representative will help you send money to friends and family worldwide within minutes1.

Eric
This manager is refusing to fire that rude lady. UNBELIEVABLE!

Wendy Cruise
ok
so tell to the manager u will semding money tru phone
ok

Eric
Hold on… I told him I wanted to speak to HIS manager. So they got me on hold again.

Wendy Cruise
for what again ?

Eric
He won’t fire that rude lady. so i told him i wanted to speak to his manager. Maybe his manager will fire both of them.
It’s so hard to send money over western union.

Wendy Cruise
oh dont make it trouble babe

Eric
You’re right. Okay I’ll just have them send the money. hold on. I’m still waiting.

Wendy Cruise
ok

Eric
while i wait could you answer a couple of questions about your services?

Wendy Cruise
ok

Eric
First off. Did you vote for Obama?

Wendy Cruise
no!!!!!!!!!!!

Eric
Good! Who did you vote for?

Wendy Cruise
nothing babe
so what does it say now
?

Eric
I’m still on hold.
Okay second question. Do yo have any pets in your apartment?

Wendy Cruise
i have dog outside
what the western union said babe
?

Eric
Is your dog fixed?

Wendy Cruise
yah
so what now
?

Eric
okay wait… I’m talking to the manager’s manager right now. This should take too much longer.

Wendy Cruise
ok
tell to there manager u are sending money
ok

Eric
She says she will NOT fire the other to people so I said that was okay. That’s wat we want, right?

Wendy Cruise
dont make it trouble ok
just tell to western union
u sending money ok
period

Eric
okay they are getting read to send it now. Finally!

Wendy Cruise
ok

Eric
I’m sorry this is taking so long.

Wendy Cruise
here is the info
FIRST NAME :GERSOME
LAST NAME : PAMINTUAN
COUNTRY: PHILIPPINES
ok!

Eric
Got it!

Wendy Cruise
ok

Eric
Okay they got me on hold while they are sending it through. She said it would only be a few more minutes.

Wendy Cruise
ok babe

Eric
So you are so attractive… if you give me some good sex would you be open to marrying me?

Wendy Cruise

we will talk about that when we meet its that ok to u babe?

Eric
We would have to get rid of your dog though. Dogs always like to bite me.

Wendy Cruise
no babe he is kind
kindly

Eric
I can’t believe it is taking them so long! What is your dog’s name?

Wendy Cruise
wereboe babe
did u get the control number
?

Eric
That’s an odd name for a dog. If we get married could we have his teeth removed so that he won’t bite me?
wait… she said she will be back with my control number.

Wendy Cruise
hahah

Eric
i’m on hold again. they are saying they are having computer problems.

Wendy Cruise
oh babe dont play me ok!

Eric
i’m serious we would have too remove his teeth. He wouldn’t be able to eat dog fod but then we could have him drink tomato juice.
Dogs like tomato juice.

Wendy Cruise
ok

Eric
okay… she said the money is there. can you check with mr. sershon?

Wendy Cruise
where is the contol number
?
so i will submit it
?
GERSOME BABE

Eric
What? But I sent it to Sershon!! Is that going to be a problem?

Wendy Cruise
oh are u playing with me ?
what its the control number if u are sending it ?

Eric
I can’t wait to play with you babe. we are gonna fun all week long!!! Wooo-hooo!
they game me a 9 digit number.
so i think it went through.

Wendy Cruise
its not a control number call them and ask for the money control number
!

Eric
they said it was an MTCN number. they said that is what i needed.

Wendy Cruise
ya mtnc number
MTCN nUMBER

Eric
okay this is what they gave me. 162975226

Wendy Cruise
MTCN number babe is 10 call then again

Eric
That’s it! I can’t believe they only gave me 9 numbers. I’m calling them back. Hold on.

Wendy Cruise
ok

Eric
I can’t believe this! I’m gonna have them all fired now!
They probably voted for Obama. Don’t you think?

Wendy Cruise
oh babe
are u fucking me play ?
im not playing u im serious about this
!

Eric
why would I play with you? of course not. I’m legit like you are.
I want to fun your brains out all night long!

Wendy Cruise
what is the mtcn number ?

Eric
I’m getting it now. I just had to give those western union people a piece of my mind. I get mad sometimes. If we are gonna get married then you have to know that i have a bad temper sometimes. So don’t ever make me mad.
if you are really nice you’ll be able to spend a lot of my money.

Wendy Cruise
oh babe
?
what name u use to westen union

Eric
The name I used was Mr. Herpfrop Doolopwapnewerton.

——————-

So then I blocked the account and reported it.  I bet I could have went round and round all night if I wasn’t so tired.  Anyway, thanks for the shiny toy than is Facebook.  You rock, babe.

Regards,

eric

Robot Language

{EAV_BLOG_VER:d99a7b3c064c56e2}

beep boop!

Eccentric Hospitality

Dear Paris,

For obvious reasons, I thought about you the other day while staying at a hotel in Eureka Springs. There is no Hilton there but since you guys gutted the Vegas Hilton of all its Star Trek, I’m sorry to say that Rebecca would not want to stay at any of your hotels anyway.

At first we thought about staying at the famous Crescent Hotel. I remember how you told me that Grant and Jay said it was spiritually active there. But Rebecca likes to bargain hunt and the Crescent was a bit out of our price range.

So as expected, she discovered a veritable gem for only $40 a night. My mother always says that Rebecca can pinch a penny until it screams. This has always been funny to me for two reasons. First, the visual of a constrained, copper-faced President Lincoln hollering at the top of his lungs conjures up a Looney Tunes cartoon in my head. Second, it is not far from the truth.  Rebecca loves to save money.

Anyway, the $40 hotel she found in Eureka Springs was much better than the one in Orlando she found a couple of years ago. That one had prostitutes on the first floor and a little blood on the elevator. I’ll have to tell you about that one some other time.

Like I was saying, this hotel in Eureka Springs was a gem of a find. It was owned by a couple in their late 50’s named Frank and Karina. It was Karina who we met first greeted us on our arrival. She was a very friendly woman whose artificially blonde hair revealed her futile fight against aging. Her thick Norwegian accent and the dark circles under her eyes gave her a ghoulish air.

Deciphering half of what she said through her accent, it was evident that she was an unusual person.  She collected cats and told us that she had 969 in all but only one of them living and breathing. The rest of the cats were either painted, plastic or ceramic. I saw the evidence of this all over the office. I glanced around and performed a quick calculation.  There could not have been more than three hundred that I could see.  She raved about her adopted home, Eureka Springs.  She claimed that there was no crime in the historic town.  A quick google search later revealed that this was untrue.  We inquired as to the local cuisine and she suggested the Pizza Hut buffet.  To be completely honest, there was something charming about her eccentricities.

Later in our stay, we were preparing food to take out to the pool area and grill. Surprisingly, our room phone rang. I say surprisingly because that never happens these days. Fifteen years ago, when your hotel phone rang, there was anticipation and mystery as to who was on the other end. Who was it that tracked you down and for what reason? Was it your boss with important information or a loved one missing you and just wanting to hear your voice? But now everyone has mobile devices and are easily accessible by call, text or email.  One doesn’t immediately know what to think about a call to their hotel room phone.

I picked up the receiver and it was Frank on the other end.  I had yet to meet him.

“Hello, 210,” he said. Oddly, he had called me by my room number.

He explained that he had cooked stew and invited us to share. I told him I appreciated his generosity but that we were shortly headed to the pool area to cook our own food. He then fell just short of insisting we eat his stew. So, as a guest, I felt it would go against proper etiquette to refuse my host any further.

We met him at the pool where he supplied us with bowls of his stew.  Frank had artificial, jet black hair, like his wife, losing the battle of his fight against aging.  His accent was distinctly Brooklyn.  He had a sharpness of eye and an intensity in his face that only comes to men who have seen war.

He headed back to the office asking us politely to return the bowls when we were finished. You can imagine my reticence in eating the stew as I didn’t even know this man. There is simply no telling what he could have done to it. But I had this irrational trust that I am unable to explain.  So I did eat and it was delicious.

On returning the empty bowls Frank invited me into their living area beyond the front desk of the office. This is where I was greeted with the bulk of their cat collection. See the photos I’ve included.

Anyway, this couple added some flavor to our visit. Call it an eccentric hospitality that I found comforting.  Being a member of the great unwashed, I figured you would appreciate my perspective. Pass this along to your dad if you think any of this is worthwhile.

Always,

Eric