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Ski Bums




by tommy kirchhoff

The game had not started fairly. Big Money rolled into town loaded with large portfolios and excellent liquidity. Molly Mo had an advantage also because she had known Summit and Wasatch counties much longer than the others. The only advantage Snow Bum had was that he traveled light.

Big Money went first. His short roll landed him in Kamas. Big Money shook his head-declaring that he would not buy.

Molly Mo's turn followed. She rolled doubles, and chimed passed Big Money into Heber City. She quickly bought it and kept going. She rolled doubles again, strangely enough, and came all the way back to Payday. She collected her money, smiled, and sneaked that particular pair of dice back into her pocket.

Snow Bum picked up the "fair" dice and let them go. The dots counted six, which landed him on Racket Club Condos. Just when he was about to speak, Molly Mo perked up, "That's eight-hundred a month." Tragically confused about how she owned it without landing on it, Snow Bum split the rent and a day-old pizza with three other guys.

Big Money blew on the dice, but thought in his head that a hard worker makes his own luck. He tossed the dice, counted down the property spaces (sweating profusely) and found himself on Chance. Big Money picked up a card and read aloud. "Go directly to DeerCrest. Pay lender amount shown on card with Ritz-Carlton Hotel." He groaned and reluctantly signed over the inheritance from his Great-aunt Elaine.

Molly Mo's first doubles roll took her to Open Space. All three commenced in deep discussion on how to define the road, but it ended abruptly after Snow Bum's quip about consulting with Jack Kerouac. Again, Molly Mo lobbed the dice gently, and clicked down to Bear Hollow. She calmly tendered the cash to buy it.

Snow Bum's turn dropped him off just south of Price in Wellington, Utah on a Sunday afternoon. There he was stopped in an unconstitutional, non-resident traffic harvest and cited for numerous offenses. The two that bothered him most were Vehicular Dead Head Stickers, and Wearing Freaky Sunglasses In Our Conservative Little Town. They never even searched his VW Bus for marijuana…

Big Money was rarin' to buy. He flipped the dice over Snow Bum's VW, and slowly rolled through the properties in Deer Valley. Again and again, Big Money lost his count as he went over the experimental "Speed Hump." In stereo, the other two yelled, "Come on!" Big Money returned with, "I can't help it-the sexual innuendo's just too much."

Molly Mo rolled a high doubles. She sped passed the Jordanelle because she knew the devil lurked in large bodies of water. Excited with the pretense of landing on Wolf Creek Ranches, she took gleeful, high-lobbing steps. But the fixed dice did her wrong this turn, landing her on Peter Pan's Smoke Shop on Park Avenue. Knowing that people wouldn't call the bongs "water pipes" after they left the store, she reached for her cell phone to call the police. She grit her teeth hard and pushed 'clear' when she couldn't remember the phone number to El Chubasco.

Snow Bum grabbed Molly's dice before she could sneak them away and pitched them down Kearns. He rolled doubles and landed on Rockport Ranches. Thinking it was a good deal, he coughed up the dough. When he read the property card, he realized that service from Utah Power and Questar was pretty indefinite. His second roll put him on Free Dog Crapping. There were signs at the borders of the property that read, "A man never stands so tall as when he stoops to pick up after his dog." As the other two watched intensely, Snow Bum knew he couldn't switch out for the real dice. He rolled Molly's loaded ones, and followed the Three-doubles rule to Out Of Work. He didn't really mind, though.

Big Money suggested that they throw that set of dice away and kick Molly off the Olympic committee. With money burning holes in his Armani suit, he rolled the dice, which coincidentally went doubles, and landed on Community Chest. He couldn't believe the luck when he read the card. "Buy a private gondola car at DeerCrest. Pay lender humorous and absurd amounts of money." The other two laughed and laughed. On his second roll, Big Money landed on 3.2 Beer. With Olympic venues on their way, he knew it was worth the battle to fight Utah's undying pseudo-Prohibition. But after knocking heads with Molly Mo for an hour, he looked over at Snow Bum who had cleverly started up a SpeakEasy.

After lots of ski town stories and three tall, nine-percent beers each, Big Money suggested quitting this game of Parkopoly and offered to take the other two up to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for a caramel apple.