Farewell, America. I, the mighty Monopoly iron, have been replaced by a cat.
I know that for dignity’s sake, I should glide quietly away on my lowest setting, but I have to ask a question: How is a cat a better choice than me for representing the sort of strategy that leads to the creation of a monopoly?
I have smoothed millions of winner-take-all white work shirts and blue tradesman jumpsuits. The cat has simply peed on them. Or slept so cutely in the laundry basket that no one wants to disturb it.
I, the steady iron, am also made of iron. I am part of the great steel beams that built our skyscraper cities. Try building something monumental with fur. Even worse, try getting a cat to build anything.
I turn water into steam! Like the great railroads that united our country and made a very few well-connected men rich. The cat just turns water into cat pee.
I am the slow and steady back-and-forth of the enterprise one must have to dominate the world! Cats go back and forth too, but it’s a lazy pacing, waiting for someone to bring them food.
I incinerate nations! That is, if you leave me unattended long enough. Left alone, a cat knocks your most valuable vases from the mantle and then falls asleep in the sun. And the only thing it’s willing to destroy is a helpless, empty toilet paper roll.
I know I sound angry enough to burn wool right now, America. But I have a setting for silk too.
At my less heated, I have pressed flowers between two sheets of wax paper. Keepsakes. Memories. Standard Oil. AT&T. That’s all I will be now. A faded bloom from a lost summer, the blazing hot season of American ambition and domination.
That’s right, my increasingly pudgy-fingered players, you used to want to be irons—ready to strike. Now you want to be cats—playing with toys until your overindulgence in organic treats catches up with you and you fall asleep belly-up.
Now I will turn to my penthouse, to retire, to sit on my terrace overlooking Park Avenue and feel the sun on my triangular face. I will be the last generation of Americans able to do that. Enjoy your cat.