'Do not pass Go, go directly to jail' has real meaning for one Monopoly player

You really can't blame the guy too much. After all, we're talking Park Place and Boardwalk.

Maybe you've heard, and maybe you haven't, but here's the gist of what we know. The news is just now breaking that last weekend, on Saturday night, a 54-year-old Michigan man, Kenneth Reppke, was playing Monopoly, the famed board game made by Parker Bros., with a female friend and things were apparently going fine -- until they hit a rough patch in the game and suddenly violence ensued.

Reppke either hit his friend on the side of the head or slapped her in the face. Either way, her glasses came flying off and broke.

She understandably called the police. Reppke was not allowed to collect his $200 when passing Go because he was taken to jail. Real jail.

One neighbor later quipped, "I guess he takes his Monopoly pretty seriously."Reppke was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery. But once it was determined that they weren't married or dating -- so this wasn't domestic assault -- Repkke was charged with a misdemeanor and given a get-out-of-jail free card, in effect, being allowed to post bond.

I'm not making fun of hitting anyone, of course, but I have to make jokes, just because this story resonates with me, and I'm sure a lot of us.

I remember a lot of wonderful games of Monopoly in my childhood and can actually almost understand how one can get so worked up over a board game. Not to the point of actually clobbering someone, but it can definitely feel like life or death sometimes when you don't have much money in the bank, and your competitor has all of those houses and hotels, and you keep landing on them.

Apparently, Reppke wanted to buy Park Place and Boardwalk from his friend, and she refused, and that's when he got mad. I didn't even thinking buying hotels from your competitor was allowed, but if it is, it seems reasonable that she would say no. Those are arguably the best properties on the board. (The official rules for Monopoly are worth reading at once in your lifetime.)

In any case, these days, with this current economy, maybe Monopoly is hitting a little too close to home for some people like Reppke. Sure, for all we know, this guy is just a sore loser, but assuming that he isn't -- from reports, he and this friend often play board games together, so he presumably is normally a fun guy to hang around -- maybe Monopoly suddenly felt a little too close to real life.


Maybe he should start playing Parcheesi or Battleship, games I know I've always enjoyed, but they seem a little less stressful. Or if he winds up in jail for three months (which is the likely imprisonment time for this misdemeanor), Reppke may just have to be content with brushing up on his Solitaire skills.

In any case, I'm guessing he and his friend won't be playing board games any time soon. But if they do, I'm sure it'll be another favorite, a famous board game by Hasbro: Sorry.

And to his credit, it's been reported that he has apologized.

Geoff Williams usually writes about banking issues for WalletPop. He is also the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).
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What Are the Chances?
Maybe you've heard, and maybe you haven't, but here's the gist of what we know. The news is just now breaking that last weekend, on Saturday night, a 54-year-old Michigan man, Kenneth Reppke, was playing Monopoly with a female friend and things were apparently going fine...until they hit a rough patch in the game and suddenly violence ensued. For more weird stories, click through this gallery.
Mark Peterson , Redux
Courtney Sargent, The Gazette / AP

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