On Sunday's exemplary return of The Sopranos, the highlight scene was a warm, loving family gathering for Tony's birthday at the Bacala lake house. Well, there were a few warm, loving moments before gallons of booze, the annoying presence of Janice, Tony's frequent jabs at his sister for her felatially friendly antics "under the boardwalk" and a dispute over Monopoly rules turned into a brutal, knock down, furniture breaking mano-a-mano between Tony and Bobby. Unbelievable scene.
The disagreement was over what to do with "fines" and "taxes" and money that Chance and Community chest direct a player to pay. Tony and Carm asserted that this money went into the center of the table, and whoever landed on "Free Parking" on a direct roll received the money in that kitty. Bobby said that wasn't in the rules, and that the money should go into the bank (which Tony was stealing from anyway, but that's another point). As Bobby points out "You know, the Parker Brothers took the time to think this all out. I think we should respect that." Janice chimes in: "Fuck the Parker Brothers. Just play the game."
Of course, little rules disagreements don't often wind up with broken furniture, telling your brother in law about your sister's penchant for boardwalk blowjobs, multiple bruises and a green plastic house stuck to your face, though an argument over the exact rules of the "shot of beer a minute" game did result in a pitcher of beer dumped on a foosball table mid-game, drenching the armless pole mounted nancy boys and the ball, and creating a drunken throwdown in the frat house 20 or so years ago. But I digress. How does everyone play the game? Personally, I've always played the Soprano way, with money from all the ridiculous fines and such going into the central kitty with some lucky bastard picking it up from "Free Parking." What about the rest of you?
Of course, they could have settled this a little more simply. They were at Bobby's, so there's "house rules." They could have stuck strictly to the rules as written. They could have gone with Tony's option, since he was A. having a birthday, or B. The Boss. However, I'm glad they didn't, as they provided a scene that will be talked about for some time. And after all, they were drunk, they were gangsters, and they were The Sopranos.