Fiona McCade: Barking mad bid to drop Monopoly dog

The Scottie dog visiting Park Lane. Picture: TSPL
The Scottie dog visiting Park Lane. Picture: TSPL
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Whenever my family plays Monopoly, I brook no arguments: I am the Scottie dog. I’m always the Scottie dog.

The might of the Scottie dog enables me to reign supreme, grinding my competitors into the ground, taking all their money and leaving them destitute, with barely the Old Kent Road or a beauty contest win to their names.

So, it is with great fear and loathing that I must report the possible demise of the Scottie dog. That’s right, the best piece on the board might be in danger of disappearing from the world of Monopoly, and what’s worse, he might even be replaced by a cat.

Monopoly is undergoing one of its periodic modernisations, but this one is more serious than most. Yes, we’ve seen deluxe editions come and go; yes, there are now loads of local versions; sure, other pieces have been tried and discarded over the game’s 78-year history; but this is the first time the true popularity of each of the pieces has been tested in the age of social media, so anything could happen.

A worldwide, public vote is currently on to decide which of the old pieces – the dog, car, boot, hat, ship, iron and thimble (some say they have a wheelbarrow, but I’d have to see it to believe it) – should be permanently scrapped and replaced with a new, more contemporary one, either a diamond ring, helicopter, guitar, robot or – if there’s no justice in the world – that damned cat.

We only have until Tuesday, 5 February, to Save Our Scottie. I never thought I’d say this, but please, get on to Facebook and vote, or go to Twitter and tweet yourselves silly in support of the wee dug. The SOS campaign must triumph – it’s not simply a case of national pride; if the Scottie isn’t saved, I can never play Monopoly again, and as it’s the only time I ever get to stay in a hotel on Park Lane, I’d kind of miss it.

I can’t honestly imagine the dog losing out to the boot, or even the top hat, but we can’t leave it to chance. I’m pinning my hopes on the fact that this competition is happening because the maker of Monopoly is trying to update the game, and as far as I’m concerned, the Scottie dog is eternal. You can’t say the same for flat irons and thimbles, though. Still, I’m not overly impressed by some of the new offerings, either. A robot? Really? Which era are they trying to update the game to? The 1980s?

I think the guitar is a mistake, too. Gone are the days when mastering an instrument and creating your own music would bring you riches. The best Monopoly piece to represent fame and fortune in today’s record business would be a mere microphone – assuming an auto-tune machine wouldn’t be recognisable enough. Or perhaps a pair of unnaturally high-waisted trousers, to swagger around the board, perpetually reminding us of the power of Simon Cowell.

In fact, maybe Monopoly should just chuck everything – apart from the Scottie dog, of course – and start afresh.

The new “modern” pieces could be a Burberry baseball cap; a Jimmy Choo shoe; a football (where most money seems to be made these days); an iPhone; a bottle of Cristal champagne; a Gulfstream jet; a Kalashnikov; a bag of cocaine and a private yacht that stretches across at least five properties all at once.

I don’t want to even contemplate the possibility that the Save Our Scottie campaign might fail, but I would hope, at the very least, that there would always be a place for the Aberdeen terrier in the Scottish version of the game.

Come to think of it, the Edinburgh edition of Monopoly hasn’t been updated since 2008, so it’s about time it had a revamp. Along with the beloved Scottie dog, I can think of several new pieces that would faithfully reflect the many facets of our great capital. There could be a book, to honour Edinburgh’s literary heritage; the Royal Yacht Britannia; Dolly the sheep; a “See You Jimmy” hat; a bottle of Irn-Bru – or Buckfast; an umbrella; and a tram.

Whoever picks the tram doesn’t get to go anywhere on the board, but they do get given everybody else’s money.