Now and then the Monopoly game makes the news because they've changed something. They'll got rid of the piece shaped like an iron or a thyroid or whatever those things are. The purists revolt: You can't take away the Thyroid piece! I have childhood memories of not wanting to be that piece! I'll start a Facebook campaign!

Hardly anyone plays Monopoly. I have a "classic" Monopoly game in the closet for the same reason I have candles and canned goods: in case the power goes out for a long time. In which case we burn the Monopoly money to heat the canned food. It's fun when you're a kid for the first three hours, but eventually when it staggers to an end you feel like someone who chewed a log down into a toothpick: the sense of accomplishment is overwhelmed by exhaustion.

The latest twist: Monopoly ran an online contest to replace spaces on the board with cities for a new edition. Now Park Place is … Minneapolis. The second-highest property. Put a hotel on that and you bankrupt your sister, who says the game is stupid anyway and quits.

This makes no sense. How did Minneapolis end up more expensive than New York or San Francisco? The average Minneapolis rent would get you a Gotham flat so small you have to sleep on your hot plate.

To complete the absurdity, Boardwalk — the most expensive space — is now Pierre, S.D. Because when you think of elegant swells with diamond-tipped walking canes striding along in dove-gray cutaway tuxedos en route to eat brandied oysters, Pierre comes to mind. And there's more! Waconia won the wild-card round, so it replaced Baltic Avenue, aka the slums.

It may double Monopoly sales in Waconia to two, but it's really nothing new. There's already a game on the market that has the name of every single town in Minnesota.

It's called Scrabble.