Grandson and I went went out looking a for soccer goal he could kick to. Selma Youth Soccer cranks up soon, so we needed some pre-season work.
Drove all over town, to every school in Selma. Some were locked up; 4-year-old and grandpa chose not to climb the fence. Others had no visible soccer net.
Finally ended up at Ringo Park, way across town from our house, but with accessible goals. Stopped the car, turned to the grandson ... who was sound asleep in the back.
Amazing how a car ride can lull a kid to sleep when he refuses to nap in the house.
Anyway, after his nap we sat down at the table to play our latest table game, Selma-Opoly.
It’s a version of Monoply, a board game played by families for generations. But Selma-Opoly uses place names from our town. Instead of Boardwalk and Park Place, you can buy Pioneer Village, Wilkin’s Drive-In or Lincoln Park.
Drawing a card might instruct you to advance to the Selma Arts Center or force you to hand over $25 to pay property tax. You can actually lose one turn because you ate too many of Sal’s Fancy Burritos.
A couple of the cards betray a lack of knowledge about Selma. For instance, you can earn $100 for being named Miss Selma. I wonder what our Raisin Queen would say about that?
Another card announces that you have been elected Mayor. Guess the games-makers don’t understand we don’t elect our mayor. But then, a card that said, “You’ve been rotated in as Mayor” doesn’t have quite the same ring.
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Selma-Opoly is a fun diversion for a summer evening, but I’d put some drama into it if I invented the game. And I’d make it a bit more specific.
For instance, instead of saying you are in a traffic jam, I’d say, “You’re caught in traffic on Floral under the 99 Freeway bridge. Stay put for your next three turns.”
Another card would read: “Gunshots in your neighborhood. Put the game away and hide under your beds.”
Or you might get this instruction: “Pay $200 to avoid going to City Hall next Monday to watch Council members bicker at each other.”
Yes, if I invented this game a card would reward you with a milkshake at Foster’s Freeze.
You could earn $200 for helping pick up trash on Saturday mornings with the Clean Up Selma crew or taking a visitor on a Mural Tour of downtown.
And it would cost you $50 for mispronouncing Poke Cubed, not being able to recite the Selma Public Library hours or being unable to explain how to get to Sal’s.
So the next time you can’t figure out how keep your grandchild awake while you cruise Selma in search of a soccer goal, remember Selma-Opoly, where you can actually be penalized for eating burritos. Sheesh.
(Longtime Selma resident Ken Robison is a retired newspaper reporter, editor, columnist and photographer. Selma Stories appears regularly in The Enterprise.)