LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings By Barbara La Valleur — Trash Trump

You can’t make these things up.

We live in Edina, a Minneapolis suburb in a 392-unit condo complex. My husband, a retired Mayo Clinic administrator of 32 years, is ever conscious of people’s tendencies to throw away perfectly useful items and rescues them from the dumpster.

When he first did this a few years ago, I questioned his motives despite his commitment to recycling everything possible. We certainly don’t need “extra stuff” in our small condo, especially since we’d both spent months decluttering and downsizing in preparation for a remodeling project completed last year. It didn’t take long, however, for me to see the value in his actions.

The “pickings” were pretty phenomenal: working computers, vacuums that only need a new $2 belt, never-worn clothing with price tags still on them, nicely framed artwork, perfectly fine furniture, little used household items, unwanted gifts, etc. He methodically washes, cleans and repairs anything that needs it and takes it to various shelters, Goodwill and similar organizations.

Yesterday’s find was without question his most “priceless” find. I took one look at one of it and burst out laughing.

b7It’s a board game titled “TRUMP: The Game.” Seriously. The roughly 10-by-15-by-4-inch  black-and-gold box features a color photo of a much younger, with his 1980s hair style ― which he still clings to today ― closed-lipped, perennial red tie/black-suited Donald J. Trump complete with his signature ― in gold, of course ― below the photo.

In case you or your family have missed this unique opportunity to play the Donald, let me share this:

The cover: “It’s not whether you win or lose, but whether you win!” touts the current GOP presidential candidate from the black-and-gold game box lid produced in 1989 by the Milton Bradley Co.

b6The Rule Book: Features a closed-mouth Trump photo on the front and an invitation to prospective players to “Live the fantasy! Feel the power! Make the deals!”

The contents:

All of the card backs also feature Trump’s photo and the words “Trump: The Game.”

The “A Quick Guide To Playing The Game” includes one dice (some may call the singular a die, but I’m trying my best to be objective here) and four plastic T’s ― referred in the rules to my amusement as “pawns” ― one for each player.

b4There are cards, lots of cards, as you’d expect. And, of course, the 19-by-28-inch board and colored “cash” bills in $10 (white), $50 (salmon) and $100 (green). That would be millions of $$$, as well as small property boxes in which to store all your money with thin black plastic holders for the money and cards.

Other cards instruct “Another player pays taxes of $20 million” and “If you own at least one property, collect profits of (between) $40 million ― $200 million. A few cards identify “Outside Investor,” which means the player can bid between $20 million to $60 million” for a property.

Another smaller stack of cards threaten “You may FORCE THE SALE of any property,” while others warn “I’m back in the bidding!” or “You’re out of the bidding!”

b3The game starts out with a card stating “Roll the die five times: For every T you roll, draw a card from any player.”

As one would expect, the game is all about real estate. The properties include a sports complex, tropical island, airline, convention center, cruise line, casino, hotel and office building. The property values range from $20 million to $50 million. Some cards contain “collect profits of” between $60 million and $110 million.

Part 1 in the Quick Rule Guide explains The Buying Phase, where players collect Trump cards and try to buy properties as they move around the game board.

Part 2 is The Dealing Phase in which your goals are to play cards in your hand to make money and make deals to acquire “even more money.”

Trump Tips in the form of colored triangles appear throughout the 10-page Rule Book. I can’t help but compare these tips to his some of his campaign practices. 

Trump Tip No. 1: “Trump cards are valuable, so you don’t want anyone else to accumulate too many! When you roll T on the die, see what opponent has the most cards and consider taking a card from that person.”

Trump Tip No. 2 “There are a variety of different Trump cards, and each is very powerful! Usually, it is to your benefit to accumulate as many cards as possible.”

Trump Tip No. 3 “During the game, try not to reveal your total cash holdings to your opponents. That way, it will be harder for them to tell if you’re cash rich or poor.”

Trump Tip No. 4 “Although the highest bidder gets the property, don’t throw money around by bidding foolishly! It should always be your goal to buy a property at the best possible price.”

Trump Tip No. 5 “Before you make any deals, you may want to play the cards in your hand that relate to the properties you own. Don’t risk losing a good card to an opponent who rolls a T and wants one of your cards.”

Trump Tips No. 6 “If you think an opponent has a huge cash lead, you may decide not to deal with him or her at all. Make your deals with other players as you attempt to boost your own cash holdings.”

Each player starts with $400 million and five Trump cards, and the property boxes are placed on their matching game board spaces with one $50 million bill in each box.

Winning the game occurs, “When all cards have been played, all deals made, or all players consecutively pass, the game is over. Players count up their cash in hand and the money inside any property boxes they own. The player with the most money wins!”

What I found most telling was the small clear plastic bag with the die and four T pawns?  It had never been opened.

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