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Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Get Severance: Interview With An Iron

The Monopoly iron token that was replaced by the new cat token.
Steven Senne
The Monopoly iron token that was replaced by the new cat token.

Wednesday, Hasbro announced that it was welcoming a new member of the Monopoly-token family. And because it asked the Internet, it wound up with a cat. (For whatever reason, the Internet was not offered Gotye or a bacon cupcake.)

Unfortunately, "rightsizing" the Monopoly token collection meant that as one new token was introduced, one old token had to be ushered out the door, and by popular vote, it was the iron. We entered a frantic fever dream and then reached the iron at its home on the top shelf of the linen closet.

Monkey See: How are you feeling?

Iron: It's still sinking in, I think.

Did you expect this?

I had a bad vibe coming into the meetings today; the hat wouldn't look me in the eye.

But I'm guessing you're never really prepared.

Well, no. I mean, you're never prepared for something like this. But I wish everybody the best, you know? I'm still great friends with everybody – the hat, the dog, the car, the ship, the boot, that thing I just found out was a wheelbarrow. Did you know that was a wheelbarrow? Anyway, they're all really nice.

You didn't mention the thimble.

[Sighing noise] The thimble ... it's better if I don't comment.

Is there history there?

Let's move on.

Why do you think it was you who wound up losing the vote?

I'm not sure. I mean, I've heard a lot of people speculating that clothes don't wrinkle like they used to, and that I'm not a fancy steam iron, just the flat iron. But that kind of seems like [nonsense]; it's not like the Facebook generation is using a lot of thimbles. I heard some speculation that some of the younger people thought the thimble was a microphone from American Idol.

That seems apocryphal.

That's not apocryphal; you're apocryphal. This whole interview is apocryphal.

That's true, actually.

Look, all I'm saying is that if the problem had been obsolete technology, I don't think I would have lost my spot and there would still be a wheelbarrow in there. People just don't appreciate a starched shirt collar anymore. Have you heard about this grunge music? I heard it's the thing now, is this grunge music.

Well, not really "now."

That's what I heard. But it was from the dog, so.

Did you enjoy your Monopoly career?

I enjoyed a lot of it. There were times when it was frustrating; not everybody just wants to go around and around the board, collecting a salary and trying to build hotels. I never really wanted to build hotels. That's a very specific ambition, and if you have it, that's great. But if you don't, it's not very fulfilling. Did you see The Queen Of Versailles?

I did.

It's really good. It's about the recession, which of course affected us all. We were all relying more and more on those beauty contest winnings. It's hard to, you know, build the next Bellagio on that.

What do you have planned now that you're moving on from this project?

I'm going to be in a pilot for Fox, which is really exciting. It's called Flat Broke, and Ryan Murphy is producing it. Kathy Bates plays a woman who's trying to start her life over again after a divorce, and she's making money for herself by becoming a seamstress.

Who do you play?

...I play an iron.

Do you have a fear of being typecast?

I'm just playing to my strengths. I do have inquiries in about playing a panini press in an off-Broadway musical next spring.

Do you think Monopoly is being too solicitous of the younger generation?

I think they're doing what they have to do. I stand for something older, more about quality, more about the classics. You can go to a job interview in dungarees now; who's going to think that when you go out to become a real estate mogul, you should be represented by an iron? I'm surprised they didn't replace me with a Trump head.

Do you expect to spend time with some of the other former Monopoly pieces?

I'm not sure. There used to be a lantern, I'm not sure I could do a lot with that. You know, "Wooooo! Excitement! Let's party with this lantern." But there was an elephant once, and it kind of seems like an elephant might be able to appreciate an iron. Have you seen those?

What, elephants?

Yeah. Very wrinkled. And I hear they hate freakin' cats.

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Linda Holmes
Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.