} One of the advantages of being an ancient seer is not in
} the fame, fortune, and women, but my many years of
} experience. Sometimes, from on top of this hill, I can find
} a use for some of it.
} There hasn't always been a single Monopolies Commission
} (one of the many results of the Sherman Antiturts Act of
} 1890). In its zeal to prevent the irony of a monopoly
} governing the laws against monopolies, Congress first
} turned to free enterprise. In 1907, an auction was held in
} Atlantic City, New Jersey, for licenses for individuals to
} set up their own Monopoly Commissions. Unfortunately, there
} was a real estate boom going on in Atlantic City at the
} time, and there was quite a lot of confusion between the
} housing developers, land speculators, and enterprising
} young Monopoly Commissions. People wandered the streets
} aimlessly, throwing shoes, wheelbarrows, and even cards
} about the city in search of a better understanding of the
} confusion. Beauty pageants and railroads popped up at every
} In 1911, most of the hubbub died down, with many of the
} residents of Atlantic City stuck away safely in the newly
} built homes, hotels, or prisons. Only a handful of
} speculators wandered the streets, grabbing up open parcels
} of lands and shares of the Monopoly Commission.
} The new Monopolies Commission was run by Mr. A Parker, a
} rather rotund and jolly fellow, always seen in a tuxedo
} and top hat. It was said that tugging his huge white
} handlebar mustache could bring one luck during the holiday
} He died in 1937, leaving a massive fortune and a huge
} bureaucracy behind. His will called for the commission of a
} board game to commemorate the madcap scramble for land an
} political power in his earlier days. The men who wrote the
} rules for Parker's Game were eventually known as The Parker
} The game, of course, is Scrabble. In writing the rules for
} the "biography," Elmo Parker, the younger of the two
} brothers, fell down a flight of stairs while carrying the
} typesetting tray for the first four pages. In his rush to
} reassemble the words, the idea struck him and we have the
} slippery stairs to thank.
} That explain things? Good. You still owe me $100 for
} landing on Marvin Gardens. Pay up.
} You owe The Oracle a triple word score.