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Trump: The Board Game

As further evidence that truth can, indeed, be stranger than fiction, there was a board game introduced, in February of 1989, by the Milton Bradley Corporation, that was inspired by and based upon the personality, cult following, and commercial exploits of New York real estate tycoon Donald Trump. The game’s snappy, take-no-prisoners tagline was: “It’s not whether you win or lose. It’s whether you win.”

Hoping to benefit from the success of Trump’s recent ghost-written book, “The Art of the Deal” (1987), it was called simply: “Trump: The Game.” Although serious “gamers” found it to be a bit more complicated and hard to follow than its provenance, it was roughly modeled on “Monopoly.” The suggested retail price was $25.

In fairness to Milton Bradley, it should be noted that it’s rare for a newly introduced board game to navigate its way into the hearts of America’s serious gamers and amateur enthusiasts, and become a legitimate success. Market competition is fierce. Accordingly, “Trump: The Game” was a bust.

But in 2004, a new opportunity presented itself. In the wake of Trump’s wildly successful TV reality show, “The Apprentice,” the board game was reissued in a slightly modified (simplified and slimmed down) version, this time by Parker Brothers, a Hasbro subsidiary, and this time with the irresistable tagline: “It takes brains to make millions. It takes Trump to make billions.”

Alas, even with the procedural and cosmetic improvements (and Trump’s splashy assurance that a significant part of the profits would be donated to charity) the re-introduced version also failed. Again, the board game market is a tough nut to crack.

However, now that Donald Trump is president, the time may be ripe for the introduction of yet another modified version of the game, this one far, far simpler than the earlier versions, and one that is not only easier to play but is more focused, specific and crueler. The game would be called, simply: “I Didn’t Say That!”

The game would require 3-4 players, playing clockwise, taking turns drawing from a deck of 60 cards. Each card will have three preposterous quotations printed on it. One of the ridiculous quotes will have been verified to have been uttered by Donald Trump, and the other two will either have been invented by comedy writers, or have been taken from rantings on the Internet. The first person to correctly identify 10 Trump quotes wins the game. The rules couldn’t be any clearer.

To make the game more interesting the deck will include three “denial” cards. Each denial card will have a picture of Sarah Huckabee Sanders on its back, and the words, “I didn’t say that!” written on its face. Any player drawing a denial card will be required to relinquish all points accrued by correctly identifying Trump’s quotes, and forced to start over.

There will also be one “Adios, Amigo” card in the deck. This is the one card no one wants to draw (worse even than the dreaded queen of spades in the game of “Hearts.). On its back will be a picture of Steve Bannon, and on its face will be the words, “You’re fired!”

The unfortunate person drawing the “Adios, Amigo” card will not only be required to quit the game, leave the table, and exit the room, but will be asked to leave the house entirely.

In June of 2016, “Huffington Post” reported that after careful investigation, it was unable to confirm that any money earned from sale of The Game had been donated to charity. Despite Trump’s assurances, there was no evidence that any money had made its way to a charity. In any event, this board game is now considered a collector’s item.

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David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

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