I find myself once again blogging live from the Pittsburgh International Airport. I have spent the previous hour waiting patiently at my departure terminal, checking my email and the news over an airport McDonald’s breakfast. As per usual, I took extra care to order breakfast items that are accompanied by Monopoly game pieces. I peeled the game pieces from my food and set them carefully on the chair next to me. (To read about our other adventures in McDonald’s Monopoly, click here or here or here).
As I ate and surfed the web, a little girl, approximately 1-2 years old by my best estimation, began to walk around the boarding area, surveying the crowd for individuals with McDonald’s game pieces. She too had eaten at McDonald’s this morning with her father and had 4 pieces in her little hands.
She found two other McDonald’s Monopoly players and initiated a game of switcharoo, amusing herself to no end by picking up one person’s game pieces and delivering them to another in the boarding area. This went on for 20 minutes or so. I watched in horror as this miniature monster unknowingly tampered with my chances of winning big. On the inside I was piping mad, but on the outside, I participated joyfully, oohing and ahhing at the cute little princess waltzing around the airport. I did not want to be the bitter grown-up who refused to entertain the whimsy of small children for a miniscule chance at a major payday (which I feel is, of course, in all actuality, my birthright).
As the game progressed, the little girl’s father grew impatient with her, and he beckoned her, speaking in a foreign language. The girl was unresponsive to her father and continued to trade the extraordinarily low odds of each Monopoly player with the others.
Finally, when the girl, whose name I finally gathered to be Hannah, would not cease flirting with would-be passengers of US Airways 6651, her father stood up, marched over to her, took her hand in his and circulated around the boarding area, collecting all of the game pieces from the passengers with whom Hannah had cavorted. He then proceeded to slide the game pieces into his pocket, apologizing, in broken English, for the disturbance his daughter had caused.
It was at this moment that I realized I had been conned. This father and daughter duo had just scammed everyone at Gate B38 out of their game pieces! I bet they’re not even on my flight. When my aircraft begins to board, they’ll probably slip over to another gate and repeat the whole charade.
I’m onto them. It is unconscionable for a grown man to employ his own daughter in such an unethical (yet brilliant) scheme.
I wonder if they need a third partner.