In that moment when Henry Ford invented the first black car, he introduced an eternal battle among all siblings. A universal crisis facing every parent on a daily basis. A headache inducing logistical nightmare, and another reason why Cain killed Abel. I’ll bet my salary that someone, somewhere is having a fight about it right now. Some poor father having to decipher and figure out which kid gets to ride in the front seat…
With my limited attention span I barely remember what stuff to buy on a trip to the shop, never mind trying to remember whose turn it is to take that coveted spot next to me.
And in one moment everything changed…
A few weeks ago I had to drop the kids at school again. One of our other kids, a long time friend of Dude, shouted SHOTGUN! and sat in the front seat without so much as a peep or quip from my own spawn. Dude and Princess seemed content in having to sit in the back seat. I love them dearly but knew this wasn’t out of common courtesy. I was flabbergasted and once I picked up my jaw, which cracked the driveway as it hit bottom, I was speechless. What just happened? Did I just witness a miracle?
It turned out to be nothing that spectacular. S called Shotgun!
Calling Shotgun! implies that a person has the right to sit in front, provided he/she complies to all the rules. It’s the new magic word of a secret society of teenagers that might even solve 90% of all sibling rivalry and cause world peace. Unfortunately for me, it doesn’t do anything for Princess cleaning out the cookie jar or Dude gobbling down the last juice. I reckon they’re still working on a word for that.
Compliance to the rules of calling Shotgun! is critical so I’ve included an extract from the official website (www.shotgunrules.com) for your convenience.
- You must say “Shotgun!” to stake your claim on Shotgun. This must be done clearly and loud enough so that at least one other occupant of the vehicle can hear you. No variations of this word are acceptable. After you have legally called Shotgun, you have exclusive rights to Shotgun for that ride only. However, if no one verifies your Shotgun call, it is still fair game for everyone. Once Shotgun has been claimed, alternate seats can be claimed in the same manor. After all, who wants to get caught riding bitch?
- Shotgun may only be called after the “Deed is Done.” Simply stated, the Deed is any activity or objective that directly precedes the ride in the automobile. The Deed can be anything, ranging from a stop at a friend’s house, to a shopping trip at the mall, to frequenting a roadside rest-stop on an Interstate highway. Accepting the concept of the “Deed” is critically important because it establishes a Shotgun-calling time frame that ensures everyone has an equal chance of recognizing when to call Shotgun.
- You must be outside to call shotgun. If the Deed takes place indoors, the Deed is considered done after you have left the building in which the Deed took place. All passengers need not have exited the building, but someone must hear you call Shotgun. Some people choose to use a variation of this rule and require that all occupants be out of the building before Shotgun can be called. This does not work. It leads to everyone calling Shotgun at the same time and often ends in physical violence.
- The Shotgun Gapers (gey-pers) are people who prioritize Shotgun much more than a normal human being. These people will alter their usual behavior and even undermine their own ethics in order to gain the rights to Shotgun. They do this through legal means, however – such as sprinting for an exit – and therefore they cannot be voided. The advantage to being a Shotgun Gaper is that you always get Shotgun but it is frowned upon and might get you mauled.
- Whenever you break a Shotgun rule you may be “voided” from receiving Shotgun privileges for that ride. Although somewhat discretionary, voiding automatically applies if you call Shotgun while indoors, if you do not have your shoes on, or if you display any other blatant disregard for Shotgun protocol. Voiding only applies for the ride directly after the voiding has occurred and after that ride you may regain full Shotgun privileges. Once someone has been voided, then all of the other passengers are free to once again call Shotgun in the correct manner.
I was forced to introduce another rule to our household which is that Mom does not have to call Shotgun! to secure her place in the front seat. Mom (and yours truly) assigned ourselves a Shotgun! Platinum Pass, which basically gives us default Shotgun! privileges. This was a necessary move as the Wife didn’t appreciate, nor understood, why she ended up in the back seat…Twice.
Needless to say, I believe this is how the world will regain balance to the force and humanity can create an ultimate universe of peace…
Please check out the website for additional information , more rules and further clarity on this very important issue. It is imperative that every parent do so as this might even end up saving the lives of your very own children. Leaving them by the side of the road or throwing them from a moving car is frowned upon in some countries.