Ten Rules for Making Rules

Society collapses without rules.

So too, do everyday actions like calling shotgun, sharing a movie-theater armrest and choosing a urinal in a public bathroom. In fact, rules are the cornerstone of what we do, how we do it, why we do it and when we do it. Without rules, society would just be a chaotic place, with chaoticness and chaos and a bunch of crazy chaotic crazies.

But most people aren’t that great at making rules.

That’s why I thought it would be helpful for me to reveal one of the most carefully guarded secrets of mine (in addition to the one that involves me, a starlett and a sushi restaurant) so that the rest of society could benefit from it. I mean, didn’t that one guy say that one time something about how if you are doomed to repeat society or something, that we must learn from our secret guarded rule lists or something?

Yeah, I thought so.

So without further adieu (a phrase that I am extremely loving these days), I give you The WFME Premiere Presentation of Ten Rules for Making Rules:

  1. For rules to sound realistic, rules must include words that harken back to the days of Shakespeare. Words like hereto, forego, herewithfore, therefore, evermore, hath, doth, naught, thee and ho!.
  2. Specific rules must reference previously aforementioned rules with complicated Roman numeral paragraph references and section details such as “…as referred to Paragraph VII, Section 4.21.”
  3. Rules must threaten bodily harm, punishment and consequences. Without instilling fear in your rule-readers, they will never follow your rules. Using creative descriptive phrases like bloody, shriek-inducing, worse than Hell itself and you’ll wish you were never born — such rules will hammer home the seriousness of acting against such worded guidelines.
  4. Rules must not rhyme, unless you wish people to consider you a clown. For example, “Therefore, if the toilet seat hereto hath not returned to it’s original down position, as per Paragraaph XXI, Section 2.01, painful and bloody bodily harm will come to thee…” is far more serious and respected than “If you leave the toilet seat up, you’d better run and get a cup, for I will make you drink your juice — a literal and truly figurative noose.”
  5. Rules must never be referred to as rules. No one likes to think they’re following your rules. Referring to them as “simple guidelines”, “just a little helpful list of things you might want to consider”, “a fun Top 10 list”, “you know, just something I was thinking about” or “some funny little crazy words I strung together that you will so enjoy reading” are far better ways to refer to your hard-edged rules.
  6. Since “rules” rhymes with “fools” you should never use either word in the same sentence or else these fools following your rules about, oh let’s say…using the touch screen remote control or programming the VCR or borrowing your DVDs or wearing your clothing or putting clothes on hangers in your closet in the right way and not the wrong way… Well, fools who are referred to as fools don’t follow rules, FYI.
  7. A list of rules must contain at least seven rules and not exceed nineteen. Lists of rules must never have an even amount of rules. Rules must not contain more than three extended rules with sub-rules and sub-paragraphs. Rules must never be printed on a page, in a Times New Roman or Helvetica font because that makes them look too official and then rule-followers become averse to your rules because they think that you are trying to be the “boss of them” and no one wants you to be the boss of them. So go with Futura or Courier fonts (the more blockier and amateurish the better) and be sure to stick with odd numbers.
  8. While “rules” rhymes with “schmules” you should never refer to the two in one sitting.
  9. Rules must never refer to you with your name. You should give yourself a more regal, authoritative-sounding type name. Most often, take one of the following preceding titles (Duke, Lord, Master, Secretary, Reigning Leader, or Grand Master), use only the first letter of your last name, and then add one of the following finishing touches (of the Manor, of the Empire, Shigginboth, Esquire, or of the Interior) and use that as your “rule creation namesake.” For example, I often go by Master D of the Manor. People will respect you and your rules far more this way.
  10. Finally, remember that you’re creating rules to force people to bend to your own will. In doing so, you should never thrust rules on the potential rule-followers without buying them a nice appetizer at someplace like T.G.I.Friday’s or the Sizzler. But don’t spend more than $9.99 in any situation or your soon-to-be rule-follower will wonder why you are bribing them with all you can eat shrimp. Stay calm, collected, and don’t give up the goat.

With these helpful guidelines, WFME thinks you’ll be up and running before too long — with some, NAY, many of the people around you in your life suddenly following your “helpful suggestions” that just happen to come in “list form” like obedient little followers.

So go. Exist. BE.

We know we are. (BE’ing, that is.)

8 comments on “Ten Rules for Making Rules

  1. Dave2 - April 16, 2006 at 10:50 am -

    All that, and no rules for reading “Words for My Enjoyment”?

    Chaoticness ensues!

  2. Rabbit - April 16, 2006 at 1:55 pm -

    Your list of “Ten Rules for Making Rules” violates paragraph 5, line 1 (“Rules must never be referred to as rules.”) and paragraph 7, line 2 (“Lists of rules must never have an even amount of rules.”)

    I fear that chaos will indeed ensue.

  3. Pauly D - April 16, 2006 at 2:53 pm -

    Rabbit – According to Paragraph VI, Section 6.9 — rule makers are not subject to the rules they make.

  4. Rabbit - April 16, 2006 at 4:25 pm -

    Well that’s a relief!

  5. christie - April 17, 2006 at 5:59 am -

    Not to do while reading PD’s blog.

    Forego sipping coffee. Laughing causes issues when coffee is in the mouth.

    When being shallow, make it as subtle as possible. Therefore, not revealing true smartass self.

    Finally, for fun, look at male to female ratio of comments on PDs blog. Then ponder the reason behind this phenom.

    Oh another finally…remember the aversion for coffee that PD has and evermore refrain from offering a cyber cup or meeting for one. Only Diet Coke will do for him.

    Lastly…Oooooooh a piece of Sizzler toast!!!! I haven’t seen a Sizzler in years. Lining up for food, the invention of the kick ass salad bar…and that toast! LOL. 🙂


  6. susan - April 17, 2006 at 6:19 am -

    According to your list, I am FANTASTIC at making rules. When I got to the end of your post and I didn’t see a giant list of rules made up by your commenters, I was so surprised.

  7. Pauly D - April 17, 2006 at 6:34 am -

    Christie – What is the male to female ratio? And please show your work.

  8. Cafe - September 21, 2006 at 2:54 am -

    #1 You left out “Shall.” Nothing like good ole King James English to give rules their authoritarian ring.

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