because next to maps, we love rules
November 18, 2004 10:51 AM   Subscribe

The Complete Rules to Calling Shotgun. and the subsequent amendments.
posted by tsarfan (37 comments total)
posted by dobbs at 11:06 AM on November 18, 2004

i like riding in the back, especially if i don't know the driver. that way i feel safer because a) i can't see the road and b) there's another body/seat between me and the windshield.
posted by sporky at 11:07 AM on November 18, 2004

I believe this was around first.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:18 AM on November 18, 2004

posted by bobo123 at 11:18 AM on November 18, 2004

Shotgun No-Row is missing.

By simply calling shotgun, someone can call "Row", forcing you to Row-Sham-Bo (paper, rock, scissors) for the seat.

I can't believe that's missing in both sites.
posted by linux at 11:24 AM on November 18, 2004

Yes, yes, it's Amendment XXI, but the call is specifically "Shotgun! No Row!"
posted by linux at 11:25 AM on November 18, 2004

oooh...I thought you meant shooting a shotgun? I mean, why do that when you can do THIS???
posted by Hands of Manos at 11:27 AM on November 18, 2004

Left window! No bitch!
posted by Keyser Soze at 11:27 AM on November 18, 2004

Ozzie Pissbolt!!
posted by NationalKato at 11:28 AM on November 18, 2004

I have an eccentric friend who made me sign a "shotgun" constitution before he'd let me ride in his car. Many of the rules from these sites were on there. And at the bottom were all the signatures of his friends. He kept it in his glove compartment.

On that note, a car isn't a democracy, or even a representative republic -- it's a dictatorship, and all shotgun agreements are subject to arbitrary veto by the driver. If someone revolts, tell him to get his own damned car.
posted by savetheclocktower at 11:28 AM on November 18, 2004

Row (Ro Sham Bo) = Joust my old suburb outside of Minneapolis.

I appreciate the close uniformity to how we played.
posted by mic stand at 11:33 AM on November 18, 2004

on second thought...

we had what we called permaGun.

For example, in my friend Eric's car,

Andy had permaGun spot one.

I had permaGun spot two.

and so on and so forth...

Took a little fun out of calling it, but made ya feel special (except when aaaaannnndy was ridin' along)
posted by mic stand at 11:36 AM on November 18, 2004

So many of my deepest philosophical questions have been answered by this, I thank you.
posted by mervin_shnegwood at 11:36 AM on November 18, 2004

This hurts me deeply. These rules are absolutely absurd. The rules to Shotgun are completely regional, and far less complex. For example, rule 1.4 ("you must be outside") is not correct in my circle of friends. You merely must be on your way to the car. It's very subjective, sure, but considering that the driver always has last say on evicting jerks, people are usually very fair (and fair players almost always agree).

This really matters as much as Cosmo "these six questions will determine if you can date Rock Stars" quizzes.
posted by Plutor at 11:53 AM on November 18, 2004

This was very entertaining for the first 18,000 words or so. But ya know, once you find yourself typing "Amendment L," that's a clue that maybe you should have expressed yourself more succinctly.

And no, Plutor, you're wrong, you absolutely must be outside.
posted by soyjoy at 11:55 AM on November 18, 2004

1) In the instance that the normal driver of a vehicle is drunk or otherwise unable to perform their duties as driver, then he/she is automatically given Shotgun.
2) If the instance that the person who actually owns the vehicle is not driving, then he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline.

I'll coin the use of the term coup d'etat for intentional violation of either of these rules--e.g., when the owner of the car is too drunk to drive, and all the other people in the car don't like him that much in the first place, and unanimously require him to sit in the back of his own car. Quite emasculating for him, and intentionally so. I've been involved in that a few times (er, that is being part of the coup, not being the drunk-and-unliked owner).

Oh, and in my circle the "designated navigator" exception takes precedence over the "significant other" exception.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:01 PM on November 18, 2004

See, that's my point. I'm driving, and I say calling inside is permitted since we've already made the decision that we're leaving this Trek convention.

Plus, we don't call the center-back-seat "Hump", we call it "Bitch", since it's a bitch to see around the person to sit there. In addition, you can never call "not bitch" unless you want the driver to assign you to that position. It took my little brother about six months to figure that complex rule out.

Following someone's tretise on Shotgun is pointless. It's removing a vital part of growing up.
posted by Plutor at 12:02 PM on November 18, 2004

Around these parts it's required that you are outside AND within sight of the car in order to make the all important call. Simply being outside is not enough.
posted by BlzOfGlry at 12:03 PM on November 18, 2004

Each of my close friends back home has been allotted five (5) "Super Shotguns," and no more, for the entirety of his or her life. Once you use one, it's gone forever. A Super Shotgun overrides a regular Shotgun, and is irreversible, even by another Super Shotgun. You must use them wisely. Anyone can play!

One friend used, like, three of his within weeks of acquiring them, for short drives to, for instance, the movie theater. I am proud to say that I have the finest use of Super Shotgun on record: driving from Baltimore to NY on a very hot and humid summer day in my friend Chris's van. The a/c was busted in all but the front seats. My friend Jen called Shotgun and I busted out with the Super Shotgun. Chris, for whom the Rules of Shotgun are holy, wouldn't start the car until Jen got in back.

I still have 4 left.
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:22 PM on November 18, 2004

What authority does this site have? How can it say these are the shotgun rules? Fuck this ShotgunFilter bullshit!

Angry link to Metatalk!

(I definitely enact the girlfriend rule all the time. Unless other people want to start open mouth kissing me, she's going to get the front seat every time.)
posted by Kleptophoria! at 12:36 PM on November 18, 2004

There's a blatant error in this. The amendments state:

"A passenger may only receive shotgun if he says shotgun within the context of calling shotgun. For instance, a passenger may not be awarded shotgun if he says, "Did anybody call shotgun?," or if he/she was talking about a shotgun."

This is blatantly incorrect for, as everyone knows, it is the sign of shotgun mastery, to finesse shotgun. For example, as the group leaves the house en route to the store:

Clueless person: "OK, we need beer, chips, anything else?"
Shotgun master: "How about a shotgun?"
posted by Orkboi at 12:49 PM on November 18, 2004

We always called "shot, no shit," which roughly translates to, "Shotgun, and don't give me any shit about it."
posted by sugarfish at 12:51 PM on November 18, 2004

I don't see anything (or did I miss it?) about the line-of-sight rule, as noted here, about half way down the page. I've gotten in fights over that one before.
posted by stinkeye at 1:07 PM on November 18, 2004

I've never heard of having to call shotgun. This is probably because I'm a) English and b) the girlfriend of the usual car owner/driver, and so get auto-shotgun. Is it purely a North American thing?
posted by corvine at 1:11 PM on November 18, 2004

With all these rules, you'd be lucky if you ever get in the fucking car.
posted by fungible at 1:14 PM on November 18, 2004


Amendment XXI: Duel
In such a case where any present shotgun rules still causes confusion between two individuals, they may duel for the honor of Shotgun. This duel takes the form of one (and only one) round of traditional "paper, rock, scissor." Alternatively, this may be replaced by one (and only one) round of "odds or evens."

Amendment LII: The Rock Amendment
This rule states that once a passenger calls "Shotgun," he must also say, "No Rock." If the gunner does not say this, another passenger may call, "Rock." In this case Shotgun is awarded to the winner of a best of three, Rock, Paper, Scissors contest.

posted by rhruska at 1:43 PM on November 18, 2004

whoops, that would be your next comment.. .back to work for me.
posted by rhruska at 1:44 PM on November 18, 2004

This is correct: you never call "no bitch". Most times I hear the term it's from the driver saying, "You get bitch."

Luckily, I am usually the driver.

This also means I haven't had to call "Shotgun, no row" in years.

In college I would usually call "Right rear, no row." Mostly because I feared my roommate's driving and the shotgun seat being the worst spot other than bitch, I preferred that position.
posted by linux at 1:56 PM on November 18, 2004

Is it purely a North American thing?

I'm from New Zealand and from the time that the first of my friends was driving we were calling shotgun.

Good to see the 'girlfriend rule' present. Our little group always had the expectation that the driver would cede the front seat to the person they were sleeping with.
posted by isthisthingon at 2:36 PM on November 18, 2004

I'm also English, and have never heard of the practice. We just take it in turns to have the front seat.
posted by salmacis at 3:28 PM on November 18, 2004

To me the backseat was nearly as important as shotgun. Immediately after shotgun was said, it was also a race to see who could announce 'no bitch' to prevent from being the person who didn't have to ride on the hump in the middle of the backseat. It didn't matter the door you got.
posted by Arch Stanton at 4:40 PM on November 18, 2004

in my experience 'not bitch' is a valid call, but only after someone has already called shotgun. and it's 'not bitch,' not 'no bitch.' door/side is irrelevant and never called.

the rule for 'on the way to the car'/outside/etc. is driver's call.

also this ro-sham-bo/laser/doublebarrel/supershotgun overriding crap is downright sacriligious. you makes the call, you gets the seat (SO, navigator, car owner exceptions apply).
posted by juv3nal at 5:47 PM on November 18, 2004

northern michigan variant ... the person who gets shotgun also has the important duty of being the deer spotter and must watch the right side of the road at all times for deer ... this is dead serious ... people are expected to do that up there
posted by pyramid termite at 6:21 PM on November 18, 2004

What what? You can actually avoid 'sitting bitch'? And make someone ELSE do it?

Got-dangit, everyone always just TELLS me to sit there, because usually I've been the smallest one in the group. I've been scammed!

And I always thought it was called 'bitch' because you have to be sandwiched between two people, and safe riding requires you to dig both ends of your seatbelt out from under those people's asses.
posted by fricative at 7:29 PM on November 18, 2004

In Wisconsin, you can call "No Bitch." You have to be within sight of the car. Sometimes my friends will call shotgun Navigator, and if you're out of the big cities, you also have to watch for deer.
posted by drezdn at 7:46 PM on November 18, 2004

I had a shotgun constitution in the glove of my car, too. I'm a bit relieved that there are people out there who take it more seriously than I did.
posted by Ruki at 8:54 PM on November 18, 2004

Shotgun rules don't really apply here. Normally it's the SO who gets it, otherwise, being 6 foot 4, I normally get shotgun because of the extra space. Shotgun by default!
posted by doozer_ex_machina at 8:19 AM on November 22, 2004

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