The other day I removed a list of “house rules” from my refrigerator. This list had included items such as, “No yelling,” “Work as a team,” and “Remember that you love each other.”
I didn’t think that the rules had had much of an impact on anyone in my family, due to their being rampantly and frequently flaunted. But within hours of my removing the original list of rules from the fridge, Sam had written up a new list and posted it on the fridge.
I now present to you Team Stimey’s House Rules, by Sam:
20. [This didn’t fit at the bottom of the page, so it gets to go first.] Do what you are told.
1. No teasing.
2. No winning. [I have a sneaking suspicion that this is supposed to be “No whining,” but I kind of like that the household bar has been set extremely low.]
3. No fighting. [Which goes well with the “No winning” rule, because no one wants to always lose a fight.
4. No video games until after 5 o’clock. [This is one of my rules. Notice Sam was careful to not write “p.m.” on the page.]
5. Play nicely.
6. Be nice when you have copmoney. [This refers to “company,” not bribes.]
7. No making people say something. [My kids all regularly give each other scripts to repeat (“Quinn, say, ‘Thirteen hours in a suitcase with a farting dog!'”*), which I find endlessly annoying. Evidently Sam does as well.]
8. No calling names.
9. No force powers at the table. [This refers to Jedi force powers. This rule is reminiscent of one that Sam added to my very first house rules list years ago: “No throwing toast.” Which is really a timeless rule if you think about it.]
10. Follow directions.
11. No hitting.
12. No burping. [Thankfully, that has almost entirely gone away. Knock on wood.]
13. No slapping. [I think Sam was starting to reach for things to fill the remaining lines on the page by this point.]
14. No hurting. [Whether this refers to not hurting other people or not feeling pain remains unclear.]
15. No kicking. [It’s starting to sound like I run a fight club in my basement, huh? But, if you’ll remember, the first rule of fight club is “don’t talk about fight club.” Our first rule is “no teasing.” It’s a subtle difference, but it’s there.]
16. No whacking. [No comment.]
17. No spitting.
18. Be a good boy. [A-fucking-men.]
It’s a good list of rules, huh? Anyone want to lay down a bet on how fast Mr. Smirky McSmirkerson below breaks each and every one of them?
* I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.