The Rules of Calling Shotgun

The Rules of Calling “Shotgun”

May 21st, 2015 — Martinson Agency LLC — Chaska, MN

Calling “Shotgun” is the act of claiming the front passenger seat of a car for yourself. Since this is the most coveted spot, this list of rules has been created to ensure that Shotgun can be acquired in a fair and equitable manner by any passenger of the automobile (except the driver, of course).

Section I: Making The Call

  1. The shotgun caller must be in clear sight of the car (even if the driver isn’t).
  2. “The Deed” – Any activity that directly precedes the ride, ex. stopping for food, visiting a friend ect. Accepting this concept is important because it establishes a shotgun-calling time frame that ensures everyone has an equal opportunity to start calling.
  3. When simultaneous shotgun is called, a footrace will follow. The first person to touch the passenger door handle wins.
  4. Shotgun must be called outdoors. If the deed takes place indoors, the deed is “done” only after you have left the building in which the deed took place.
  5. Once shotgun has been called for the front seat then back left and back right can be called. This leaves the slowest person to travel in the middle.
  6. Anyone calling shotgun much have shoes on. This prevents opportunistic people from running outside and calling shotgun, then having to go back inside- slowing down the journey.

Section II: Duties and Losing The Privilege

  1. First and foremost, the shot gunner must be awake for the duration of the journey and engage the driver in conversation to keep him/her awake.
  2. If the shot gunner attempts to open the door just as the driver is unlocking it and jams the lock half open so that driver needs to unlock again, the shot gunner forfeits their position. This is known as Shotgun Suicide.
  3. The shot gunner is responsible for all gate opening, food ordering and question asking. They are in essence the copilot and therefore the enforcer of behavior in the vehicle and exacter of slaps, punches, water spraying and bag throwing at the passengers in the back. (Only when the vehicle is stopped of course. SAFETY FIRST!)
  4. The shot gunner is responsible for tending to the driver’s text messages. Driver’s text messages pertaining to the final destination or that day’s plans must take precedent over all of the shot gunner’s texts. Any abuse of this power will result in a one-month ban from riding shotgun.
  5. The shot gunner does not have the right to correct the driver of their navigation skills or driving ability.
  6. The driver is, of course, the controller of music. But if they feel the road requires their full attention, duty is passed to the shot gunner. Putting on crap music or allowing for silence when the iPod finishes a song will result in demotion to the dreaded back middle seat.

Section III: No Contest

  1. If the regular driver of the vehicle is unable to perform their duties, then they are automatically given shotgun.
  2. If one of the backseat passengers is seriously ill (flu or worse) or has had a recent life event that deserves sympathy (ex. pet died), then this person should be offered shotgun. Known as the “pity rule”, and can only be used once per illness/event.
  3. If passengers are picked up separately and you are the first, you are automatically given shotgun. You retain this position unless you lose (see Section II) or any other Section III condition is met.
  4. If only one person knows the way or has a smartphone with GPS, then they are deemed designated navigator and automatically given shotgun.
  5. If one of the potential occupants of the vehicle is dressed (convincingly) as a pirate then they are given automatic shotgun. In the event of more than one pirate being present, a sword fight shall determine the successful shot gunner. This is known as the Pirate Rule.
  6. When traveling with a couple, one member of said couple MUST take shotgun. No one wants to chauffer two of their mates whilst they are in the back all over each other.

Section IV: Driver Powers

  1. Once shotgun has been called the driver has the option to yell “reload”. All previous calls of shotgun are void and the contest restarts. This is helpful when the driver really doesn’t like the shotgun winner. *Note that a shotgun has only two barrels so a reload can only be called once.
  2. The driver may declare “Survival of the Fittest” prior to any shotgun call. The passenger seat will be decided by whoever can take it by force.

Section V: Concluding Notes

  1. “Shotgun” overrules Dibs, Baggsies and other inferior terms.
  2. If someone asks, “What’s Shotgun?” after it has been called then they have to walk, regardless of distance.

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