These are the official rules. Don’t break ’em!
1. The shotgunner must be in clear sight of the car, and shotgun can be called regardless of whether the driver is in sight of the car
2. If you are the first to be picked up on a journey you are automatically given shotgun. You retain this position for the entire journey, unless you violate rules 11, 16, 22 or any other rules stipulating the loss of shotgun.
4. When simultaneous shotgun is called, there is then a foot race to the passenger side door from all the people who called.
5. Shotgun cannot be called whilst inside a building (unless you are in a multi-story or underground car park!)
6. Shotgun cannot be called in advance, only whilst on the way to the car for the journey.
7. Once shotgun has been called the driver has the option of a reload. The driver yells “reload” and this means that all previous calls of shotgun are void and the first person to call shotgun again gets the seat. This is helpful if the driver really doesn’t like the person who first called shotgun. It is often used when there is a simultaneous call and the driver is unsure of the outcome. Note that a shotgun has only 2 barrels so a reload can only be called once.
8. Once shotgun has been called for the front seat then back left and back right can be called. This effectively leaves the slowest person to travel in the middle.
9. Because everyone is created equal, men have the same right to the front seat of the car as women (ie women don’t own the front seat!).
10. If the regular driver of the vehicle is drunk or otherwise unable to perform their duties as driver, then he/she is automatically given shotgun.
11. Once the journey has begun, the driver is the obvious controller of the tunes. However if they feel the road requires their full attention, or they simply cannot be messed up any more, duty is passed to the shotgunner. However putting on crap tunes or allowing for silence when the iPod finishes a song or ANY instances of TAKE THAT will result in demotion to dreaded back middle seat.
12. Anyone calling shotgun must have his or her shoes on. This is to stop people running outside and calling shotgun, then having to go back inside to put their shoes on and slowing the journey. This is known as the Shoe Rule.
13. “Shotgun” overrules Dibs, Baggsies and other lesser-known methods of claiming the front seat.
14. Despite the debate, shotgun CAN be used to shotgun things other than the front seat (eg back left, back right, potential love interests, not going to answer the door, etc).
15. When traveling with a couple, one of the couple MUST shotgun the front. No one wants to chauffer two of their mates whilst they are in the back all over each other.
16. If someone has successfully called shotgun, they have the right to the front seat. They do not have the right to correct the driver on their navigation skills (“take a left here, moron!”) or driving ability (“I’d be in third gear if I was driving”). If the passenger does this, then they forfeit their position as shotgun holder.
17. If someone says, “what’s shotgun?” after it has been called then they have to walk.
18. If the shotgunner attempts to open the door just as the driver is unlocking it and jams the lock half open so that the driver needs to lock it and unlock it again, the shotgunner forfeits their position. This is known as shotgun suicide.
19. The holder of shotgun assumes the responsibility for all gate opening, takeaway ordering and question asking. He/she is in essence the copilot and therefore the enforcer of behavior in the vehicle and exacter of slaps/punches/water spraying/bag throwing at the passengers in the back.
20. Automatic “couple’s rights act 1997”. This law states that, if the driver is the boyfriend/girlfriend of a passenger in the car, this person has the right to the seat of their choice.
21. 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 shotgunner. This is known as The Pirate Rule.
I bet you’ll start enforcing these from now on. I know I will.