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By Mr. Weir

Everyone understands the importance of calling shotgun. If your dumb ass can't remember to call it, you deserve to be stuck in the back seat where god knows what happened last night, and everyone realizes this. However, even though everyone recognizes the importance of calling shotgun, no one (at least that I've talked to) has ever bothered to write down the actual rules. So, here are the official rules of shotgun, gathered by my friends and myself through our extensive experience in this matter.

OK, let's define all the basics before we move on.

1.) Shotgun is defined as the front passenger seat of the car that is to be driven. Every passenger wants to ride shotgun.
2.) Shotgun shall be awarded to the passenger who calls shotgun first when he or she is eligible to do so. Calling shotgun first shall be recognized as verbalizing the word "shotgun" phonetically and clearly from start to finish. Only one passenger may call shotgun per car ride.
3.) Passenger is defined as a person to be transported in the car other than the driver. Thus, the driver of the car to be driven may not call Shotgun.

Alright, with that all being said, when IS a passenger eligible to call shotgun? And how is a calling of shotgun formalized?

4.) All passengers are entirely outside the immediate boundaries of the location from which the passengers are leaving. (This excludes the driver; he may be inside while a Shotgunner is called.)
5.) All passengers are headed towards the car for the purpose of being transported in the car.
6.) The intention of the shotgun caller to call shotgun must be clear to a majority of other passengers.

The point of this rule is to phase out "Mumblers" who mumble shotgun without anyone hearing and then get everyone to believe they called it. Eventually, "mumblers" will use their reputation to claim shotgun even if they forget to say it.

7.) In the interest of fairness, being within visual range of the car is not a prerequisite of calling shotgun.

Yes, I realize you're probably shitting your pants right now, "What the hell? It's whoever sees it first!" The problem with that system is this: You'll always get one asshole who will claim to be able to see the car when he really can't. And rather than argue with him and try to stand in his spot and see if you can see the car from there, just scrap the whole visual system.

Now that the mechanics of calling and claiming shotgun have been laid out, here are some of the more obscure rules.

8.) The shotgun caller may revoke his or her call of shotgun at any time and for any reason.
9.) Though frowned upon, shotgun may be called an indefinite amount of times by any one passenger per day.
10.) If the shotgun caller cannot be determined, shotgun shall be awarded to the candidate who has elapsed the most time without successfully calling it.
11.) No potential passenger may call shotgun in any specific car until the shotgun callers have been designated. (Therefore, if Thomas is the chosen driver, and Nick calls shotgun, Chris can't say "Shotgun in Drew's car!" just in case Thomas decides he doesn't want to drive and Drew volunteers to drive.)
12.) If a passenger safely calls shotgun and then is called upon to drive instead, shotgun is free to be called again by another passenger, including the would-be driver.
13.) In a situation where "n" amount of cars are to be driven, the first "n" number of shotgun callers shall be awarded shotgun. The first to call shotgun shall have first choice among shotgun choices, and so on. Any conflicts over who called shotgun first in this situation will be handled by application of Rule #10.

Next, how to handle a situation in which shotgun is misused or disrespected (I highly doubt this will happen often but sadly it has in my experience):

14.) If a passenger other than the shotgun caller tries forcibly to take shotgun, he or she will be removed and is subject to ineligibility of shotgun for 48 hours.
15.) The shotgunner is the official first mate of the car and thus must take a disproportionate amount of extra responsibility to ensure the success and enjoyment of the car ride. This responsibility is to be determined by the driver. Failure to comply with duties as shotgunner will result in ineligibility of shotgun alongside the current driver for a period to be determined by the current driver. (What this means is, if I'm in shotgun in Justin's car and we're lost and Justin tells me to take a look at the map and I tell him to fuck off, he can ban me from shotgun in his car for as long as he wants.)

Finally, while I would love to think that this list is infallible I probably screwed something up somewhere soŠ

16.) Anything I wasn't able to foresee, figure out on your own.

So, there you go. With these 16 easy-to-remember rules you and your friends can become the masters of shotgun in your neighborhood. Remember, shotgun is sacred. People respect a well timed shotgun call more than they respect a well timed kick to the nuts, so use these rules wisely and often. Good luck!