I am an only child. Strangely, all my first cousins were also the one and only child of their parents.
I don’t know what was going on back then. Maybe it was something in the water. The result was neither I nor my cousins knew about “calling shotgun.”
So when my own three children (maybe the water improved) started “calling shotgun,” they had to explain the rules to me. Of course the rules change quite often, and even expand as the grandchildren begin showing up.
So for all future parents of multiples and grandparents, here are some of the official rules for “calling gunshot,” or, for those still not in the know, this determines who gets to sit in the front passenger seat.
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.
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 10, 13, 18 or any other rules stipulating the loss of shotgun.
You cannot declare shotgun if someone has previously declared shotgun for that journey.
When simultaneous shotgun is called, there is then a foot race to the passenger side door from all the people who called.
Shotgun cannot be called while inside a building (unless you are in a multi-story or underground parking garage).
Shotgun cannot be called in advance, only while on the way to the car for the journey.
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 two barrels so a reload can only be called once.
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.
Once the journey has begun, the driver is the controller of the musical entertainment. However if they feel the road requires their full attention, music duty is passed to the shotgunner. However putting on crap tunes or allowing for silence will result in demotion to the back seat.
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.
Shotgun overrules Dibs and other girly calls!
When travelling with a couple, one of the couple MUST shotgun the front. No one wants to chauffer two of their mates while they are in the back all over each other.
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 or driving ability. If the passenger does this, then they forfeit their position as shotgun holder.
If someone says, "what’s shotgun?" after it has been called then they have to walk.
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.
Automatic "couple's rights act 1997." This law states that, if the driver is the boyfriend/girlfriend of a passenger in the car, that passenger has the right to the seat of their choice.
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.
When riding in a two or three door car, it is the responsibility of the shotgunner to allow rear passengers in and out of the car, NOT THE DRIVERS regardless of weather conditions.
Obviously the previous rule on the subject didn’t clarify things completely with everyone coming up with a new rule that overrules shotgun. NOTHING overrules shotgun. Shotgun is final and cannot be overruled!
It is the shotgunner’s responsibility to be on the lookout for police and cameras. If the shotgunner doesn't spot a speed camera and this results in a speeding ticket it is immediately their fault and not the drivers.