The term "Shotgun" refers to the front passenger seat of an automobile. "Calling Shotgun" is the act of claiming the position of Shotgun for one's self. As this position is the most coveted of all positions when riding in a car, the following list of rules has been created to ensure that Shotgun can be acquired in a fair and equitable manner by any passenger of an automobile.
The following rules have been created through many years of exploring the ritual of Shotgun and are designed with the idea of fairness to all as the main priority. They are also the most complete and comprehensive listing of Shotgun rules available today.
You Must Say The Word "Shotgun"
You must say the word "Shotgun" to stake your claim on Shotgun. This must be done clearly and loud enough so that at least one other to-be occupant of the vehicle can hear you. No variations of this word are acceptable. After you have rightfully called Shotgun, you have exclusive rights to Shotgun for that ride. However, if no one hears you call Shotgun it is still fair game for everyone.
The Deed Must Be Done Before Shotgun May Be Called
For these rules to work properly, it is essential for you to understand and accept the concept of the "Deed". Shotgun may only be called after the "deed is done". Simply stated, the deed is any activity or objective that directly precedes the ride in the automobile. The deed can be anything ranging from a visit at a friend's house, to a shopping trip at the mall, to a visit to the Grand Canyon. We cannot stress how important this is because this establishes a Shotgun-calling time frame that ensures everyone has an equal chance of recognizing when to call Shotgun.
There is no crime greater than calling Shotgun on Monday in reference to the ride to the concert on Friday. Some people choose to play this way, and they are fools.
You Must Be Outside To Call Shotgun
The best way to establish exactly when the deed is done is to define this moment as the instance that you have left the building in which the deed took place. All passengers need not to have exited, but someone must hear you call Shotgun.
Some people choose to use a variation of this rule and require that all occupants be out of the building before Shotgun can be called. This does not work. It leads to everyone calling Shotgun at the same time and often ends in physical violence.
The Barefoot Rule
Since you must be outside to call Shotgun, some people will just grab their shoes, jump outside, and call Shotgun before putting their shoes on. This has been deemed "gaping", and is not a legal procedure. You must have your shoes on, if you choose to wear any, before you may call Shotgun.
The Re-entry Rule
If you call Shotgun and then go back inside for some reason, you must re-call Shotgun after leaving. After you have re-entered the building, Shotgun is once again fair game to all.
When The Deed Is Outdoors
If the deed takes place outdoors, which it often does, the completion of the deed must be agreed upon when Shotgun is called. Any major disputes over the completion of the deed, as with any discrepancy, can be easily settled with a quick round of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
The Line-Of-Sight Rule
In the situation of the deed being a hike or other extensive outdoor activity, you may not call Shotgun until the automobile is within your sight. This rule needs only to be used when the passengers are outside for a long time and have traveled long distances from the car, as with a day of snow skiing.
For More rules to calling shotgun, visit Shotgunrules.com