The Rules

I picked up two bros, call them Bill and Ted, from Venue on a Monday about midnight. Bill asked if I had an aux cord, which I do. This allows passengers to play their own music on my car stereo. Bill played songs mixed by some DJ he knows. It was poppy dance stuff, but mellow, kind of groovy. I didn’t mind it.

They seemed to be twenty-somethings. Maybe just out of college. Good-looking guys, not dressed up exactly, but like they’d spent some time thinking about what they’d wear. I smelled cologne.

“So, how was Venue tonight?” I asked. “It seems pretty busy for a Monday night.”

“Venue is Venue. It’s usually busy on Mondays,” said Bill from the back seat.

“For no particular reason,” said Ted, sitting up front.

“You’re saying it’s nothing special?” I asked.

“It’s fine, I guess,” said Ted.

“Why do you go?” I asked.

“Because there’s hot girls,” said Ted.

“Well,” clarified Bill. “There’s girls. Some that are hot.”

“True. A tiny percentage.”

“There were like six or seven I totally could have scored tonight,” said Bill.

“I hear that a lot from guys I drive home. Guys that are alone,” I kidded.

“I’m sure,” Bill laughed. “But for real, right?” He backhanded Ted on the shoulder. “We could have taken any of those girls home.”

“You mean those girls who were staring at us all night? Totally. You can tell by the stare. But it would have been a mistake. We always make that mistake on Monday nights. Tuesday morning we regret it.”

“Yeah, that’s true. You know what we should do? We need to go someplace else. Some place with, you know, classier girls. Where people dress up a bit.”

“That’s what I’ve been saying,” Ted said. “But we always end up at the same dives.”

He reached over and turned up the song he was playing.

“Bill, did you hear that lyric?”

“No.”

“It was, ‘Put down your phone.'”

They both laughed.

“Not happening,” said Bill. “Rule number one.”

“Rule number one,” Ted echoed.

“What are you guys talking about?” I asked.

“Rule number one,” said Ted, “is You gotta text.”

“You gotta text?” I said.

Bill nodded. “You gotta text.”

“It’s, like, the defining mark of our generation,” explained Ted. “You gotta text. Every day.”

“You gotta text,” said Bill.

“How many rules are there?” I asked.

“Four¹.”

“Obviously, I have been living unaware of the Rules. Can you tell them to me?”

“Definitely. Rule Number One is You gotta text.”

“Right. I got that one. What’s number two?”

“Number Two is Peaches.”

I thought he said bitches–the music was a little loud. Bill clarified.

“Peaches.”

Peaches? Why peaches?”

“Do you eat peaches?” asked Ted.

“Of course. Peaches are the Cadillac of the fruit family,” I said. This is a line I stole from a friend of ours who lives in Atlanta. A friend who really loves peaches.

“Exactly. Plums are fine, but plums aren’t peaches.”

“So you’re saying plums are like the Lincolns of the fruit family?” I offered.

“No, they are the Dodge Chargers of the fruit family. They try to be cool, but they’re not. But peaches…”

“Peaches,” said Bill.

“Okay, so what’s Rule Three?”

How’s It Feel on the Face?” said Ted.

“How’s it feel on the face,” repeated Bill.

“Wait. Rule Three is How’s It Feel on the Face?”

“Yes. It’s the ultimate measure of texture. You’ve got to feel it on the face.”

“I need examples.”

“Blankets. Sweaters. It might look nice, but…”

“But how’s it feel on the face?” said Bill.

“Got it.”

“Which is also why Peaches. Not only delicious, but how do they feel on the face?”

“Peaches feel good on the face. I see your point,” I said. “What’s next?”

“Rule Four is Be the New Guy.”

“Always be the new guy,” said Bill.

“The new guy?”

“New guys are eager, engaged. Never lose your edge. Stay hungry. Don’t get used to life. Be the new guy.”

“That actually makes sense. I like that one. Okay. Let me review so I can remember the Rules. One is Always Text–”

“You gotta text,” Bill corrected.

“Right. Sorry. You Gotta Text. Two is Peaches. Three is…the face–”

How’s It Feel on the Face?” said Ted.

“Right. How’s It Feel on the Face. Got it.”

“And four is Be the New Guy.”

“You got it, bro.”

“Those are some very random rules.”

“Yes. That’s kind of the point.”

“How many of you guys subscribe to the rules?”

“There’s a bunch of us that came up with them.”

“Really just three core members,” said Bill.

“True. And like five others.”

“Five provisional members,” offered Bill.

We’d arrived at Ted’s place.

“Thanks, bro. I gotta piss.”

Ted got out, turned his back to us and unzipped beside a parallel-parked red pickup.

“I hope that’s his truck,” I said to Bill.

“It is, in fact, his truck,” said Bill.

“Because Don’t Pee on Another Man’s Truck could be another rule,” I suggested.

“Or Only Pee on your Own Truck,” Bill offered.

“Yeah, I like that better,” I said. “It’s more positive. All your rules are positive. No Thou Shalt Nots…”

“True,” said Bill, “You gotta stay positive.”


¹Admission: There were five rules, not four. But for the life of me, I can’t remember what rule number four was. Instead of making it up, I decided to skip it. NOTE: If any of the bros that subscribe to these rules can remind me of Rule #4, I will immediately revise and republish! It’s killing me that I can’t remember.

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