The Rules of Combat

  • If the enemy is in range, so are you.
  • Incoming fire has the right of way.
  • Don’t look conspicuous: it draws fire.
  • The easy way is always mined.
  • Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
  • Professionals are predictable, it’s the amateurs that are dangerous.
  • The enemy invariably attacks on one of two occasions:
    When you’re ready for them.
    When you’re not ready for them.
  • Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy someone else to shoot at.
  • If you can’t remember, the claymore is pointed at you.
  • If your attack is going well, you have walked into an ambush.
  • Don’t draw fire, it irritates the people around you.
  • The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
  • When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.
  • If it’s stupid but works, it isn’t stupid.
  • When in doubt empty the magazine.
  • Never share a fox hole with anyone braver than you.
  • Anything you do can get you shot. Including doing nothing.
  • Make it too tough for the enemy to get in and you can’t get out.
  • Mines are equal opportunity weapons.
  • A Purple Heart just proves that were you smart enough to think of a plan, stupid enough to try it, and lucky enough to survive.
  • Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last and don’t ever volunteer to do anything.
  • The quartermaster has only two sizes: too large and too small.
  • Five second fuses only last three seconds.
  • It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.

The Ten Articles of Duct Tape

  • Article I
    Duct Tape cannot fix everything. I promise to refrain from trying to fix the following things with duct Tape:

    • The National Debt
    • The San Andreas Fault
    • A Broken Heart
  • Article II
    Duct tape should not be forced on others. Some people don’t like duct tape on their house, car, chairs, pants, shoes, gloves, tools, televisions, pets, sports gear, and farm equipment, but that’s their problem. I will learn to be more tolerant of these people and keep my duct tape to myself.
  • Article III
    Other forms of tape are probably still necessary, even with duct tape. I am not sure for what, though.
  • Article IV
    I should never exaggerate when telling my friends about my best duct tape stories. As a duct tape “Adhesive Solutions Engineer,” my true exploits are usually hard enough to believe, anyway.
  • Article V
    There are some things that I should throw away, even with duct tape around. (I know that I may need to ask for help in identifying what these things might be).
  • Article VI
    When I forget to take my duct tape with me, it’s okay…
  • Article VII
    People that don’t use duct tape aren’t bad people — they just don’t know any better.
  • Article VIII
    Duct tape is not all-powerful, although it has many of the same attributes as the Force — it has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the whole universe together. (“May the Duct Tape be with you.”)
  • Article IX
    I will never misspell duct tape as duck tape…
  • Article X
    It’s okay to admit that I need duct tape in my life — in as many colours, lengths, and widths as is possible — because nobody is perfect. In other words, everyone can use a little duct tape now and then.

Dog Rules, Simplified for Humans

  • Visitors
    Quickly determine which guest is afraid of dogs. Charge across the room, barking loudly and leap playfully on this person. If the human falls down on the floor and starts crying, lick its face and growl gently to show your concern.
  • Barking
    Because you are a dog, you are expected to bark. So bark — a lot. Your owners will be very happy to hear you protecting their house. Especially late at night while they are sleeping safely in their beds. There is no more secure feeling for a human than to keep waking up in the middle of the night hearing you protective bark, bark, bark…
  • Licking
    Always take a BIG drink from your water dish immediately before licking your human. Humans prefer clean tongues. Be ready to fetch your human a towel.
  • Holes
    Rather than digging a BIG hole in the middle of the yard and upsetting your human, dig a lot of smaller holes all over the yard so they won’t notice. If you arrange a little pile of dirt on one side of each hole, maybe they’ll think it’s gophers. There are never enough holes in the ground. Strive daily to do your part to help correct this problem.
  • Doors
    The area directly in front of a door is always reserved for the family dog to sleep.
  • The Art Of Sniffing
    Humans like to be sniffed. Everywhere. It is your duty as the family dog to accommodate them.
  • Dining Etiquette
    Always sit under the table at dinner, especially when there are guests, so you can clean up any food that falls on the floor. It’s also a good time to practice your sniffing.
  • Housebreaking
    Housebreaking is very important to humans, so break as much of the house as possible.
  • Going For Walks
    Rules of the road: when out for a walk with your master or mistress, never go to the bathroom on your own lawn.
  • Couches
    It is perfectly permissible to lie on the new couch after all your humans have gone to bed.
  • Playing
    If you lose your footing while chasing a ball or stick, aim for the flowerbed to absorb your fall, so you don’t injure yourself.
  • Chasing Cats
    When chasing cats, make sure you never–quite–catch them. It spoils all the fun.
  • Chewing
    Make a contribution to the fashion industry… eat a shoe.

Rules to Date My Daughter

  • Rule #1
    My daughter’s name is Stephanie. Her name is not “Mama”, “Houchie”, “Babe”, “Yo Bitch”, or any other name currently in the vocabulary of your age group identifying young women. With her permission, you may call her by her nickname, “Sam.” If I hear any of these other terms used to refer to my sweet girl you will get an immediate response from me, her father.
  • Rule #2
    I am Stephanie’s father. You can call me “Sir”. This is as in “Yes Sir”, “No Sir”, “I wouldn’t think of it, Sir”, and “I will remember that good advice, Sir.”
  • Rule #3
    Do not touch my daughter in front of me as it may provoke an uncontrollable and probably overly aggressive response on my part. You may glance at her as long as your glances are from the neck up.
  • Rule #4
    When a woman says “No” it means “No!” However, when Stephanie says “No” it means, “If you do not immediately stop what you are doing I will tell my Daddy and very soon, when you are alone and least expect it, he will be standing behind you in the dark with a grin on his face waiting for you to turn around so you and he can have a “friendly” chat.”
  • Rule #5
    If you stop in front of my house and honk you had better be delivering a pizza. If I learn that you are honking for my daughter I will come outside and twist off your honker. Also, be aware that I will be observing to see if Stephanie opens her own car door. I open the door for my mother, my wife, my daughter, and any other woman who gets in my car. You should do the same. However, if I ever get into your car, please do not open my door.
  • Rule #6
    When you meet me for the first time please do not be uncomfortable if I stare at you. I am only doing this so I can cement the memory of what you look like into my mind. This, of course, is in case I have to come after you for violating one of the rules. I would hate for there to ever be a case of mistaken identity involving an innocent bystander.
  • Rule #7
    Please bring my daughter back home in the same shape she left in. Drive carefully. Protect her from drunks and obnoxious people. Do not coax her to try drugs or alcohol. Always be ready to use your body to get between her and any objects flying in her direction. Also, I expect her clothing to come back in the same condition it left in. You should know that I would not react well if I saw even one grass stain on any portion of her clothing.
  • Rule #8
    Do not go to school and tell stories to your pals about my daughter, whether true or untrue. If you do, be prepared to explain to those same pals how that mouse appeared under your right eye.
  • Rule #9
    I am aware it is considered fashionable for boys your age to want to put “hickeys” on the necks of their girlfriends. I can only guess it is done to show your friends how passionate you can get. If you ever get that passionate feeling with my daughter and have the desire to suck on her neck, please remember, a hickey on my daughter’s neck only tells me that you have no concern for your well-being.
  • Rule #10
    Stephanie will always have a specific time in the evening when I expect her home. Please take this curfew seriously because I will not be able to sleep until I know she has safely returned home. If you bring her home too late or, God forbid, the next morning, the camouflaged face looking in the window of your car will be mine.

Last Comment From Dad:

Young man, if you are still here after reading these rules you must really care for my daughter. This is the way to get me on your side. Seriously, there is only one rule. This one rule is simply that you care for my daughter as much as I do.

The 10 Commandments of Love

  1. I am thy Main Squeeze; thou shalt squeeze no others before me.
  2. Thou shalt not take the name of thy Squeeze in vain, nor badmouth me behind my back.
  3. Remember our Anniversary, and keep it holy. Or else.
  4. Honor MY mother and father. THINE are too damn weird.
  5. Thou shalt not kill my love by behaving tackily and making me embarrassed to be seen with thee.
  6. Thou shalt not commit adultery, nor shalt thou even THINK about it if thou knowest what’s good for thee.
  7. Thou shalt not steal from my wallet/purse while I am in thy bathroom, nor use my credit cards, nor make long-distance calls from my telephone.
  8. Thou shalt not talk about our personal problems to our friends.
  9. Thou shalt not covet the higher market price of thy neighbor’s house.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s Squeeze, nor son or daughter, nor stereo, nor BMW.

The Flamer’s Bible

Revision 1: Dec. 2, 1987 by Joe Talmadge

In the time I have been posting to net, I have encountered flame wars of epic proportions (Brahms Gang vs. Tim Maroney), and flame wars of a more modest nature (MIT vs. CIT). Flaming has evolved into a highly-stylized art form, complete with unwritten rules and guidelines.

Here, I have attempted to document the Art of Flaming, in such a way as it will be interesting to old hands (flame masters) and novices (virgins) alike. Without a further ado, then, I present:

The Twelve Commandments of Flaming

  1. Make things up about your opponent: It’s important to make your lies sound true. Preface your argument with the word “clearly.” “Clearly, Fred Flooney is a liar, and a dirtball to boot.”
  2. Be an armchair psychologist: You’re a smart person. You’ve heard of Freud. You took a psychology course in college. Clearly, you’re qualified to psychoanalyze your opponent. “Polly Purebread, by using the word ‘zucchini’ in her posting, shows she has a bad case of penis envy.”
  3. Cross-post your flames: Everyone on the net is just waiting for the next literary masterpiece to leave your terminal. From rec.arts.wobegon to alt.gourmand, they’re all holding their breaths until your next flame. Therefore, post everywhere.
  4. Conspiracies abound: If everyone’s against you, the reason can’t *possibly* be that you’re a fuckhead. There’s obviously a conspiracy against you, and you will be doing the entire net a favor by exposing it.
  5. Lawsuit threats: This is the reverse of Rule #4 (sort of like the Yin & Yang of flaming). Threatening a lawsuit is always considered to be in good form. “By saying that I’ve posted to the wrong group, Bertha has libeled me, slandered me, and sodomized me. See you in court, Bertha.”
  6. Force them to document their claims: Even if Harry Hoinkus states outright that he likes tomato sauce on his pasta, you should demand documentation. If Newsweek hasn’t written an article on Harry’s pasta preferences, then Harry’s obviously lying.
  7. Use foreign phrases: French is good, but Latin is the lingua franca of flaming. You should use the words “ad hominem” at least three times per article. Other favorite Latin phrases are “ad nauseum,” “vini, vidi, vici,” and “fettuccini alfredo.”
  8. Tell ’em how smart you are: Why use intelligent arguments to convince them you’re smart when all you have to do is tell them? State that you’re a member of Mensa or Mega or Dorks of America. Tell them the scores you received on every exam since high school. “I got an 800 on my SATs, LSATs, GREs, MCATs, and I can also spell the word ‘premeiotic’.”
  9. Accuse your opponent of censorship. It is your right as an American citizen to post whatever the hell you want to the net (as guaranteed by the 37th Amendment, I think). Anyone who tries to limit your cross-posting or move a flame war to email is either a communist, a fascist, or both.
  10. Doubt their existence: You’ve never actually seen your opponent, have you? And since you’re the center of the universe, you should have seen them by now, shouldn’t you? Therefore, THEY DON’T EXIST! This is the beauty of flamers’ logic.
  11. Lie, cheat, steal, leave the toilet seat up.
  12. When in doubt, insult: If you forget the other 11 rules, remember this one. At some point during your wonderful career as a flamer you will undoubtedly end up in a flame war with someone who is better than you. This person will expose your lies, tear apart your arguments, make you look generally like a bozo. At this point, there’s only one thing to do: insult the dirtbag!!! “Oh yeah? Well, your mother does strange things with vegetables.”

The Golden Rule of Flaming

My flames will be witty, insulting, interesting, funny, caustic, or sarcastic, but never, ever, will they be boring.

Here endeth the scriptures.

Rules for Computer Technical Support

A peek into the thoughts of computer techs worldwide …an end user’s guide to technical services.

  • When a tech says he’s coming right over, log out and go for coffee. It’s no problem for us to remember 2700 network passwords.
  • When you call us to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under half a ton of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, bowling trophies and Popsicle art. We don’t have a life, and we find it deeply moving to catch a fleeting glimpse of yours.
  • When tech support sends you an e-mail with high importance, delete it at once. We’re probably just testing out the public groups.
  • When a tech is eating lunch at his desk, walk right in and spill your guts out and expect him to respond immediately. We exist only to serve and are always ready to think about fixing computers.
  • When a tech is at the water cooler or outside having a smoke, ask him a computer question. The only reason why we drink water or smoke at all is to ferret out all those users who don’t have eMail or a telephone line.
  • Send urgent eMail ALL IN UPPERCASE. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.
  • When you call a tech’s direct line, press 5 to skip the bilingual greeting that says he’s out of town for a week, record your message, and wait exactly 24 hours before you send an eMail straight to the director because no one ever returned your call. You’re entitled to common courtesy.
  • When the photocopier doesn’t work, call computer support. There’s electronics in it, right?
  • When you’re getting a NO DIAL TONE message at home, call computer support. We can even fix telephone problems from here.
  • When something’s wrong with your home PC, dump it on a tech’s chair with no name, no phone number, and no description of the problem. We love a good mystery.
  • When you have a tech on the phone walking you through changing a setting; read the paper. We don’t actually mean for you to DO anyhing; we just love to hear ourselves talk.
  • When we offer training on the upcoming OS upgrade, don’t bother. We’ll be there to hold your hand after it is done.
  • When the printer won’t print, re-send the job at least 20 times. Print jobs frequently just disappear into the cosmos for no reason.
  • When the printer still won’t print after 20 tries, send the job to all 68 printers in the office. One of them is bound to work.
  • Don’t use online help. Online help is for wimps.
  • If you’re taking night classes in computer science, feel free to go around and update the network drivers for you and all your coworkers. We’re grateful for the overtime when we have to stay until 2:30am fixing them.
  • When you have a tech fixing your computer at a quarter past one, eat your lunch in his face. We function better when slightly dizzy.
  • Don’t ever thank us. We love this AND we get paid for it!
  • When a tech asks you whether you’ve installed any new software on this computer, lie. It’s nobody’s business what you’ve got on your computer.
  • If the mouse cable keeps knocking down the framed picture of your dog, lift the computer and stuff the cable under it. Mouse cables were designed to have 45 lbs. of computer sitting on top of them.
  • If the space bar on your keyboard doesn’t work, blame it on the mail upgrade. Keyboards work much better with half a pound of muffin crumbs, nail clippings, and big sticky drops of Coke under the keys.
  • When you get the message saying “Are you sure?”, click on that Yes button as fast as you can. Hell, if you weren’t sure, you wouldn’t be doing it, would you?
  • Feel perfectly free to say things like “I don’t know nothing about that computer crap”. It never bothers us to hear our area of professional expertise referred to as crap.
  • When you need to change the toner cartridge, call tech support. Changing a toner cartridge is an extremely complex task, and Hewlett-Packard recommends that it be performed only by a professional engineer with a Master’s degree in nuclear physics.
  • When something’s the matter with your computer, ask your secretary to call the help desk. We enjoy the challenge of having to deal with a third party who doesn’t know anything about the problem.
  • When you receive a 30-meg movie file, send it to everyone as a high-priority mail attachment. We’ve got plenty of disk space and processor capacity on that mail server.
  • Don’t even think of breaking large print jobs down into smaller chunks. God forbid somebody else might get a chance to squeeze into the queue.
  • When you bump into a tech in the grocery store on a Saturday, ask a computer question. We work 24/7, even while at the grocery store on weekends.
  • If your son is a student in computer science, have him come in on the weekends and do his projects on your office computer. We’ll be there for you when his illegal copy of Visual Basic 6.0 makes your Access database flip out.
  • When you bring us your own no-brand home PC to repair for free at the office, tell us how urgently we need to fix it so your son can get back to playing DOOM. We’ll get right on it because we have so much free time at the office. Everybody knows all we do is surf the Internet all day anyway.

Listen to Mother!

A mother cat was teaching her kitten cat lore. She explained that this was the duty of all mother cats since before recorded history and it was important that her kitten would not do anything to embarrass her when she allowed her master to play with her.

At the end of the lesson, after she had gone over all the cat rules such as ignoring anything the human might say, she asked her kitten if there was question she might want to ask.

The kitten said, “Momma, you have given me all the situations a cat might get into and the proper cat-responses but, what should I do if a new situation comes up that you haven’t covered?”

Momma cat responded, “Oh my gosh! I’m SO glad you asked that. I’ve gotten into so many rules that I forgot the most important first rule!”

Kitten asked: “What is that, Momma?”

Momma drew up and looked kitten right in the eye and said: “When in doubt — wash!”

Ten Commandments for the Gentleman Cat

  1. A Gentleman Cat always has an immaculate shirtfront and paws at all times.
  2. A Gentleman Cat allows no constraint of his person, even loving restraint.
  3. A Gentleman Cat does not mew except in extremity. He makes his wishes known and waits.
  4. When addressed, a Gentleman Cat does not move a muscle. He looks as if he hadn’t heard.
  5. When frightened, a Gentleman Cat looks bored.
  6. A Gentleman Cat takes no interest in other people’s affairs, unless he is directly concerned.
  7. A Gentleman Cat approaches food slowly, however hungry he may be, and decides at least three feet away whether it is Good, Fair, Passable, or Unworthy. If Unworthy, he pretends to scratch earth over it.
  8. A Gentleman Cat gives thanks for a Worthy meal by licking the plate so clean that a person might think it had been washed.
  9. A Gentleman Cat is never hasty when choosing a housekeeper.
  10. There is no tenth Commandment.

Basic Rules for Cats Who Have a House to Run

  • DOORS:
    Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get door opened, stand on hind legs and hammer with forepaws. Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an “outside” door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow, or mosquito season. Swinging doors are to be avoided at all costs.
  • CHAIRS and RUGS:
    If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug, shag is good. When throwing up on the carpet, make sure you back up so that it is as long as the human’s bare foot.
    Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything — just sit and stare.
    If one of your humans is engaged in some close activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called “helping”, otherwise known as “hampering.” Following are the rules for “hampering”:

    1. When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted.
    2. For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.
    3. For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work or at least the most important part. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or knitting needles. The worker may try to distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work.
    4. Embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks in spite of what the humans may tell you.
    5. For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes or Christmas cards (annual activity), keep in mind the aim — to hamper! First, sit on the paper being worked on. When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed
      for the second time, push pens, pencils, and erasers off the table, one at a time.
    6. When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to jump on the back of the paper. They love to jump.
    As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in front of the human, especially: on stairs, when they have something in their arms, in the dark, and when they first get up in the morning. This will help their coordination skills.
    Always sleep on the human at night so s/he cannot move round.
  • PLAY:
    This is an important part of your life. Get enough sleep in the daytime so you are fresh for your nocturnal games. Below are listed several favorite cat games that you can play. It is important though to maintain one’s Dignity at all times. If you should have an accident during play, such as falling off a chair, immediately wash a part of your body as if to say “I MEANT
    to do that!” It fools those humans every time.
    • “Catch Mouse”:
      The humans would have you believe that those lumps under the covers are their feet and hands. They are lying. They are actually Bed Mice, rumored to be the most delicious of all the mice in the world, though no cat has ever been able to catch one. Rumor also has it that only the most ferocious attack can stun them long enough for you to dive under the covers to get them. Maybe YOU can be the first to taste the Bed Mouse!
    • “King of the Hill”:
      This game must be played with at least one other cat. The more, the merrier! One or both of the sleeping humans is Hill 303 which must be defended at all costs from the other cat(s). Anything goes. This game allows for the development of unusual tactics as one must take the unstable playing theater into account.
    • WARNING:
      Playing either of these games to excess will result in expulsion from the bed and possibly from the bedroom. Should the humans grow restless, immediately begin purring and cuddle up to them.

      This should buy you some time until they fall asleep again. If one happens to be on a human when this occurs, this cat wins the round of King of the Hill.

  • TOYS:
    • Any small item is a potential toy. If a human tries to confiscate it, this means that it is a Good Toy. Run with it under the bed. Look suitably outraged when the human grabs you and takes it away.
    • Always watch where it is put so you can steal it later. Two reliable sources of toys are dresser tops and wastebaskets. There are several types of cat toys.
    • Bright shiny things like keys, brooches, or coins should be hidden so that the other cat(s) or humans can’t play with them. They are generally good for playing hockey with on uncarpeted floors.
    • Dangly and/or string-like things such as shoelaces, cords, gold chains, and dental floss also make excellent toys. They are favorites of humans who like to drag them across the floor for us to pounce on. When a string is dragged under a newspaper or throw rug, it magically becomes the Paper/Rug Mouse and should be killed at all costs. Take care, though. Humans are sneaky and will try to make you lose your Dignity.
    Within paper bags dwell the Bag Mice. They are small and camouflaged to be the same color as the bag, so they are hard to see. But you can easily hear the crinkling noises they make as they scurry around the bag. Anything, up to and including shredding the bag, can be done to kill them. Note: any other cat you may find in a bag hunting for Bag Mice is fair game for a Sneak Attack, which will usually result in a great Tag match.
  • FOOD:
    In order to get the energy to sleep, play, and hamper, a cat must eat. Eating, however, is only half the fun. The other half is getting the food. Cats have two ways to obtain food: convincing a human you are starving to death and must be fed *NOW*; and hunting for it oneself.

    The following are guidelines for getting fed.

    1. When the humans are eating, make sure you leave the tip of your tail in their dishes when they are not looking.
    2. Never eat food from your own bowl if you can steal some from the table.
    3. Never drink from your own water bowl if a human’s glass is full enough to drink from.
    4. Should you catch something of your own outside, it is only polite to attempt to get to know it. Be insistent — your food will usually not be so polite and try to leave.
    5. Table scraps are delicacies with which the humans are unfortunately unwilling to readily part. It is beneath the Dignity of a cat to beg outright for food as lower forms of life such as dogs will, but several techniques exist for ensuring that the humans don’t forget you exist. These include, but are not limited to: jumping onto the lap of the “softest” human and purring loudly; lying down in the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen, the Direct Stare, and twining around people’s legs as they sit and eat while meowing plaintively.
    As mentioned above, in order to have enough energy for playing, a cat must get plenty of sleep. It is generally not difficult to find comfortable place to curl up. Any place a human likes to sit is good, especially if it contrasts with your fur color. If it’s in a sunbeam or near a heating duct or radiator, so much the better. Of course, good places also exist outdoors, but have the disadvantages of being seasonal and dependent on current and previous weather conditions such as rain. Open windows are a good compromise.
    It is advised that cats use any scratching post the humans may provide. They are very protective of what they think is their property and will object strongly if they catch you sharpening your claws on it. Being sneaky and doing it when they aren’t around won’t help, as they are very observant. If you are an outdoor kitty, trees are good. Sharpening your claws on a human is a definite no-no!
    Humans have three primary functions: to feed us, to play with and give attention to us, and to clean the litter box. It is important to maintain one’s Dignity when around humans so that they will not forget who is the master of the house. Humans need to know basic rules. They can be taught if you start early and are consistent.
  • You will then have a smooth-running household.