Crockett's Rules of Civilization

Last Updated June 8, 1998

January, 1998 February, 1998 April, 1998 May, 1998 June, 1998

January, 1998

Rule # 1: As soon as you put up your "closed" sign and turn off your "open" sign, at least one moron is morally obligated to enter your store and ask "Are you closed?"

Rule #2: If you meet a gay person, do not run screaming from the room. This is rude. On the other hand, try not to be offended if the gay person runs screaming from the room. It's just a reflex.


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February, 1998

Some real laws still on the books around the country...

Community leaders passed an ordinance that makes it illegal for anyone to try and stop a child from playfully jumping over puddles of water.

Women may be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer, as can the salon owner.
Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.

It is illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, and other domestic animals kept as pets.

By law, anyone who has been drinking is "sober" until he or she "cannot hold onto the ground".


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April, 1998

Real laws still on the books from around the US...

It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.

If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.

It is illegal to rob a bank and then shoot at the bank teller with a water pistol.
Biting someone with your natural teeth is "simple assault", while biting someone with your false teeth is "aggravated assault".

Mourners at a wake may not eat more than three sandwiches.
Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and securely locked.


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May, 1998

Some Reflections on Father

Those who have never had a father can at any rate never know the sweets of losing one. To most men the death of his father is a new lease of life.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), English author. Samuel Butler's Notebooks (1951, p. 100).

As fathers commonly go, it is seldom a misfortune to be fatherless; and considering the general run of sons, as seldom a misfortune to be childless.
Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773), English statesman, man of letters. Letter, 15 July 1751 (1774; repr. in The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 2, no. 264, ed. by Charles Strachey, 1901).

If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right.
Bill Cosby (b. 1937), U.S. comedian, actor. Fatherhood, ch. 5 (1986).

To be a successful father . . . there's one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don't look at it for the first two years.
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Quoted in: A. E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway, pt. 2, ch. 5 (1966).

Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Goring, in An Ideal Husband, act 4.

None of you can ever be proud enough of being the child of SUCH a Father who has not his equal in this world-so great, so good, so faultless. Try, all of you, to follow in his footsteps and don't be discouraged, for to be really in everything like him none of you, I am sure, will ever be. Try, therefore, to be like him in some points, and you will have acquired a great deal.
Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Letter, 26 Aug. 1857, to the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.

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June, 1998


In the word of no master am I bound to believe.
Horace (65-8 B.C.), Roman poet. Epistles, bk. 1, Epistle 1 (22-8 B.C.), hence nullius in verba-the motto of the Royal Society of London.

It's easy to be independent when you've got money. But to be independent when you haven't got a thing-that's the Lord's test.
Mahalia Jackson (1911-72), U.S. gospel singer. Movin' On Up, ch. 1 (1966; written with Evan McLoud Wylie).

Our treatment of both older people and children reflects the value we place on independence and autonomy. We do our best to make our children independent from birth. We leave them all alone in rooms with the lights out and tell them, "Go to sleep by yourselves." And the old people we respect most are the ones who will fight for their independence, who would sooner starve to death than ask for help.
Margaret Mead (1901-78), U.S. anthropologist. Quoted in: Family Circle (New York, 26 July 1977).

Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue; and independence I will ever secure by contracting my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-97), English feminist writer. A Vindication of the Rights of Women, "Dedication" (1792).

The beauty of independence, departure, actions that rely on themselves.
Walt Whitman (1819-92), U.S. poet. Song of the Broad Axe, sct. 3.

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