NOTE: THESE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT EXPLAIN YOUR “RIGHTS” (A TERM USED EUPHEMESTICALLY HERE TO MEAN “UNEQUIVOCAL RESPONSIBILITIES”) TO ENSURE YOUR MOTHER’S SANITY AND THEREBY YOUR SAFETY (ALBEIT INDIRECTLY). NOTHING IN THESE RULES GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO QUESTION, ARGUE OR OTHERWISE CONTRARILY ENGAGE YOUR MOTHER IN DISCUSSIONS GEARED TOWARD SIMPLIFYING YOUR LIFE. MAKE NO MISTAKE, THESE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT ARE SOLELY ABOUT SIMPLIFYING YOUR MOTHER’S LIFE.
- You have the right to pick from your floor—and from under your bed—all of your dirty socks, underwear and various other clothing items and put them in the laundry basket, conveniently located in your room.
- You have the right to haul said laundry basket once a week upon command—without complaint (for your own safety)—to the laundry room, where you will sort your dirty clothes into tidy piles of whites, darks, brights, reds and other. You will have questions. Consult with each other before engaging Mother, who might not respond kindly.
- You have the right to remove belts from pants. Inaction will result in the ire of Mother.
- You have the right to search the pockets of your stale clothing to remove all items therein, including but NOT limited to “cool” rocks, rusted bottle caps, “lucky” pennies, candy wrappers, lunch baggies (particularly those with food still in them, such as slivered almonds), paper (e.g., straw wrappers, napkins), pens and pencils. Removing from your pockets any and all wadded up underwear (presumably from sleepovers?) is also your right.
- After Mother has washed, dried, folded and hung your freshly-laundered clothing, you have the right to remove said clothing from the laundry room, take it to your room, and (here’s the tricky part, apparently) put it away. Nicely. Neatly. Mother is likely to “go ballistic,” as it were, if she finds freshly-laundered clothing in crumpled piles on your floor alongside their other filthy counterparts.
- Mother is not at war.
- Treat all persons, particularly Mother, with dignity and respect.
- Use MAXIMUM effort to exercise your rights (as defined above).
- Always be prepared to act upon Mother’s command.
CARRY ON SOLDIERS. AS YOU WERE.