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April 2, 2011

Rule #5: Pardon The Masturbation

March 13, 2009

Masturbation is as natural as meiosis. It’s as necessary as sleep. It’s as inborn as fight-or-flight. In short, the survival of our species depends on it. Without the tension-relieving wonder of self-love, human interaction would be a 24/7 re-enactment of the “You fuck my wife?” scene from Raging Bull. (Fact: DeNiro went a full week sans release in preparation for that day of filming, an Oscar-worthy feat in itself.) Masturbation is man’s magic bullet: it’s a home run, a good dump, and Xanax—all crammed into a frenzied three minutes (call me, ladies). Also, it should be noted that I am referring only to male masturbation. Female masturbation serves no such social purpose, as the female orgasm is a myth. Just ask my ex-girlfriend.

Onward and upward.

We have established that masturbation is an inalienable right. But keep your tube socks on; there are a few ground rules. Just as your right to free speech doesn’t mean you can falsely shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater (see Schenk v. United States), you can’t go taming the shrew just anywhere with impunity. Here’s a lesson in self-aggression discretion. Let’s take a look at some real-world examples.


Flying Solo

You’re taking the overnight from L.A. to Bangkok, and at thirty thousand feet you’ve developed an elevation situation. It’ll be another fourteen hours before a Thai masseuse offers you the house special, and you’re not sure you can hold out. So you shuffle past your neighbor (see this article for guidance) and head to the lavatory for a little in-flight fiction friction. This is permissible, provided there is no line. And no, this doesn’t qualify you for the Mile High Club. Maybe the Mile Cry Club. Because it’s pathetic, you see.  Is this thing on?

The Shower Shimmy

You’re sudsing up for a big date, and you realize that you’ve forgotten the cursory pre-game scrimmage. You know how those girls from the escort service hate to be kept waiting, so in the interest of time you opt for an erotic aquatic jam sesh. After all, cleanup’s a cinch! But hold on there, George Costanza—just because there’s a drain, it doesn’t mean any and all fluids are kosher. If you’re the only person who uses the shower, have at it, sicko. Otherwise, find someplace else. Fraternity initiations notwithstanding, nobody wants to disrobe and stand around in somebody else’s man-jam.  Keep your hands on your luffa.

The Happy Camper

Ah, nature. There’s nothing like Kumbaya and a Coleman tent to remind you why we live in houses (with walls and privacy and everything!). Camping brings people together. Like, really close together. The intimacy overload can be a social pressure cooker, and it’s every man’s duty to help relieve the tension. It’s a big wilderness out there, rife with opportunities to commune with nature. Just keep it away from the campsite, lest you attract curious singles from the grizzly community. Bears get lonely, too. Just ask any Greenwich Village he-man wearing a leather police hat and studded choker.  Er, so I hear.

The Hostile Hostel

This conundrum is a dormitory version of the happy camper. Communal lodging is hostile to phallic flagellation. Still, where there’s a will, there’s a wank. Strategy is key—it’s not enough just to wait until lights-out to begin the surreptitious southpaw. Your bunkmates aren’t asleep, and you’re embarrassing yourself. The bathroom is your best bet (but remember, the shower is off-limits). When you’re done, fiddle noisily with the toilet paper dispenser and follow that up with a flush, thus creating the subterfuge of having pooped. You may not be fooling anyone, but people appreciate the effort.  How considerate of you.

Friendly Fire

You’re at your buddy’s place, and all the guys have gathered to watch UFC on pay-per-view. While your friends are grappling with homoeroticism (Georges Saint-Pierre is so ripped, bro!), you consider enlisting the bowel movement ploy for a first-round upset of your own. Don’t. Remember when you were a kid and you asked your dad to stop the car so you could pee, and he said, “You should have thought of that before we left,”?  Well, you should have thought of that before you left.


Infraction Rating: Moderate

Masturbation keeps us sane. It is healthy not only for individuals, but for society as a whole. That said, social contract precludes the act in many circumstances. Do your best to plan ahead. The above situations can often be obviated if you take care of business at home. But the world is not an ideal place, and at times you will invariably find yourself in a quandary. When this happens, use the guidelines illustrated above, and exercise unselfish judgment. Apply the Kantian categorical imperative: ask yourself, “Would I mind if someone else were masturbating in this situation?” (It’s thought experiments like the previous that led to the shower shimmy admonition.) And when you do masturbate away from home, maintain your sense of propriety. No dilly-dallying. This is not the time or place for Enya and scented candles. Liquidate your inventory, clean up, and move on. There’s nothing sadder than being caught romancing yourself. Happy slapping!

Rule #4: Rock, Paper, Scissors

August 2, 2008
Here is a fact that you may not have known.  Dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was decided by a game of Rock, Rock, paper, scissors... SHIT!!!Paper, Scissors.

The year was 1945, and while Uncle Sam was fighting Tojo and the goose-stepping Nazi regime, red-blooded Americans back home were keeping spirits high by Jitterbugging and Lindy Hopping in the top-notch dance halls in the big cities.  People were tuning their radios in to hear Woody Herman’s “Your Father’s Moustache”, and the silver-screen was set ablaze by scofflaw filmmaker Kroger Babb and his controversial, high-grossing movie picture Mom and Dad that had the National Legion of Decency calling shenanigans on a doozy of a scene that featured a real live birth (talk about high-grossing, bleh.)  President Truman had a tough decision to make.  It seemed as if those sneaky orientals over in Japan weren’t too keen on Ol’ Trumie’s (Thats what they called Truman back them) ultimatum for surrender.  Trumie’s advisor on all things Japan, Edwin O. Reischauer, told him that dropping the Little Boy and Fat Man on the land of the rising sun wasn’t a good idea as Truman already had the lowest approval rating of any prez in history up until Gerorge W. Bush.  Truman blurted out, “The buck stops here!” with one of those weird little grins on his face like he knew a dirty secret, kind of like Dubya does today.  Instead of engaging in fisticuffs, the two settled the dispute like gentlemen.

They played Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Of course, back then it was only called rochambeau.  After three grueling battles, Truman lost because of a disagreeance over how to play.  Reischauer played it in the style on most schoolyards where there are three primes and then you “shoot”, but Truman claimed the only American way to do it was to shoot on “three”.  Because Truman threw a step ahead of Reischauer, his opponent was able to change his throw to beat Truman’s.  However, moments after the loss, Truman realized he was the President and could do whatever he wants, kicked Reischauer in the nuts (which is where today’s usage of rochambeau comes from), and dropped the bombs.  And here we are today.

Now you hopefully understand the importance of Rock, Paper, Scissors (or RPS as the pros call it).  What once was a simple playground game became an ultimate way to make decisions, and is today considered an official sport by some.  But when the rules cannot be agreed upon, as in the case above, things can turn sour fast.

Let’s get this out of the way first:  the game is called “Rock, Paper, Scissors.”  Not “Paper, Rock, Scissors.”  Not “Scissors, Rock, Paper.”  Not any other combination of the three.  You can call it rochambeau, but make sure both parties know that you mean RPS and not a game of karate-kicking each other in the jewels.  You can also call it jan-ken-pon now that Japan is our ally.

The most common argument over RPS, though, is how many primes there are before you shoot.  Some people say its 2, some say 3, and there is probably some idiot out there who says it is 10… just to be sure.  Also, many people don’t know whether it is correct to say “1, 2, 3, Shoot” or “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot”.

Well, we went to a professional, Graham Walker, of to find out:

Universal Rules: Hello Graham, nice to meet you.  Thanks for taking time away from being super busy in Germany to talk to us.  Glad to know that Truman’s efforts to stop the war allowed for RPS to be used there.  How are you involved in the RPS Society?  How long have you been involved?

Graham Walker: I founded the WRPSS in 1995 with my brother/partner Douglas Walker and have been running it ever since.

U R: What are the official rules?  How were they decided?

G W: The official rules were written by myself during a plane ride to Cincinnati. I simply started at ground zero and wrote out everything step by step as if I were explaining RPS to an alien. After some minor revisions with Douglas it was unanimously approved by the World RPS Society Steering Committee. Sorry, can’t tell you what members make up the Steering Committee since it is a closely guarded secret so as to avoid potential lobbying efforts of members with personal agendas within the sport.

U R: Whoa another secret rule-setting committee?  Steppin’ on our toes here, Graham.  Do you play by the same rules on the street?  Are there “official” and “un-official” rule sets?

G W: The official rules are available here:
All games are ‘official’ whether played for the World  Championships, in an alley for $10, or for the last slice of pizza. All players are expected to honour the traditions of the game at any time. All who play the game are ambassadors to RPS, members and non-members alike.

U R: Any tips?

G W: Speed play. Not letting your opponent have to think between throws is the key to beating a beginner as they tend to fall into predictable patterns. If you know what those patterns are (like I do) then you will win a lot more often.

U R: Come on, which throw always wins?

G W: The one that beats yours.

U R: Thanks for your time.

Be sure to check out Graham’s strategy guide here:

And his movie here:

Sadly, I didn’t think to ask him why the hell paper beats rock.  Looks like that will remain a mystery for now.


Infraction Rating: Moderate

According to the RPS society, the 3-prime-shoot technique is the preferred and best method for RPS, and according to Graham, that goes for anywhere, not just on the battlefield that is the RPS tournament.
As for whether it is “1, 2, 3, Shoot” ot “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot”, I can’t find anything conclusive on the site, but saying “Rock, Paper, Scissors” is so much more satisfying than just counting.
Follow the rules. Remember, the fate of the world
could quite literally be in your hands as it was with Truman.  Though, personally, I’m still going to throw “dunebuggy” like that kid on “The Adventures of Pete and Pete”. 

“For me, Rock Paper Scissors is about understanding something the rest of the world doesn’t.”  –Graham Walker

George Carlin- May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008

June 23, 2008

You will be missed.

 Fuck, shit, piss, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits...


Have fun up there on the roof with the other souls. 


New rule: Be excellent to each other.

RULE #3: You say goodbye, and I say goodbye… also…

June 21, 2008

The situation-This is a man and woman shaking hands.  Thanks Google Image Search.

“Hey, well it was great seeing you Denise!”

“Yeah, you too, Richard!”

“I gotta hit the road, see ya later!”

“Ok! Bye!”

*You both walk the same way to your cars which are parked DIRECTLY NEXT TO each other in awkward silence, not knowing whether or not to say goodbye again…*

The awkward goodbye.  You both have made it fully obvious you are done talking to one another, and now you’ve got to spend another few minutes *AWKWARD!*with each other because you didn’t realize you were heading the same way.  Worst case scenario-  you say goodbye before heading directly into the exact same elevator as the other person.

NOBODY likes this situation.  NOBODY knows how to react to it.

We’re here to fix that.

Face it, unless you’re in some sort of super-important rush, like you’ve got to go deliver a motivating, oscar-worthy speech so that a group of rag-tag volunteers can go on a suicide mission and stop an asteroid from smashing into the earth and killing the secondary characters, you probably really don’t NEED to leave the conversation.  You WANT to.  People naturally build a very strategic climax to a conversation so that they don’t have to hear the other person talk anymore.  You say things like, “Yeah, I’ve got a long day ahead of me,” “Oh, I can’t believe it’s already 4:39,” “Well, speaking of work, I’ve got a lot to do to get ready for tomorrow…”  There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s polite really.  All the excitement of the T.V. show... in 16 GLORIOUS bits!

You could forget politeness and just say, “Ah crap, American Gladiators is on and you’re boring.  LATERZ.”


So when you have carefully crafted your farewell to get the hell outta dodge, the last thing you need is the awkward shuffle back to the car.

There are several options to consider from here:

You could wait to see which way the other person goes and head the opposite way until the coast is clear.  Possibly time consuming, but effective nonetheless.  The only potential problem is that the other person is doing the same thing and eventually you will both have to give up your ruses and walk the ways you both really need to go, which would be WAAAAY more awkward than the alternative.

You could ask which way the other person is heading before saying goodbye at all.  This will avoid the awkward walk, but it may give the wrong idea to the other party.  You don’t wanna make ’em think you want them to come with you where you are going.  Imagine if you had run into your pastor on your way to the sex shop and tried this method.  You’re going to end up either embarassed or finding out a lot more about your pastor’s after-church-activities than you ever wanted to know. (SPOILER ALERT: He likes anal beads the best.)

You could pretend you can’t find your car.  This doesnt work for the elevator situation,  nor if the other person knows what your car looks like.  It’s really a last ditch effort to avoid the quiet walk.  The other person could potentially help you find your car, which is even worse.


It seems as if trickery has its downfalls no matter which method you try.  You don’t want to pile more social faux-pas on top of the already dreadful fate of the awkward goodbye.  The whole point in avoiding this is to make you look less inadequate (which you are) and more smooth (which you think you are).  When you run into the hot-and-newly-single-again-ex-girlfriend the last thing you want her to think as you drive away is, “Wow.  He’s still as retarded as he used to be.  Don’t answer his calls.” (Ladies, you know you say this to yourselves.)  So…


Infraction Rating: Negligible

The best thing to do is:


Look at your feet.  Whistle loudly to yourself.  Pretend not to hear them if they say goodbye again.  They are non-existant after the goodbye.  Nobody.  Nothing.  Just walk away… just walk away…


Oh sweet!  American Gladiators is on!  LATERZ!

Rule #2: DIBS.

June 21, 2008

I call dibs.No, not the ice cream treat.

We’re talking “calling dibs”.

You want the biggest piece of pizza, you call dibs.  You want the next turn on a video game, you call dibs.  You want the biggest, the best, the hottest, the greatest— YOU CALL DIBS.  (However, you don’t call dibs to save chairs at parties or the front passenger seat in cars.  Those are “FIVES” and “SHOTGUN” respectively, and they are rules for another time.)

Dibs is an insurance policy.  It is based on a relatively simple concept: “I saw it first, so I get it!”  The concept itself has existed for centuries.  Hungry cavemen tribes fought wars over who saw the wooly mammoth first.   The most beautiful women in history have been claimed this way.  Entire empire’s have risen thanks to someone saying “Saw it first,” and dropping flag.  Hell, Chris Columbus and the pilgrims said “Saw it second,” but still dropped flag… which i guess is the point of this rule.  Some people dont recognize the intracacies of dibs.

Universal Rules is here to correct that.

Dibs is not just a cultural convention,  it’s a force of nature.  Few things in life over-rule it,  so it is important to be aware of what those things are:

  1. AGE GAP- If it’s between a child and an adult, the adult gets final say.  If it’s between a senior citizen and anyone younger,  Oldie gets the win.  Sorry jerk,  you can’t call dibs on the open subway seat over the 91-year-old woman with a tracheotomy and worn out shoes trying to make her way downtown with 140 pounds of cat food.You get the cold slice...
  2. THE PIZZA RULE- If someone else picked the pizza up,  you can’t call dibs.  If you didn’t put money in for the pie, don’t even think about it.HAHAHAHAHA  GET IT?!!?!?!  CHICKS!!!
  3. CHICKS, MAN- No,  don’t worry…  you CAN call dibs on girls.  You don’t want to be stuck with the ugly redhead, am I right?  But you CANNOT call dibs if it’s going to ruin your friend’s chances with a lady friend.  “Huh huh, dibs on the last cold beer!”  Not cool bro,  not cool.

As long as none of these factors are involved, dibs CAN NOT be ignored.  Dibs is not a game.  It does not need to be “called on” or “called off”.  Treat it with respect.  Remember there is a statute of limitations on dibs. You don’t get to call it and wait.  Use your dibbed item RIGHT AWAY.


Infraction Rating: Egregious

Dibs must always be accepted, barring the 3 over-ruling factors.  And don’t dilly-dally after calling it.

Now I gotta go… someone else has dibs on this computer. 

Rule #1: Movie Aisles, Crotch or Butt?

June 15, 2008

It’s a common conundrum. You sit down at the theatre, people begin to fill in, the trailers start rolling, and it hits you. You need to get up and go to the bathroom, or you forgot to grab a Dr. Pepper to go with your Tub O’ Salt with popcorn on the side. Now you need to get out of the middle of the aisle, and there is only enough room between the fellow patrons and the seats in front of you for Kate Moss to slip through. You have to squeeze past the guy you’re about to spend the next 2 hours next to and you have a dire (and quick) decision to make:

Do I put my crotch or butt in his face?

This is more than just a “two-sided” issue. Many factors are involved. Are you male or female? Straight or gay? Thin or plump? Ugly or pretty? Ok… maybe these arent fair questions to ask yourself, perhaps there is a simple way to determine one rule for all people. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each:



  • You can still see the screen
  • You dont have to show him or her your shame
  • You can fart on him or her if he/she is being annoying
  • You can show off your assets
  • If its stadium seating you can look down the shirt of the girl in front of you


  • Putting your poopshoot in someone’s face is a bit embarassing
  • In stadium seating you may get vertigo and/or fall down
  • You may get “Goosed”
  • You may get “Icemanned” (which is an even weirder move)



  • A nice way to say “How do you do?”
  • Good for a drive-by braindangle
  • A good way for a girl to show off her goods
  • Make friends easier
  • Easy to see who it is that grabs you


  • You can’t see the screen
  • If you just finished making out, you might be exposing your boner
  • You can get punched in the nards
  • A drunk might vomit into your mouth




Thanks Bill…
Anyway, the pros and cons are pretty evenly matched, so the Roundtable of Universal Lawmakers (or “RULers”) will have to go to an expert on the subject… the lowly theater usher… to see what they think.

The unsung hero... mopping up vomit at a theater near you

RULers:  So you spend a lot of time walking up and down the aisles right?

Bernie the Usher:  Yeah.  I guess…

RUL:  When you go through the aisles, do you face the people sitting down or do you turn away from them?

BtU:  Um… I face them.  I’m usually moving through the aisles to ask people to stop talking or break up fights.  Though, one time i got kicked in the chest so hard I coughed up blood for two weeks.

RUL:  So you’re saying maybe people should face away?

BtU:  Uh… yeah… sure.  I’ve got a huge pile of hurl I gotta put sawdust on.  Can I go?  Are we done?

RUL:  Yeah, thanks.



Infraction Rating: Moderate

Well, we’ve thoroughly assessed the situation.  In the end it was a tough decision.  We got to the bottom of things, and now it is all behind us.  So the answer is:


… no ifs, ands, or b… well you get it.