The Rules

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The Rules

 

  • First appeared on: n/a
  • About the song: Often thought to be original lyrics by Prince 'The Rules' are in fact taken from a much longer lists of 'men's rules' that has been circulating as an internet joke and chain e-mail since around 1999. This list most likely originated in the John Boy & Billy Big show, broadcast on 99.7 WRFX-FM 'The Fox,' in North Carolina. The comedic morning program has a character Mad Max, that in one skit from 1998 recites 25 rules for women. The skit 'Mad Max: 25 Rules for Women,' is also featured on the John Boy & Billy cd Rocket Science from 1998.

    On the internet these rules grew to a little over 40 around 2001. Prince likely first saw (or heard about) The Rules in or before July 2004, when he first started incorporating them in the acoustic set of the Musicology Tour. The rules he quotes include lines that were not part of the original 25. The list at some point had all the rules numbered '1,' to indicate they were all to be considered the most important rule. Hence the sequence of the rules might fluctuate between different circulating versions.

    The list includes the following 'Rules.' Indicated in bold typeface are the ones that Prince quotes or paraphrases.
    Men's Rules
    We always hear 'the rules' from the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules! Please note... these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE! .
1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us bitching about you leaving it down.
1. Birthdays, Valentines, and Anniversaries are not quests to see if we can find the perfect present yet again!
1. Sometimes we are not thinking about you. Live with it.
1. Sunday = sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.
1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.
1. Don't cut your hair. Ever. Long hair is always more attractive than short hair. One of the big reasons guys fear getting married is that married women always cut their hair, and by then you're stuck with her.
1. Crying is blackmail. Use it if you must, but don't expect us to like it.
1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
1. We don't remember dates. Mark birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar. Remind us frequently beforehand.
1. Most guys own three pairs of shoes - tops. What makes you think we'd be any good at choosing which pair, out of thirty, would look good with your dress?
1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
1. A headache that last for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.
1. Check your oil! Please.
1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.
1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.
1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us. We refuse to answer.
1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
1. Let us ogle. We are going to look anyway; it's genetic.
1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions, and neither do we.
1. The relationship is never going to be like it was the first two months we were going out. Get over it. And quit whining to your girlfriends. Like THEIR relationship is SO MUCH better.
1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.
1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.
1. We are not mind readers and we never will be. Our lack of mind-reading ability is not proof of how little we care about you.
1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.
1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really.
1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as navel lint, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.
1. You have enough clothes.
1. You have too many shoes.
1. I'm in shape. ROUND is a shape.
1. Foreign films are best left to foreigners. (Unless it's Bruce Lee or some war flick where it doesn't really matter what the hell they're saying anyway.)
1. It is neither in your best interest or ours to take the quiz together. No, it doesn't matter which quiz.
1. BEER is as exciting for us as handbags are for you.


1. Thank you for reading this; Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know we really don't mind that, it's like camping.


It is quite possible that Prince started using these rules due to the 'on the couch' reference (see also: On The Couch, although only once it has been played directly following a bit of On The Couch, in the acoustic set on Musicology Tour. In 2007 “The Rules” were played as part of Satisfied, which musically resembles On The Couch in more ways than one.
Even more rules are circulating, but not commonly listed in 'The Rules' chain e-mail that gets send around, however Prince never used any of these in his set, so it's likely he only saw the most commonly circulating version of around 30 rules.


The 'other rules' include:
1. Get rid of your cat. And no, it's not different; it's just like every other cat.
1. Dogs are better than ANY cats. Period.
1. Your brother is an idiot, your ex-boyfriend is an idiot and your Dad probably is too.
1. Your Mom doesn't have to be our best friend.
1. Don't give us 50 rules when 25 will do.
1. Don't fake it. We'd rather be ineffective than deceived.
1. Don't rub the lamp if you don't want the genie to come out.
1. Women wearing Wonderbras and low-cut blouses lose their right to complain about having their boobs stared at.
1. Consider Golf a mini-vacation from you. We need it, just like you do.
1. Yes, pissing standing up is more difficult than peeing from point blank range. We're bound to miss sometimes.
1. Telling us that the models in the men's magazines are airbrushed makes you look jealous and petty and it's certainly not going to deter us from reading the magazines.
1. Anyone can buy condoms.
1. If it is OUR house, I do not understand why MY stuff gets thrown in the closet, attic, basement or worse, the garbage.
  • Composed by: [anonymous]



Performed by Prince
1 September 2007: The O2 Arena, London, England (as part of Satisfied)
  • Played live in: 2004 (in the solo guitar set), 2007