Rule One: I am aware that it is concidered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off your hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are idiots. Still, I want to be fair. You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants 10 sizes to big, and I will not object. However, to ensure that your pants do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place at your waist.
Rule Two: I’m sure that you have been told that in today’s world sex without a barrier can be deadly. Let me elaborate: When it comes to sex, I am the barrier and I will kill you.
Rule Three: I have no doubt the you are a popular fellow, with many oppurtunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my daughter, you will continue to date no one but her until she is through with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
Rule Four: As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not fidget and complain. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup — a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there why don’t you do something useful, like change the oil in my car?
Rule Five: The following places are not approporiate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are sofas, beds or anything softer than a wooden stool or folding chair; places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight; places where there is darkness; places where the ambient temperature would induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts or anything other than overalls, a sweater and a goose down parka, zipped up to her chin. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.
Rule 6: Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been, but on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless God of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
Rule 7: Be careful, be very careful. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi. When the flashbacks start, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean my guns as I sit at home waiting for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway, you should exit your car, with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safetly and early, then return to your car. There is no need for you to come inside. The camoflauged face in the window is mine.