When you’re a kid, rules can seem all-important and unchangeable (whether you actually follow them or not). Then, when you grow up and become an adult yourself, you realize that adults are really just making up the rules as they go along.
Some rules are broad, meant to address systemic issues. But others created under truly random, highly specific circumstances — like when one student does something wrong and now there’s a whole class rule about that specific thing.
A Reddit user polled people on the question: “What rule was implemented because of you?”
The answers are incredibly entertaining, ranging from childhood stories to work stories.
1. No wrestling in the band room.
“After having my two front teeth replaced…
Band director: “Okay. I never thought I’d have to say this, but wrestling is not allowed in the band room”.”
2. No campfire flames higher than 24 inches.
“At Boy Scout Summer Camp, as a Scoutmaster. “No campfire flames higher than 24 inches.” Turns out that if you make a five foot tower out of ONLY the 1/4″ dowels from small American flags, you get a straight and narrow column of flame about 30 ft high. I was the Clark Griswold of scoutmasters.”
3. Dell takes credit cards.
“Years ago, I bought a computer from Dell. I paid for it with my debit card, and excitedly monitored the build status every day, checking in at work, and on my days off going to the library to check on expected shipping updates.
When I made the purchase, it was a five to seven day expectation for delivery. At day ten, when it had gone from “order accepted” to “order prepped” to “order built” it suddenly went back to “order accepted.” Stage One.
I called their customer service line and was told there had been a glitch in the system, and the order got expedited, and soon was back at “order built” and I was just waiting on shipping confirmation. The next day, back to “order accepted” again. This happened every day for five days. Cue another call to customer service. Apparently, there was a problem with payment, and they referred me back to my bank because the payment was on hold. Called my credit union, and they told me it was just an authorization hold waiting on final confirmation from the merchant. Called Dell back, and they saw the same thing, but even the customer service director couldn’t say why it hadn’t finalized, but every time the payment didn’t finalize they literally took the box with the computer off the loading dock and sent it back to stage one, again and again and again.
This led to a long hold while the customer service director looked into their billing system, and ended up transferring me too a very nice lady in their accounting department. Initially, she thought I was an in house person from the listing dock asking about a customer’s order, but quickly got up to speed. She was covering for a coworker who helped with in house billing system troubleshooting who was out on vacation, and usually just handled tracking the accounting from Dell sending parts from one warehouse and factory to another, but she dug in and figured out that the issue was that I was paying with a debit card, not a credit card. Now, debit cards were still relativity new. Most banks capped the amount you could spend per day at $250 to $500, but my credit union was one of only five financial institutions that didn’t cap it at all; they proudly noted on a monthly statement insert that the credit union felt that it was your money to manage they way you wanted to. However, Dell didn’t accept debit cards at all, not for a dime, not for the $800 I was trying to spend. The nice lady in accounting, however, had just come back from a conference, and knew that there was a push to gay more banks to act like my credit union and remove their spending caps. She told me to hang tight and she was going to get it done for me. I told her I could change my payment method to a credit card, but she told me that would delay the whole process.
Two days later, I got a call from her. She had made a presentation to the CEO, CFO, and several VPs making the case that Dell needed to get ahead of the curve and start accepting debit cards, with no spending limits, because the banking rules were going to be changing very soon and more people were going to be spending money with Dell the way I tried to. They had to implement a process to start accepting debit cards, which had required a rush overnight change from their merchant bank, and my purchase was their test case. She had me check with my credit union, who showed the funds were officially a purchase and not just an authorization hold, then she called the loading dock and made sure my computer was on a truck. Within ten minutes I had an email with a tracking number.
TL; DR I’m the reason Dell takes debit cards.
4. No marbles at school.
“I vaguely remember the convoluted rules we had for playing marbles in 3rd grade, but one that was written in stone was that if you lost a game, you had to throw away a marble of your own. This often drew a crowd of participants eager to get their tiny hands on a free marble.
One day, I lost a game and was forced to throw a marble away (we called it “scrambling”). I had stupidly agreed to offer up as ante for the game my prized “boulder”, a heavy marble with intricately woven colours that was about the size of a golf ball.
When it was time to throw it away, a large crowd of kids had gathered, impatiently jeering me to toss it and start the melee. I took one last look at my boulder and, in a surge of 8 year old rage, launched it with all my strength.
I still remember it gleaming against the deep blue sky as it left my hand. It sailed. Flew over the group’s head, their mouths agape in amazement. It flew until it struck some poor blond kid in the head, who was just walking along kicking dandelions, totally oblivious to the incoming projectile.
It hit him hard. To this day I still recall the way his head snapped back in Zapruder-like fashion. He dropped instantly, like a bag of old socks.
We all scattered to the four corners of the playground as teachers ran to his side. The following day a letter was sent home to every parent, banning all marbles.”
5. No locking people in the tuba lockers. Or tuba cases.
“Our band director had to make a new rule when we moved in to the new band room: No locking freshman (or anyone) in the tuba lockers.
We already had a rule of no locking anyone in the tuba cases.”
“Oh God, there was this really little fella (maybe five feet) who did play the tuba back in high school. Poor guy got locked in his own tuba case more times than I care to remember.”
6. No trench busting during Capture the Flag.
“In my sophomore year of high school during the short World War I unit, the sophomore history teachers had an event where we went out to the football field and played one flag capture the flag using dodgeball rules. One team had the flag and had “trenches” made of football training equipment and the other team had to charge across no man’s land and touch the flag to win. Occasionally the teachers would call out a gas attack and everyone would have to don paper bag “gas masks” or they were out.
I had the genius plan of charging the main “trench” directly without a dodgeball to try to neutralize it to help my team. I handed my ball to a classmate and instead wielded a cardboard trench shovel I had made that morning, and then put on my “gas mask” ahead of time.
When it was time to go over the top, I barreled towards the main trench (think that one Battlefield 1 trailer where the British soldier does the same thing with a club, but this was two years before that game came out). I miraculously was never hit on my way to it and slammed into that thing with all of my might, taking it down, knocking a couple other kids over, and knocking myself out for a few seconds in the process.
The teachers thought it was hilarious but they quickly had to implement a “no trench busting” rule after someone else tried to replicate my antics during the next round. Unfortunately as far as I’m aware that was the last year they did that event.”
7. No C-sections without an ultrasound.
“Because of my wife and I, (Local Hospital) will not perform a cesarean section without having had an ultrasound prior.
Doctor scheduled a C-section on my wife based on her last period. She was only at 7 months. She and son are fine now.”
8. No late assignments without a doctor’s note.
“In my first year of university I took philosophy as an elective and our professor said on the first day that he was easy going and didn’t mind if assignments were late and wouldn’t dock points. I turned all 8 papers he assigned in to him the day of our final exam. True to his word he graded them all fairly and didn’t deduct points for lateness. I took a class with him the next year and on the first day he said that due to past events he’d accept a late assignment only with a note from a doctor or if someone died while making eye contact with me.”
9. Ramen does not count for the food drive competition.
“During the annual canned food drive at my high school you can bring Ramen noodles, but they no longer count towards the total donated for the competition between the classes.
This rule is from when I was a Junior. They did all sorts of various competitions between the classes and of course the Seniors always won nearly everything. Well, during the food drive the Juniors concocted a plan to win the event. Instead of bringing in food we would collect money and a handful of people would hold it all until near the end. It would look like we were losing because our totals would be low but then on the last day they’d bring in a huge supply and we’d surprise them with the win. They wouldn’t know how well we were actually doing until it was too late to do anything about it.
I wasn’t one of the money people but a couple of them were friends of mine. The plan was to buy as much food as they could with the money they’d collected, so naturally they bought Ramen Noodles because it’s the cheapest thing in the store. I didn’t know how much money they had, but I think they must have gotten special order shipments in. On the last day of the drive when I came in there was a roomful of PALLETS of noodles stacked five feet high. I was completely blown away. It was an insane amount of Ramen. Based on the number of items brought in we had like double the Sophomores and Seniors combined. It was nuts.”
10. No historically accurate English grammar on assignments.
“In 8th grade we had an essay question on a social studies test that read something like this: “Imagine you are a miner during the gold rush. What would you life be like? Detail you’re day to day life in a diary entry below” I wrote mine to actually sound like it was written by someone not from this time period. Next time we had a diary entry style essay question I saw in the directions “Make sure to write your essay using clear and proper English.” I never followed that rule and the teacher never cared enough to deduct points.”
11. No tips more than 20%.
“So my company pays for my food when I travel, which is awesome. I was fairly new to the job at the time, so I went to a lovely Nordic restaurant for brunch in Oregon. I ended up getting drunk on some delicious mimosas, (paid for on a separate tab), and $25 worth of food. I was drunk, and my server was awesome, and ended up tipping him 100%. A couple days later my boss calls me and asked me “why the FUCK did you tip $25?!?!” Shortly after that, the company sent out an email to everyone with a strict 20% tip policy.”
12. No streaking.
“Not me but my dad. My dad and his friend streaked through the school and then ran through a meeting. There apparently was not a “no streaking rule” so they only got in trouble for skipping class. When I went to school there 20 years later there was a no streaking rule.”
“My school specifically has a no streaking through the library at night rule.”