Constitution of the Momocracy of the Swaggon™
We the people of the Swaggon™, in order to ensure a peaceful trip, establish ground rules, ensure domestic tranquility, provide common sense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of sanity to ourselves and our posteriors, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United Momocracy of the Swaggon™.
- MOMOCRACY: The Swaggon™ is not a democracy. It is a MOMocracy. This vacation was planned, funded, and flawlessly executed by Momocracy founders Jennifer Smith and Valerie Bernardo. During the planning stages there were discussions of a childless vacation, so any and all children accompanying those founding Momocracy members should consider themselves very, very lucky to be going anywhere at all. Any member of the Momocracy is automatically granted special rights and responsibilities which will be outlined here, but should expect to solve problems and create new laws as the need should arise.
- MEMBERS OF THE MOMOCRACY: The Governing Board of the Momocracy consists of any and all mothers in the Swaggon™. This includes any women who are not YOUR mother, but are still indeed SOMEONE’S mother and therefore automatically a fully recognized member of the Momocracy Governing Board.
- ULTIMATE AUTHORITY OF THE MOMOCRACY: All members of the Momocracy Governing Board have the power of the “final word” on any subject; this includes, but is not limited to:
- Bothering: The Momocracy will be the final authority on what constitutes “bothering”. For example, poking someone would be considered bothering. Looking at someone, or the person across the way sitting with their legs crossed in a way you don’t like does NOT constitute bothering, no matter how much it might bother you, for whatever reason.
- Burping contests: Momocracy members are the only Swaggon™ riders allowed to suggest and supervise burping contests. While Swaggon™ riders may vote for a winner of said contest, the ultimate decision of burp victory is left to the participating Momocracy Governing Board members
- Fart-related disputes: The Momocracy refuses to mediate fart-related disputes, nor do they subscribe to such faulty logic as “he who smelt it dealt it” or the like.
- Item-related disputes: If an item becomes the subject of dispute and the Momocracy become aware of it, said item will be forfeited until such a time as the adults deign to return it. Keep asking to get it back and we'll sell whatever it is to Bigfoot and spend the money on vegetables. Especially the ones you don't like.
- PUNISHMENT: Should you disagree with a decision made by a Momocracy member please see the "Rule of One" and "Exclamations of Dismay" amendment. Failure to recognize authority of the Momocracy of the Swaggon™ will result in punishment, up to and including being left on the side of the road in North Carolina, where you could possibly be adopted against your will by Bigfoot. Bigfoot will make you do chores and shampoo his butt hair.
- DRIVER: The Momocracy recognizes that driving is a very stressful activity and therefore place the driver (also called “captain”) in charge of items and activities to include (but not limited to): vehicle air conditioning, radio stations, radio volume, iPod playlists, travel speed, and the time and location of bathroom breaks or meals. The driver deserves respect from all other Swaggon™ passengers; potentially distracting behaviors (such as screeching, shouting, or screaming) should be avoided to ensure the safest Swaggon™ ride possible.
- MISC. ADULT PRIVILAGES: The Momocracy of the Swaggon™ grants citizens over 18 years of age extra rights and responsibilities.
- SHOTGUN: Riding shotgun: (also known as "pilot") is a privilege, not a right. Pilots must be able to check the driver’s blind spot for cars, be able to reprogram the GPS, reach the cooler for beverages/snacks without removing his/her seatbelt, answer vague trivia questions as they occur to the driver, and be able to properly work the driver’s phone with little-to-no coaching.
- VETO PRIVILEGE: adults over the age of 18 may veto the shotgun request of anyone under the age of 18.
- ELECTRONICS: Adults over the age of 18 are allowed to use electronics without headphones at his/her discretion.
- UNDERAGE CITIZENS: Definition: Anyone in the Swaggon™ under the age of 18 is considered underage. Underage citizens have very little power within the Momocracy, but enjoy more freedom than adults citizens. Just ride and follow the rules. Cake.
- RIGHTS: Underage citizens of the Swaggon™ will be provided the following:
- Swaggon™ Snacks: Your food and drink for this trip were thoughtfully provided and obtained. What you have is what you have. If you got Frito's but for some reason wish you had opted for Bugles, remember it for the trip home but DO NOT ASK for Bugles while stopped at a gas station. If you run out of snacks before we arrive at our destination, it is your fault. It is not your mother's, aunt's, or cousin's job to provide you with snacks because you pigged out on the first day of the trip and have nothing for day 2.
- Exception: If you are offered, you may request something else (within reason). If your request is approved and your mom/aunt buys you the Bugles you wanted so badly, you should thank them. Remember, we didn't have to bring you.
- Swaggon™-tainment: We have known about this trip for months, and you have had that long to calculate, organize and pack what you wanted to bring. Momocracy members consulted with underage Swaggon™ citizens before packing their Swaggon™-tainment bags. The Momocracy refuses to accept responsibility for any items (clothing, entertainment, or communication) forgotten at home. Don't complain about leaving something behind - unless we are within a block from home, we will NOT turn around to get the DS game (or book, comfy pair of socks, stuffed animal, toy axe, etc) you forgot, nor will we purchase another item to replace the one you forgot.
- Replacement: Should you have your own money, YOU may purchase something (see "your money" rule for more information on purchases), but you may not even ASK your mom, Aunt, cousin or anyone else to purchase something for you. Punishment will be swift and severe for anyone caught begging from family members Please do not insist that you've run out of things to do 5 minutes into the trip.
- MAPS: The Momocracy will provide older underage citizens of the Swaggon™ with maps on the days we will travel great distances.
- THE RULE OF ONE: You may submit a request once; if your request is denied you may not ask again. Should your request is denied, you are allowed one (1) exclamation of dismay ("aww, maaaan!" or similar). You do not ask again. It really is that simple. Breaking the RULE OF ONE will result in a warning, and then punishment at the discretion of the Momocracy. Continuous whining will result in revocation of fun outing privileges, i.e, mowing some one's lawn while the rest of us go to Hershey Park without you.
- Addendum: asking the same question but adding "please" still counts as asking the same question, but do keep in mind that using "please" the first time you request something might help your case. Still, no guarantees - you have no rights in the Momocracy. You are only along because we allowed you to be. You could be home emptying the dishwasher and taking out the trash.
- SEAT BELTS: Every rider in the Swaggon™ will wear his/her seatbelt at all times - no exceptions. Even if you can't get comfortable, even if you can't sleep, even if you feel as though it's choking you, there is no good reason to remove your seatbelt. This is not only the Momocracy law, this is the law of every single state we will be driving through. This is for your safety and to avoid the costly ticket the driver would receive if you don't wear it. No arguments, no asking, no trying to be sneaky and take it off underneath your blanket. The Swaggon™ is smart and will notify the driver if you remove your belt. Removal of your seat belt while on the road will result in punishment of an unpleasant sort, to be determined.
- SWAGGON™ SEATS: Seats are assigned by Momocracy members before departure. Please refer to the following crude diagram to determine your seat: B) Shotgun D) Notgun E) The Poop Deck
- ASKING "ARE WE THERE YET?" If we are still driving, we are obviously not there yet. if we were there, we would stop the Swaggon™. Rest assured that you will be notified of our impending arrival, because the adults in the car will be just as excited as you. And you are not tricky and smart by asking "how close are we" or "how long until we get there". You will receive updates on our progress periodically. Allowed, within reason (as in, not every half hour): "Where are we".
- THE USE OF HEADPHONES: Any personal electronic device you plan to use for your own, personal entertainment (i.e., an iPod, DS, etc.) WILL be used with headphones. In addition, you may NOT unplug your headphones without permission. Please see the Rule of One. It applies here, both to asking and to being told no.
- The Bubba Clause: Anything Bubba plays with/watches is potentially exempt from this rule, due to his sensitivity to sound and noise (unless he consents to wear headphones, the chances of which are slim). IF Bubba is playing with something that is making a noise/sound that irritates you, listen to/watch/play with something of your own (with headphones) to drown out the sound. Or just deal with it.
- POTTY BREAKS: When the Swaggon™ stops for a potty break, everyone will make an effort to go to the bathroom. Do not let the words "but I don't HAVE to pee!" pass your lips. It doesn't matter - if you have a bladder, you will get out of the Swaggon™ and make sure said bladder is empty before we leave. The first person to skip a potty break only to announce 15 minutes after we get back on the road that he/she needs to pee will be using the bathroom on the side of the interstate. Swaggon™ riders will be allowed to make up silly songs about this person and will be entitled to bring up this embarrassing story at future events (birthdays, graduations, Christmas) indefinitely.
- Do not wait until it's an emergency to tell someone you need to use the bathroom. You should let someone know as soon as the urge strikes you that you will need to use a restroom, and when possible provide an approximate time frame ("I'm going to need to stop at the next rest stop, please!"). If you fail to do so or fail to respond to being notified that there are no more rest stops for 300 miles, you will use the bathroom on the side of the road. Where Bigfoot might be watching.
- BICKERING: If you cannot play nicely with each other, do not play with each other. Everyone will have his/her own things to do. Remember the "Rule of One": if you want to play with something your cousin brought, you may ask him/her once if you may borrow it. If your cousin says no, that's it - don't ask again. Do not tattle that your cousin will not share. If your cousin says yes, discuss an appropriate time frame for usage of whatever it is you are borrowing/loaning. Letting someone borrow something for two minutes and then taking it back is not permitted.
- TRASH: Put your trash in the container thoughtfully provided by the Momocracy. Do not throw trash on the floor. Do not throw trash at your seat mate or the front seat. Do not throw trash anywhere other than the bag/basket provided. Failure to do so will result in being forced to clean out and vacuum the entire Swaggon™ while everyone else is doing something fun.
- OUTBURSTS: There will be no screeching, shouting, or screaming in the Swaggon™. It is annoying and possibly dangerously distracting for the driver. Conversation should be maintained at a normal level. Laughing is permitted and encouraged. Singing will be considered on a case-by-base basis. Arguing is strictly forbidden - if you can't get along, leave each other alone. Pestering, bothering and goading will not be permitted.
- Gassy outbursts: Everybody farts, sometimes: please use commonsense rules of polite society if you fart or burp in the Swaggon. Burping is permitted, but one should not make themselves burp(see Carsickness amendment). Should you burp, you are expected to 1) excuse yourself, and 2) keep it to yourself and not blow it In someone's face. Burp blowing is a violation of the Swaggon constitution and can result in loss of beverage privileges. Farting is allowed, but arguing over farting is not.
- CARSICKNESS: If you feel as though you might throw up, let someone know as early as possible. If you do throw up, attempt to do so IN something: a bag or trash can, etc. If you are doing something that makes you feel like you might throw up (i.e, reading in the moving Swaggon™), stop. Close your eyes, lean back, take a small sip of your drink, and see if you feel better. If, while on the road, you discover that a certain activity makes you feel like you might throw up, don't do that anymore. Find another activity that does not make you want to puke. Puking in the Swaggon™ is severely frowned upon for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which being that it could set off a chain reaction of sympathy puking amongst family members, all of whom have sensitive stomachs. Accidents happen, and will be understood as such, but keep in mind: puke in something, whenever possible. It will be better for all of us.
- YOUR MONEY: Be careful with your money. Yes, it is *your* money. However, the Momocracy reserves right of review AND refusal on purchases. Every purchase must be approved by YOUR mother. Although it might seem like you will not survive without a $20, five-pound Slim Jim, rest assured the Momocracy has the best interests in both your physical and financial health when they suggest you opt for something else on which to spend your money. And while you might be upset when your request to purchase 10 pounds of saltwater taffy is denied, you will ultimately be grateful that you will still have money to spend at our last stop on the adventure (and a digestive track clear of 10 pounds of saltwater taffy or five pounds of Slim Jim). Your cash should be counted and organized periodically, so that you have an idea of what you have to spend. You are responsible for your money, and if you lose your money, it is lost and will NOT be replaced. If you need help securing or counting, Momocracy members will gladly help you.
A) Driver C) Bubba Seat E) The Poop Deck