The rules as I understand them:


Every chip has to be covered with cheese. Layer them like lasagna. There is plenty of cheese in the world.


The chances for rain increase by 50% when you decide to leave your windows down.

Tool bucket

Jobs around the house requiring three or more tools require a tool bucket. This saves trips coming and going. All tools make it back home.

The line at the Rockland dump

There are two lines for two lanes, please pick one or the other.

There are cagey types that wait in the middle to pick the best offer.

If you do this, you must pick the first line that opens: right or left.

If you do not make up your mind, don’t get upset if someone goes around you.

The lint screen

Clean it before you start your load. Do not expect a clean lint screen.

I did not promise you a rose garden.

There is no such thing as 110%

Let me pour you 110% of what your glass will hold.

Mufflers will not fit a Harley Davidson

You would think with all the technology available to us here in the year 2021, someone would figure a way to install baffles inside the exhaust pipes of one of these things. Richard Branson just flew into space.

Listening to a new album

Play the whole album beginning to end. No skipping around. The songs were arranged a certain way on purpose.

Lending books, music and movies

Do not lend any of these with the expectation you will get them back. At least not right away. You may find being the Sheriff a pain.

Ice cube trays

Never put back an empty tray. That is the most lame you can be.

After much debate from our panel about how many holes can be empty, no more than three can be left empty was the final answer.

There is an exception for anticipating getting more ice in the same evening.

Thank goodness ice makers are making this discussion moot.

Hard butter/soft butter

There is no right answer. Everyone should get their way on this. If there is no agreement, leave one stick in the fridge and one out.

Museum pillows

Museum pillows are the ones you have on your bed or on your couch that are just for looks. You may not put your head on them or sleep on them.

Museum soap

The little soaps, shaped like scallop shells or star fish, and sit in a dainty dish on the tank on the back of the toilet. These are just for looks, too. I am tempted to use one and carefully put it back…

Bink Bailey’s cardinal rule

Never countersink a round head screw. You may countersink a flat head or oval head screw.

Bombing the rotary

In October 1952, Main and Union Streets and alternating side streets became one way, creating rotary traffic flow. Sometime in the 50’s “bombing the rotary” became the name for orbiting the center of town for fun.

Terms like “cruising the circuit” are unacceptable.

Never carry scissors in your back pocket

This is only for experienced professionals working in an advertising department.

The wind always blows when chips are served on deck

I was aboard the Schooner Lewis R. French when there was no wind. Captain Dan Pease ordered potato chips, topside. The wind came up briskly and the French sailed away smartly.

I kid you not.

The Wasses rule

“A hot dog with everything does not include ketchup. You must ask for it.”

Boards on a porch or deck

Paint or seal all six sides, otherwise the boards will soak up water and rot.

Vanity plates must be clever

Example: My V.W.

Of course it is yours, as for make and model, both are stuck on the back and sides in chrome.

Let your lack of creativity be your secret.

Voicemail boxes

It is never OK to have so many voicemails that people calling you cannot leave a message.

Listen to your voicemails and empty them every day.

Commercial fishermen

Never wear rubber boots downtown.

Never wear rubber boots into a bar.

The Old Courier-Gazette rule:

Yesterday’s news, in tomorrow’s paper, tonight. Confusing to everyone except us.

Glenn Billington is a lifelong resident of Rockland and has worked for The Courier-Gazette and The Free Press since 1989.