W. Bruce Cameron’s 8 Rules and Intellectual Property



8 Simple Rules

Around 1999 or so I wrote an essay Dating Our Daughters based on materiel that made the web rounds sans copyright. Later I posted the piece to my static website. I credited Anonymous.

Anonymous no more, as many would recognize. 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter is the intellectual property of W. Bruce Cameron.

As penance, I bought his book (new!). And so should you.


The Rules based on Cameron’s work.

This posting is an unforced error correction with no admission of guilt. (Well, some guilt: I was raised Catholic.)

Thank you (foot)notes:

See a credited version at Reasoned Audacity.

Update: 12 Oct 2005 Grow a Brain was very gracious in providing a link to the old page.

12 Oct 2005 Blazer Blog has a similar version.

12 Oct Jamey Ragle has it too.

12 Oct Decadent Grace has a very kind link.

12 Oct Bits and Pieces also linked. I am honored. I wish I could take credit.


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21 Responses

  1. Paul T. Klenk says:


    Simply great stuff, particularly considering that I have two daughters matriculating at a local University. Both are outstanding students and fine athletes. My younger daughter, now a first year student at the University, befriended a young man who served as a coach at a pole vault camp. She became quite enamored with him and he passed my review with flying colors. However, early in the academic year and at an inopportune time, he unilaterally decided to end the relationship. My daughter was destroyed! Consequently, I wrote a brief email to the young man suggesting that I had misjudged his honor and integrity. Ultimately, I was “forced” to write an apology that went something like this: “I’m told that I need to apolgoize for my actions.” PERIOD

  2. Rather Danny says:

    These rules are just fascist bullcrap. I wish one of your daughters would date someone like the Columbine guys let’s see how bullyish you are when you stare down the wrong end of a .44

  3. Jack Yoest says:

    Rather Danny, I have stared down the wrong end of a rifle being held by a man who didn’t share my world view.

    I remember an adrenaline rush. I remember moving.

    But I didn’t blink.

    And I’m still a bully — especially when it comes to my girls.

    Thanks for visiting.


  4. Jack Yoest says:

    Paul, you are much more a gentleman than the coach in question.

    It sounds like a team of lawyers got involved in your forced apology.

    What a sorry mess he made.

    Thanks for writing,



  5. Jack, thanks for adding the credit.

    –W. Bruce Cameron

  6. Terri says:

    As a mother of two beautiful daughters soon to be entering the “dating zone” I thank you for the guidelines. Very good!


  7. Pierre says:


    I enjoyed the ten rules for dating my daughter.

    These rules will soon be passed all around the internet…young men beware!!!!!

    Pierre Cutler

    The Sacramento Executive


  8. Staci says:

    [was this helpful?]

    Hell Yah!


  9. Joe B says:

    Bloody Fantastic Letter! I’ve emailed it to several of my buddies who have daughters.

    Thanks for the laugh,

    Joe Burlein

    Former USAF

  10. nothalo says:

    Short Form:

    Hey, guns shoot both ways old man.

    Long Form:

    Dear Jack,

    I do not know you nor do I know your daughters. I stumbled upon your writings. I am writing to inform you that your trite ramblings are both unamusing as a joke and ineffective as a threat. Just so you understand, by acting as a bizarre false- tough-guy, you are condeming your daughters to living lives in which they must slake their thirst for love in the crotches of other men. I can say this statement with high likelyhood of accuracy since if you had raised decent daughters there would be no need for you to pathetically threaten their suitors. Indeed the suitors your, likely needy, daughters bring home likely are thinking in response to your empty threats “Guns shoot both ways old man!” which is to say ‘they can buy a cheap guy and shoot someone just as you can.’ Incidently I consider your mocking of the mentally ill who hear voices as cheap and pathetic, but in your defense you are probably too feeble minded to understand that there are others in this world with sorrows that ought not be mocked. Just to further clarify my point, I guess that I will never be within a thousand miles of your or your family and I have no intention of ever seeing you or your daughters, whom I suspect are as dull and borish as their old man. You truly are a disgrace to men in uniform, those tools and training from the Armed Forces where meant to defend freedom not to make impotent threats in defense the chastity of likely already sexually active daugthers. Do you daughters a favor and have a reasonable relationship with them so that they do not have to thrown themselves at men to have a loving father figure in their lives.


  11. T Jacobs says:

    I see that not everyone has a sense of humor like us, Jack. I guess that my smiling while reading your hilarious rules would be unacceptable to others, so just know that I read them alone. This should keep me out of trouble with the lunatics.

    Good work!

    T. Jacobs

  12. Satya says:

    Man that was absolutely hilarious..especially the one about the shotgun and the shovel..


  13. Kane says:

    I’ve never been in favor of dating. So I’ll better skip this article and wait for you to publish something worth reading.

  14. Sonia says:

    That’s a funny comedy! I would reccommend it!

  15. Phylicia Cohen says:

    Hi Jack

    Absolutely loved your rules, they rule!

    I was reading it from a google search at 2 am in the morning (I am pregnant and some of us unlucky ones can suffer from sleep apneoa), I laughed so hard, I accidently husband almost woke up. I loved the rule about the half acre of land….very clever.

    I have forwarded your link to my husband, just in case our new baby is a girl!

    Again, thanks

  16. Barry says:

    Sir, Mr.Yoest Sir,

    I have twin 15 year old daughters and have thought about this eventuality for a few years. I have to agree with everyone who thought this was hilarious, but I also like the message that it portrays to

    would-be suitors! My girls aren’t dating yet, but when they do, they will have this echoing in the back of their mind. No,I won’t have my .308 @ arms length @ all times, nor will I have a nail gun loaded and ready at the front door, but the guys will know beyond a shadow of a doubt where my mind is @ all times, even when they’re not around my girls,…big brother is watching, and so am I.

    Thank you,


  17. Mark White says:

    Thanks for this humorous material. You might want to add… When it comes to my daughters safety, I am not afraid to go to jail.

    Mark White

    Mark White

  18. Jack Yoest says:

    Mark, I’m with you. We might very well be cell mates. Hopefully a jury would acquit. Like OJ Simpson….oh, well maybe that’s not the best analogy.

    Anyway, when we don’t trust the police and the courts to protect, people will do it themselves.



  19. If you Google “Rules to Date my Daughter” you will find tons of pages. Some pages even contain a printable version. However, one thing that they don’t contain is an author’s name. It’s nice to know who the author is.

  20. W. Bruce Cameron says:

    I was scheduled to be on Today today, but now Today is not Today, but Tuesday.

    I sat next to Cathryn Michon. We taped 15 minutes for a 2-4 minute segment. I said “duh,” and “um.”

    It makes for riveting television.

    Watch for it in the 9:00 hour on Today, but remember, not today.

    W. Bruce Cameron

    Winner of the 2006 Robert Benchley Award for Best Humorist Winner of the

    2006 National Society of Newspaper Columnists Award for Best Humor Columnist Author of 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter

  21. bruce alice says:

    i love the show