Issuing The Challenge
A gentleman may challenge another gentleman to a duel over any slight, large or small.
Duels should not be issued at night; likewise, duels should not be issued when day drunk.
It is only courteous that, before using or accepting a challenge, both parties register as organ donors.
A gentleman may only challenge a man he has actually met. For example: he may not, upon finishing a particularly boring book, challenge the author to a deadly duel.
LADIES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DUEL.
As dueling is technically illegal but also quite badass, it is important that the location of the duel be both (a) jurisdictionally ambiguous and (b) dramatic as hell. Such locations include island in the middle of rivers, remote cliffs at dawn, and swamps.
Duels among gentlemen are to be carried out using pistols.
Each man is allowed only one gun at a time (ie., no double gunsies)
If the challenged party does not own a pistol or owns a real shitty pistol, it is the challenging party’s duty to provide him with a gun. To do otherwise would be ungenerous.
If both parties agree, they may use either swords or long poles instead of pistols. In this event, different rules are decided on among both parties and their seconds (for example, how many bops on the head with a big pole are necessary to reclaim one’s honor).
Absolutely no punching.
If one or either of the gentlemen definitely has to die, they both walk five paces.
If they’re just trying to prove a point, it’s 25.
If the challenger is really mad but he doesn’t want to risk it, both parties walk 30 paces.
If the combatants are dueling as a bit, they walk 50 paces.
If there are five men and they are all equally angry at one another, they all walk the agreed-upon amount of paces and then fire in a star formation.
If neither party is really that upset, they can just turn around and apologize to one another, no hard feelings.
Number Of Shots
The most common and advisable number of shots to be fired by each gentleman is: one. If things are terribly serious, two shots are permissible. Three shots is savage and frankly absurd.
Under certain circumstances, both parties may choose to intentionally shoot the ground instead of aiming for one another. Some of these circumstances include:
If the challenger is trying to seem like he’s defending his wife’s honor but honestly, he doesn’t really care.
If the challenger believed the other man stole something but then remembered right before the duel started that he put it in a trunk.
Boys being boys.
If neither party is able to remember how this whole thing got started in the first place.
NOTE: Shooting in the air to intimidate the other party is dumb and inadmissible.
At any point before or during the duel, the challenger has the right to yell out “I SPARE YOUR LIFE!” and forgive the challenged. This is considered extremely gentlemanly and the challenger should be congratulated as such.
Each combatant is bound to choose a second who will try to talk out the problem and resolve it before the duel. If the seconds cannot come to an understanding, they are then bound to talk up their friend’s prowess at shooting pistols.
One Final Warning
If one or both of the participants isn’t a gentleman, anything goes.
Blythe Roberson is a writer living in NYC, baby. She’s on twitter @blythelikehappy.