10/25/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

First Rule of the Bailout: Don't Talk About the Bailout

Remember the rules:

1. First rule of the bailout is you don't talk about the bailout.
2. You don't talk about why we need the bailout.
3. When someone says stop, or goes limp, even if he's just faking it, he needs a bailout.
4. Only two guys to a bailout, unless it takes more to carry the money.
5. One bailout at a time, but we can always make exceptions for you.
6. They get bailed out without shirt, shoes, or remorse.
7. The bailouts go on as long as they have to.
8. If this is your first night at bailout club, you have to be bailed out.

Or we could just go with a simpler set of rules:

1. You don't ask questions.
2. You especially don't ask questions about the government's authority.
3. Only excuses.
4. Especially lies.
5. You have to trust Paulson and Bernanke.

With sincere apologies to both Chuck Palahniuk and to Daniel Larison, whose offhand reference to Tyler Durden inspired this post.