Delightful book of rules found in Citrus Heights sets off hunt for author

dhill@sacbee.comJanuary 17, 2013 

A child's common-sense rule book for living – found in the parking lot of a Walmart in Citrus Heights – has struck a chord worldwide.

Employee Raymond Flores, 20, who rounds up Walmart shopping carts, says he noticed the little red book during a night shift last week. Inside the book, he found 157 rules such as "don't color on people" and "eat the food you get served."

Others included: "no being gross," "no talking back," "no pushing" and "don't ask questions you don't want to know the answer to."

He decided to try to reunite the book with the person – presumably a youngster – who wrote it.

So he called up local TV stations. His story went viral, spread to European news websites, and now the national TV networks are inviting him to appear on their morning shows.

The mystery ended Wednesday when, through a text from a Fox40 (KTXL) reporter, Flores learned the identity of the two authors – cousins Isabelle Busath, 10, and Isabella Thordsen, 8.

Flores met the girls at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in a Citrus Heights home.

He said the cousins have been compiling the book for two weeks because they wanted children in school to follow the rules and wanted to start a Follow the Rules Club. They invited Flores to become a club member.

It turns out everybody likes the rules.

"I read the whole thing to myself and couldn't stop smiling because it's so adorable," Flores said.

"I could see how much hard work they put into it," he said.

Flores, the father of a 3-year-old and a certified massage therapist with dreams of being a paramedic, said he has worked almost two years at the Walmart at 7010 Auburn Blvd.

He works night shifts as a "courtesy clerk," responsible for moving carts from the vast parking lot back to the store, assistant manager Laurie Slowey said.

Flores said he discovered the book in a parking space while pushing a cart and, with little else to do, took interest.

There are 157 numbered rules written in pencil and pen that fill almost half the lined pages in the book.

"Don't bite the dentist," says one entry. That comes after a rule that advises: "Don't eat before going to the dentist."

Flores said the story aired on Fox40 on Monday, and the next morning his ringing phone woke him up. It was CNN.

NBC offered to fly him today to New York City to appear on the "Today" show Friday, he said.

"I always imagined for my first time on a plane going outside the state I'd be planning it months ahead of time," he said.

Flores said that plans are in the works for him, the girls and their parents to all appear on the "Today" show.

He was scheduled to work at Walmart today and Friday, but his managers gave him time off for his national TV debut, Slowey said.

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