Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weird and Wacky Laws


My mother is now at a rehab hospital for her broken hip. I'm still spending a lot of time running between my house, my mother' house, and the rehab facility.  So, as I did last week, I'm reposting one of my blogs from about a year ago.  My life should be back into a "normal" mode by next Sunday so that I can post a new blog.  But until then, here's another trip down memory lane.  :)
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There is no question that many weird and wacky laws exist out there. You can only scratch your head and wonder what the various state legislatures were thinking about when they actually took the time to pass these strange ideas into law. And to take it a step farther, you can only wonder how some of these antiquated laws could possibly be enforced...and why they weren't repealed a long time ago. It would be interesting to know what the penalty would be if convicted of breaking some of these laws.

Here are ten such laws that caught my attention (and tickled my funny bone).

In TEXAS, an anti-crime law requires criminals to give their victims notice—oral or written—twenty-four hours in advance of the crime they're planning to commit and the nature of that crime.

In WAYNESBORO, VIRGINIA, it was once illegal for a woman to drive a car up Main Street unless her husband walked in front of the car waving a red flag.

In the state of WASHINGTON, it is mandatory for a motorist with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and telephone the local chief of police before entering the town.

In IOWA, one-armed piano players who perform must do it for free.

In ALABAMA, it's illegal to wear a funny fake mustache to church.

In NEW HAMPSHIRE, you may not tap your feet, nod your head or in any way keep time with the music played in a tavern, restaurant or café.

In CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, it is forbidden to fish while sitting on a giraffe's neck.

In FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA, a person can be jailed for wearing a hat while dancing or wearing a hat to an event where dancing is taking place.

In MINNESOTA, no one is allowed to cross the line into the state with a duck on his/her head.

In DENVER, COLORADO, next door neighbors may not lend each other vacuum cleaners.

And here's a bonus offering that truly boggles the mind:

In MICHIGAN, beavers can be fined up to $10,000 per day for building unlicensed dams, according to a letter the state once sent certain beavers in Grand Rapids. This actually happened! After complaints about flooding on neighboring property, the state sent a letter to the land owner ordering him to remove unauthorized wood debris dams. The reply sent by the landowner was widely circulated around the internet as he pointed out that the "wood debris dams" belonged to beavers and he was not responsible for it. Eventually the matter was dropped and it seems unlikely that this would actually happen again. :)

Do any of you have weird laws in your state or country that have long ago outlived their original purpose but are still on the books?

15 comments:

Lilly Gayle said...

In one of NC's counties, it is illegal to sing off key. I guess that means they can't open karaokee bars in that county!

Fun post! And my first time reading it.

Samantha Gentry said...

Lilly: Had to LOL at it being illegal to sing off key. You're right...no karaokee bars in that county.

Thanks for stopping by.

Toni V.S. said...

I always loved that Georgia law about it being illegal to eat friend chicken any way but with your fingers. I'd be arrested there for sure because I don't like to get my hands greasy!

Samantha Gentry said...

Toni: It really makes you wonder where some of these weird laws came from, what prompted a state legislature to waste its time making stuff like that a law. :)

Faith said...

LMAO! These really make you wonder if legislature groups get together in a local bar, get drunk and scrawl this goofiness in crayon on napkins. The Texas one gave me a good chuckle.

These are great. I'll post your link on a coupla of my groups and send some traffic your way.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

This post is hilarious! I'm from Iowa so I knew about that law - they have a bunch of weird laws still on the books! How funny!

Samantha Gentry said...

Faith: LOL ... it really does seem like that might be how the laws were passed.

Thanks for the plug.

Samantha Gentry said...

Julia: Makes you wonder how and WHY those laws ever became law. :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Faith said...

Was telling my dau about this post today. She got a big laugh out of the one about the beavers.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the ObamaCare law on your list?

Samantha Gentry said...

Faith: It does make you wonder how the beavers are supposed to pay that $10,000 fine. :)

Anonymous said...

The "no dancing with a hat on" law comes from the fact that large brimmed hats can and do hit other people dancing, often causing eye injuries. While a bit weird it does have a legitimate purpose.

Samantha Gentry said...

As with the "no dancing with a hat on" law, I imagine that they all had some sort of legitimate basis that prompted the law in the first place. It's just very difficult today to see why many of them came into being.

circuitmouse said...

My late great-aunt was a lifelong NC music teacher; the threat of breaking the law may have served as inspiration to faltering students!

Samantha Gentry said...

Circuitmouse: LOL ... that could be. If you're going to sing, it better not be off key. So practice, practice, practice!