Sunday, June 19, 2011
10 Weird and Wacky Laws
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 laws could possibly be enforced.
Many of these weird and wacky laws have subsequently been taken off the books, however just as many of them are still laws but obviously not being enforced. It would be interesting to know what the penalty would be if convicted of breaking these laws.
Here is a sampling of 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 to 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?