Sunday, July 28, 2013


During the years that I've been doing this blog, I have done posts about various and varied weird and wacky laws of all types—local and state laws and even bizarre driving laws.  Well…today I'm sharing some truly weird laws concerning food.  And weird doesn't even begin to describe the absurdity.

1)  Greene, New York:  It's against the law to eat peanuts and walk backwards down the street while a concert is playing.

Apparently it's okay when a concert is NOT playing.  How about this?  Is it okay to walk backwards down the street while a concert is playing if you're eating cashews rather than peanuts?  There had to be some reason for the lawmakers to actually spend time on this and vote to make it a law.  I wonder what the reason could have been?

2)  Massachusetts:  At a wake, mourners may eat no more than three sandwiches.

This totally baffles me.  Why would there be a law governing how much people are allowed to eat at a wake?  And for that matter, why does it apparently apply only to sandwiches?

3)  Beech Grove, Indiana:  It is forbidden to eat watermelon in the park.

So, at all those summer picnics in the park, eating watermelon is a crime?  Did rival picnic groups end up in a watermelon fight?  Did Gallagher show up with his watermelon smashing sledge hammer?  Again, one can only wonder what happened to result in such a weird law.

4)  Riverside, California:  One may not carry a lunch down the street between 11 and 1 o'clock.

First, I'm assuming this means 11AM and 1PM as in the normal period thought of as lunch time.  But the purpose of the law?  Was there a time in Riverside's history when hoards of hungry people prowled the streets during those hours looking to steal a lunch from some unsuspecting pedestrian?

5)  Maryland:  It's against the law to eat while swimming in the ocean.

Another assumption—this relates only to people and not to anything that actually lives in the ocean, which makes it a gray area for Aquaman?  Apparently it's okay to eat while swimming in a lake, pond, river, or swimming pool.

6)  Marion, Ohio:  It's a violation to eat a donut while walking backwards.

Again the prohibition on eating something specific while walking backwards.  What is it with the walking backwards stuff?  So, people living in Greene, New York, who want to eat their peanuts while walking backwards need to travel to Marion, Ohio, and people in Marion, Ohio, who want to eat their donuts while walking backwards can do it in Greene, New York?

7)  Carmel, New York:  It's illegal to eat ice cream while standing on the sidewalk.

Hmmm…is it okay to eat the ice cream while walking backwards as long as you aren't standing still?

8)  Rosemead, California:  Eating ice cream in public with a fork is prohibited.

My first thought is…who eats ice cream with a fork.  But, moving beyond that.  Apparently it's okay to eat ice cream while walking backwards as long as you aren't using a fork.

9)  California:  It is illegal to eat an orange in your bathtub.

Now they've gone too far!  Bad enough to mess with what you're allowed to eat in public, but in the privacy of your own bathroom?  How is it possible to even enforce this law?  Knowing that eating that orange while in your bathtub is illegal, close the bathroom door so no one can see that you're actually in the tub while eating that orange.

10)  Boston, Massachusetts:  It is illegal to eat peanuts in church.

Does this apply to anything happening in a church building such as a social gathering of some sort or only to a church service? It would seem to be impolite to eat anything during a church service.  Again the peanuts are being taken to task.  I guess that means it's legal to eat them while walking backwards down the street while a concert is playing since it's Boston rather than Greene, New York.

Well…that's the list I found recently of 10 Weird Food Laws.  Seems to me that they should all be taken off the books as frivilous and basically unenforceable laws.  And just plain WEIRD.


R. E. Mullins said...

Funny post.

Samantha Gentry said...

Stuff like this really leaves me shaking my head and asking what in the world could have prompted such a ludicrous law. :)

Thanks for your comment.