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Silly Laws

In Switzerland, it is illegal for men to urinate in a standing position after 10pm.

In Mount Pulaski, Illinois, it is illegal for boys to hurl snowballs at trees.

In Harper Woods, Michigan, it is against the law to paint a sparrow and claim it’s a parakeet.

In Evanston, Illinois, it is illegal to change clothes in an automobile with the curtains drawn, unless the car is parked in a garage.

If you live in Kentucky, you must take a bath at least once per year. It’s the law.

In Massachusetts you can’t legally use tomatoes in clam chowder.

It is illegal to wear pants that are ‘form-fitting’ on Sundays in Delaware.

In Idaho, it’s illegal to fish while riding a camel.

You may not legally own a pair of pliers if you live in Texas.

In Galesburg, Illinois, it is illegal to burn bird feathers in public.

In Memphis, Tennessee, a woman cannot legally drive unless there is a man running on foot ahead of her car with a red flag to warn motorists that a woman is driving. Like many of these laws, this one is seldom enforced.

You are violating the law if you mispronounce the name of Arkansas.

In Alabama, it is illegal to wear a fake mustache in church that causes laughter.

In Illinois, a state far removed from any oceans, it is illegal to hunt whales.

In New York City, it is illegal to greet anyone “by placing the end of his thumb against the tip of his nose, at the same time extending and wriggling the fingers of his hand.”

Don’t wiggle while dancing. That’s illegal in California.

In Texas when two trains meet at a crossing “neither shall proceed until the other has gone.”

In the city of Athens, Alabama, it is illegal to walk down the street with an ice cream cone in your back pocket.

In Florida, you can legally fart until 6pm.

Vibrators cannot legally be sold in the American states of Mississippi and Alabama.

In Alabama, it is illegal to flick a booger into the wind.

If you should choose to have sex with a porcupine in Florida, you should be aware that you’re breaking the law.

It Swaziland, Women should be very careful about wearing pants in public. Members of the military are allowed to tear the woman’s pants off.

If you happen to own a bar in Oklahoma, watch out for people pretending to have sexual intercourse with a buffalo. If you allow that, you are breaking the law.

In Utah, you may not legally have sexual intercourse in an ambulance while it is on its way to an emergency.

In Ohio, no more than five women can live in one house. (Because it would then be assumed to be a house of prostitution.)

According to the law in Indonesia, the punishment for masturbating is decapitation. This law is seldom enforced.

In Chicago, it is illegal to fish while sitting on a giraffe’s neck.

In Alabama, it is illegal to drive a vehicle while blindfolded.

When Peter the Great, who couldn’t grow a respectable beard, was in power, any Russian who had a beard was required to pay a beard tax.

During the 1920’s there was a law in Russia that all private automobiles (not ones used by the government) had to have a yellow stripe painted all the way around the whole body.

There is an actual court case on record named: “The United States v. 350 Cartons of Canned Sardines.” It has something to do with interstate commerce.

In Illinois, prison inmates were offered free plastic surgery to change their faces. Of those who elected to become “new men” their rate of committing new crimes after release was less than average.

In Kansas it is legal to round off pi from somewhere around 3.14159265 to 3.0.

It was illegal to teach evolution in Tennessee until 1968.

There is a man whose official name has been legally changed to Mr. 1069.

In Peoria, Illinois, it is illegal to give a lighted cigar to a pet.

According to one source, in Idaho it is illegal to give your lover a box of candy smaller than fifty pounds in weight. Another source stated that it is illegal to give any other citizen a box of candy weighing more than 50 pounds. In any case, the giving of huge quantities of candy is regulated in Idaho.

There is a law against shooting rabbits from a New York City trolley car.

In Chaseville, New York, you may not “drive a goat past a church in a ridiculous fashion.”

In New York City is a special court that hears about 400 complaints per day against taxi drivers. Since the cabbies in the Big Apple carry approximately 400,000 people per day, that means about one in every thousand passengers feels the need to bring a complaint against a driver. Overheard in court recently: A cab driver who had recently immigrated from Pakistan was in court because he punched a passenger. Asked why, the driver said, “In my country women aren’t allowed to speak disrespectfully to a man.” Many cabbies do not like this court because they have to waste hours waiting for their case to come up. In one case, a professor from Columbia University took a cab driver to court because he had made a face when he discovered the tip was a small one.

The U.S. Navy will not accept anyone with an obscene tattoo.

All gondolas must be black in Venice. Only government officials are allowed fancy colors.

In Oklahoma, it’s illegal for a baseball player to hit the ball out of the park.

Do not burn “offal” or bones, or grow ragweed in New York City. These are legal offenses.

It is illegal in Arizona to hunt camels.

The following are bits excerpted from a book, itself almost one hundred years old:

THE FAMOUS CONNECTICUT BLUE LAWS. – These laws, enacted by the people of the “Dominion of New Haven,” became known as the blue laws because they were printed on blue paper. They were as follows: –

The governor and magistrates convened in general assembly are the supreme power, under God, of the independent dominion. From the determination of the assembly no appeal shall be made.

No one shall be a freeman or have a vote unless he is converted and a member of one of the churches allowed in the dominion.

Each freeman shall swear by the blessed God to bear true allegiance to this dominion and that Jesus is the only king.

No dissenter from the essential worship of this dominion shall be allowed to give a vote for electing of magistrates or any officer.

No food or lodging shall be offered to a heretic.

No one shall cross a river on the Sabbath but authorized clergymen.

No one shall travel, cook victuals, make beds, sweep houses, cut hair, or shave on the Sabbath Day.

No one shall kiss his or her children on the Sabbath or feasting days.

The Sabbath Day shall begin at sunset Saturday.

Whoever wears clothes trimmed with gold, silver, or bone lace above one shilling per yard shall be presented by the grand jurors and the selectmen shall tax the estate L300.

Whoever brings cards or dice into the dominion shall pay a fine of L5.

No one shall eat mince pies, dance, play cards, or play any instrument of music except the drum, trumpet, or jews harp.

No gospel minister shall join people in marriage. The magistrate may join them, as he may do it with less scandal to Christ’s church.

When parents refuse their children convenient marriages, the magistrate shall determine the point.

A man who strikes his wife shall be fined ten pounds.

A woman who strikes her husband shall be punished as the law directs.

No man shall court a maid in person or by letter without obtaining the consent of her parents; L5 penalty for the first offense; L10 for the second, and for the third imprisonment during the pleasure of the court.

MASSACHUSETTS BLUE-LAWS. – In regard to the so-called “blue-laws” of Massachusetts it is difficult to determine just where the line between fact and fancy is to be drawn. It is claimed that the founders of Connecticut borrowed most of their laws and judicial proceedings from Massachusetts. Many of these laws were enacted previous to 1640, and a number were the orders and sentences of the Massachusetts Court of Assistants and General Court. For instance, one order we find is as follows: “It is ordered, that all Rich. Clough’s strong water shall presently be seazed upon, for his selling greate quantytie thereof to several men servants, which was the occasion of much disorder, drunkeness, and misdemeanor.

Another record, in March 1631, is to the effect that “Nieh. Knopp is fyned 5L for takeing upon him to cure the scurvey, by a water of noe worth nor value, which he solde at a very deare rate, to be imprisoned till hee pay his fine or give securitye for it, or else to be whipped; and shall be lyable to any man’s action of whome he hath received money for the said water.

In September 1636: Robert Shorthose, for swearing by the bloud of God, was sentenced to have his tongue put into a cleft stick, and to stand so by the space of haulfe an houre. – from The Century Book of Facts, 1900

When Marquis de Pelier whistled at Queen Marie Antoinette, he was promptly thrown in jail and kept there for fifty years.

Four hundred years ago in Turkey drinking coffee was illegal. The sentence: death.

Anyone caught drunk in public in ancient China was put to death.

In 1871, James MacAndrew was the Chief Executive of Otago, New Zealand. He was ordered to go to debtors’ prison. So, he declared a law that his home was a prison.

Very important for those in Los Angeles: If you herd more than 2,000 sheep along Hollywood Blvd, you’re breaking the law. And, while you’re at it, don’t drive your car along Hollywood Blvd. more than twice in four hours. That, too, is illegal.

Do not stick your finger in the nose of a cow, unless you are willing to violate one of the rules of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

In Saudi Arabia it has been against the law to play music until recently.

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