Thursday, August 4, 2011

Today's Trivia - Wacky Laws (Part 1)

Below is a list of wacky laws from around the world that I’ve assembled from many sources around the internet. Some of them are so extreme that you have to wonder whether they’re real or not. I also assume that some of them made sense when they were created, which, in many cases, was a very long time ago. Either way, most of them are, at the very least, entertaining.

- A by-law forbids anyone from striking the sidewalk with a metal object in Winnipeg.

- A city law states that a person cannot go barefoot without first obtaining a special five dollar permit in Texas.

- A Florida sex law: If you're a single, divorced, or widowed woman, you can't parachute on Sunday afternoons.

- A law in Fairbanks, Alaska does not allow moose to have sex on city streets.

- A law passed in Washington states that it is illegal for anyone to paint polka dots on the American flag.

- A law to reduce crime states: "It is mandatory for a motorist with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and telephone the Chief of Police as he is entering the town in the state of Washington.

- A pig may travel on English railroads if accompanied by a passenger and a ticket.

- A state law in Illinois mandates that all bachelors should be called master, not mister, when addressed by their female counterparts.

- According to state law in Illinois, it is illegal to speak English. The officially recognized language is "American”.

- In Massachusetts, all dogs are required to have their hind legs tied during the month of April in.

- An old law in Bellingham, Wash., made it illegal for a woman to take more than 3 steps backwards while dancing.

- An old ordinance in Massachusetts declares goatees illegal unless you first pay a special license fee for the privilege of wearing one in public.

- A law in Lawrence, Kansas, forbids anyone to carry bees in his hat while on the city streets.

- It is illegal for couples to have sex while standing inside a store’s walk-in meat freezer in Newcastle, Wyoming. (There must be a very interesting story behind this one.)

- A law in Helena, Montana, mandates that a woman can't dance on a table in a saloon or bar unless she has on at least three pounds, two ounces of clothing.

- Any city in Missouri can levy a tax to support a band, as long as the mayor plays piccolo and each band member can eat peas with a knife.

- Anyone caught selling a “smoothie” that has lumps in it is breaking the law in California. (I guess they take their smoothies very seriously in California.)

- Anyone interrupting a meeting of the British Columbia Grasshopper Control Committee can be arrested.

- Arkansas prohibits women who are marrying for the second time to wear a white wedding gown.

- As late as 1932, jail-breaking in Texas was not a crime if the prisoner escaped without using a gun.

- At one time it was against the law to slam car doors in Switzerland.

- At shooting ranges in Massachusetts, it is illegal to shoot at targets depicting a human - whether as a figure, effigy or a silhouette - unless you're a public safety officer performing official duties. (So much for practicing on your ex...)

- Belgium is the only country that has never imposed censorship on adult films.

- In Louisiana, biting someone with your natural teeth is "simple assault," while biting someone with your false teeth is "aggravated assault".

- Bozeman, Montana, has a law that bans all sexual activity between members of the opposite sex in the front yard of a home after sundown- if they're nude.

- California has banned animals from mating in an area that is within 1500 ft of a school or pub or any place of worship.

- Carmel, New York makes it illegal for an individual to venture outside if the jacket and trousers he is wearing are not matching.

- Carrying an ice cream cone in your pocket is prohibited in Kentucky. (Why would you carry an ice cream cone in your pocket to begin with?)

- Citizens are not allowed to attend a movie house or theater, nor ride in a public streetcar within at least four hours after eating garlic in Indiana.

- Claudius II (Roman emperor) banned marriage; he claimed that married men made poor soldiers.

- Cleveland makes it illegal for anyone to drive while sitting on another person’s lap.

- It is forbidden to eat while walking along the streets in Northfield, Connecticut.

- In Hartford, Connecticut, you are not allowed to cross the street walking on your hands.

- 2000 years ago in Rome, Julius Caesar banned chariots from Rome city centre to ease congestion.

- Dogs must have a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate in groups of three or more on private property in Oklahoma.

- Donald Duck comics were once banned in Finland because he didn’t wear pants.

- Dueling is legal in Uruguay – provided both parties are registered blood donors.

- Females are forbidden from doing their own hair without being licensed by the state in Ohio.

- French Lick Springs, Indiana once passed a law requiring all black cats to wear bells on Friday the 13th.

- Georgia has a law prohibiting people from saying "Oh boy" in public.

- In 1659, the state of Massachusetts outlawed Christmas.

- In 1837, Egypt banned male belly dancing because it caused mass rioting.

- In 1935, Romania banned Mickey Mouse for fear that a giant mouse would scare young children. (I don’t know, but this kind of makes sense to me...)

- Iraq banned karate movies in 1979. (Because?)

- In 19th century England, the penalty for committing suicide was death.

- In Afghanistan, the Taliban militia banned women from wearing white socks just in case men found them attractive. The police are also ordered windows to be painted black to keep women from being seen from the outside. (Sad way to live...)

- Anyone performing a marriage rite in Alabama is entitled to a fee of $2 per marriage.

- In Alabama it is against the law to alter the natural appearance of the teeth of a horse or mule to make the animal appear younger than it actually is.

- In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while he is driving a vehicle.

- It is a crime in Alabama to keep an ice cream cone in your back pocket.

- In Alabama, prison guards are forbidden from referring to their spouses as “the old ball ‘n’ chain”. (Now, this is funny...)

- In Alabama, putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death.

- It is illegal to give an alcoholic beverage to a moose in Alaska.

- In Alaska, you may hunt a bear but it is illegal to wake a bear and take a picture for photo opportunities.

- In Ames, Iowa, a husband may not take more than three gulps of beer while lying in bed with his wife.

- In ancient Sparta men were required by law to eat at least two pounds of meat every day. This was supposed to make them brave.

- If someone is caught stealing soap in Arizona, he/she is required to wash him/herself until the soap is completely used up. (Huh?)

- In Arizona, donkeys cannot sleep in bathtubs.

- If you cut down a cactus in Arizona, you may be imprisoned for 25 years.

- It’s illegal to hunt camels in Arizona. (Okay...)

- In Arkansas, a man can legally beat his wife, but no more than once a month.

- Selling blue light bulbs is against the law in Arkansas.

- In Arkansas, schoolteachers who bob their hair are not eligible for a raise.

- In Athens, Greece, a driver's license can be revoked if the driver is thought to be either "poorly dressed" or the driver has not bathed. (Sounds like an urban myth. I should ask my friend who lives there if such a law exists.)

- In Atlanta it's against the law to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or a street lamp.

- It is illegal to dress up as batman in Australia. (Does this include costumes on Halloween?)

- In Australia, it is illegal to wear black clothing, felt shoes, and black shoe polish on your face while roaming the streets. These items are the tools of a cat burglar.

- In Australia, it’s illegal to name any animal you plan to eat.

- In Australia, walking on the right hand side of the pavement is illegal.

- In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman's private parts but is forbidden from looking at them directly during the examination. He may only view them through their reflection in a mirror.

- You are not allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool in Baldwin Park, California.

- It is illegal to take a lion to the cinema in Baltimore, Maryland. (I’d love to know why this law was passed.)

- In Bangladesh it is against the law for schoolchildren to cheat at school exams; pupils as young as 15 can be imprisoned for this.

- In Basle, Switzerland, in 1471, a cockerel was found guilty in a court of law for laying an egg "In defiance of natural law". The bird was then burnt at the stake as a "Devil in disguise". (This makes me sad...)

- In Berkeley, California it's against the law to whistle for your lost canary before 7 AM.

- Profanity is prohibited in public in Bermuda.

- All private care were banned in Bermuda up until 1948.

- In Billings, Mont., it is illegal for anyone to sell, harbor or give away rats as pets or toys for any purpose other than to feed snakes or birds of prey. Scientists, however, can keep lab rats.

- In Birmingham, England, it is illegal for a man and a woman to have sex on church steps after sundown. (But it’s okay before sundown?)

- In Bozeman, Montana a law prohibits all sexual activity in the front yard of a home after sundown. (Again, this is acceptable before sundown?)

- In Britain, getting drunk in pubs or clubs is illegal. (Huh?)

- In Britain, if a person sleeps with a consort of the queen it amounts to treason and is punishable by death.

- In Britain, if the postage stamp of the queen is placed upside down it is considered an act of treason.

- In Britain, in 1888, a law was passed which stated that every cyclist had to constantly ring the bell on his bicycle non-stop while it was moving.

- In Burma it is illegal to get internet access. If a person is found in possession of a modem he can be imprisoned.

- In Burnaby all dogs must be under control by 10 pm or the owners will be penalized.

- In Calgary Alberta, there is still a by-law that requires businesses within the city to provide rails for tying up horses.

- In Calgary, it is unlawful to throw snowballs or set off firecrackers within the city, without the authorization of the mayor or City Council.

- In California it is illegal for a vehicle without a driver to exceed 60 miles per hour.

- In California it is illegal to set a mouse trap without a hunting license.

- In California, community leaders passed an ordinance that makes it illegal for anyone to try and stop a child from playfully jumping over puddles of water.

- In California, it is a misdemeanor to shoot any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.

- On February 18th, 1986, U.S. district court judge Samuel King, unhappy with juror absences due to rain, decreed from the bench "I hereby order that it cease raining by Tuesday." It not only stopped raining on Tuesday, that day marked the beginning of an extended drought. Five years later, King issued a formal decree, ordering the rain to fall. Sure enough, a fierce rainstorm commenced the next day and the drought officially ended. When amused reporters asked Sam to explain all this, he declared it “proof positive that we are a nation governed by laws.”

- In Canada, it is illegal for a teen to walk down Main Street in Fort Qu'Appelle with his/her shoes untied.


  1. I am really curious about this one: "Any city in Missouri can levy a tax to support a band, as long as the mayor plays piccolo and each band member can eat peas with a knife."

  2. It is an urban myth.... Just yesterday my girlfriend and I went on a drive downtown... because of the traffic to the heart of the capital, on odd days they allow cars whose license plates end with odd numbers to run around freely and vice versa. We were in an even numbered car, on an odd day.... they obviously stopped us the very minute we entered the "no drive zone". My girlfriend told me to unbutton one button on my shirt and she lifted her skirt, somewhat... and indeed you guessed it... instead of getting slapped with a nice fat ticket... we got the cops' phone number!!! So the moral of the story is wear less... and don't distress!!! hahahaha...

  3. @WebDebris: Sounds pretty weird to me. I wonder if it's real at all.


    @Hellas: Ha ha! Too funny. Greek men are romantics, so I'm not surprised.