Thursday, November 10, 2011

Today's Trivia - Wacky Laws (Part 3)

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.

- In New Jersey, answering a traffic cop who asks “Do you know why I pulled you over?” with “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you” is an automatic $300 fine.

- In New Mexico, females are strictly forbidden to appear unshaven in public.

- In New York City, it’s illegal for a restaurant to call a sandwich a “corned beef sandwich” if it’s made with white bread and mayonnaise.

- In New York, a fine of $25 can be levied for flirting. This old law specifically prohibits men from turning around on any city street and looking "at a woman in that way”. A second conviction for a crime of this magnitude calls for the violating male to be forced to wear a "pair of horse-blinders" wherever and whenever he goes outside for a stroll. (I’d love to see this...)

- In New York, the penalty for jumping off a building is death. (No way!)

- In Norfolk, Virginia, a woman can't go out without wearing a corset. (There was a civil-service job - for men only - called a corset inspector.)

- In NYC, "it is disorderly conduct for one man to greet another on the street by placing the end of his thumb against the tip of his nose and wiggling the extended fingers of that hand”.

- It’s against the law in Ohio to get a fish drunk.

- In Oklahoma, people who make "ugly faces" at dogs may be fined and/or jailed.

- In Oregon, donut holes must be at least 1/8” in diameter.

- The town of Hood River in Oregon prohibits the act of juggling without a license.

- It is illegal in Owensboro, Kentucky for a woman to buy a new hat without her husband trying it on first.

- In Oxford, Ohio, it is illegal for a woman to disrobe in front of a man's picture.

- In Paulding, Ohio, a policeman can legally bite a dog to quiet him.

- In Pennsylvania a special cleaning ordinance bans housewives from hiding dirt and dust under a rug in a dwelling.

- In Pennsylvania, "Any motorist who sights a team of horses coming toward him must pull well off the road, cover his car with a blanket or canvas that blends with the countryside, and let the horses pass. If the horses appear skittish, the motorist must take his car apart piece by piece, and hide it under the nearest bushes”. (This sounds too ridiculous to be real... I don’t believe it.)

- In Pennsylvania, it's against the law to tie a dollar bill on a string on the ground and yank it away when someone tries to pick it up.

- In Peru, it is illegal for unmarried young men to have female alpacas live in their homes or apartments. (I’m afraid to ask why such a law would have been created.)

- In Portland, Maine, it's illegal to tickle a girl under the chin with a feather duster.

- In Portugal, it’s against the law to pee in the ocean.

- In Providence, Rhode Island, USA, it is still illegal for shop owners to sell toothpaste and toothbrushes to the same customer on a Sunday.

- A newspaper in Quemado, New Mexico can be fined if it misspells a person's name in print.

- In Quitman, Georgia, it is against the law for a chicken to cross any road within the city limits.

- It’s illegal in Richmond, Virginia to flip a coin in any eating establishment to determine who buys a cup of coffee.

- In Romania, in 1935, Mickey Mouse was banned because the authorities thought that the sight of a 10ft high rodent on screen would terrify the nation's children.

- In Salt Lake County, Utah, it's illegal to walk down the street carrying a violin in a paper bag.

- It’s a crime In Samoa to forget your wife’s birthday. (Oh, I like this. Wonder what the penalty is.)

- In San Diego, public schools have banned hypnotism.

- In San Francisco, it's illegal to pile horse manure more than six feet high on a street corner.

- In San Salvador, drunk drivers can be sentenced to death by firing squad.

- In Schaumburg, Illinois, it is illegal to fly a kite.

- In Scotland the law obliges citizens to allow whoever knocks on their door to use their toilet. (I don’t like this.)

- In Scotland, being drunk and being in possession of a cow is illegal.

- In Seattle, goldfish can ride the city buses in bowls if they keep still.

- It is illegal for people in Sedona, Arizona to lie about their astrological signs.

- In Seville, Spain, in 1983, a German Sheppard was arrested for stealing ladies handbags.

- In Singapore chewing gum is illegal.

- In Singapore it is illegal for a person to walk around the house naked.

- If you don’t flush the toilet in Singapore, you are breaking the law.

- A person can be executed in Singapore if they are found in possession of more than 200g of cannabis resin.

- In Singapore, it is illegal to carry a Bible or to talk to someone about Jesus.

- In Singapore, littering is a serious offense. If caught littering, your punishment includes a fine of several thousand dollars, hours of litter collection, state-sponsored counseling, as well as your picture in the local news.

- In South Carolina it is legal to beat your wife on the court house steps on Sundays. (But it’s okay every other day?)

- In St. Louis, Missouri, if a woman is in her night clothes, it is illegal for a fireman to rescue her.

- In Stelvio, Italy, in 1519, a court issued a warrant for the arrest of a gang of moles that had severely damaged crops. The moles were summoned to court but when they failed to appear they were sentenced to exile. (For real?)

- In Sweden, prostitution is legal but it is illegal to use the services of a prostitute.

- In Switzerland every citizen is required by law to have access to a bomb shelter.

- In Switzerland, it is illegal for a man to relieve himself while standing up after 10 PM. (In his own house?)

- It is illegal in Switzerland to flush the toilet after 10 PM if you live in an apartment.

- In Switzerland, it used to be illegal to slam a car door.

- It is illegal in Tennessee to use a lasso to catch a fish.

- In Tennessee, it’s illegal to tell someone to quit smoking.

- In Tennessee, you are breaking the law if you drive while sleeping. (Duh...)

- In Texas it's legal for a chicken to have sex with you, but it's illegal to reciprocate. (Crazy...)

- In Texas, it's illegal to put graffiti on someone else's cow. (Someone would actually do this?)

- In Texas, criminals are still required to give their victims at least 24 hours oral or written notice giving details of the crime they are about to commit.

- In Thailand, if you drop gum on the pavement, you can be fined up to $600.

- In Thailand, stepping on the nation's currency is illegal.

- You are not permitted to leave your house without wearing underwear in Thailand.

- It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament in the United Kingdom. The reasoning behind this is that technically anyone who dies within the walls of Parliament is automatically granted a Royal state funeral.

- In the United Kingdom, the head of any dead whale found on the British coast is legally the property of the King. The tail is property of the Queen, so that she can use the bones for her corset.

- Impotence it grounds for a divorce in 24 US states.

- In Toronto it is illegal for people to drag a horse that is dead down the Yonge Street on a Sunday.

- In Turkey, during the 16th and 17th centuries, it was illegal to drink coffee, and anyone caught doing so was sentenced to death. (For real?)

- In Utah, a husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife in his presence.

- In Venice all gondolas have to be painted black unless they belong to a high ranking official.

- In West Virginia, anyone who taunts someone who decides not to participate in a duel or who declines to accept a challenge is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be sent to jail for up to six months and fined up to $100.

- In West Virginia, no children may attend school with their breath smelling of "wild onions."

- In Whitehall, Montana, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with ice picks attached to the wheels.

- In Wilbur, Washington, it is illegal to ride an ugly horse. (What if the rider is ugly?)

- In Winnipeg, it is against the law to go naked in your own home if you leave the blinds up.

- It is illegal to walk your bear on the street without a leash in Woodstock, NY. (Okay...)


  1. In New York, the penalty for jumping off a building is death. - This reminds me of laws like it is illegal to commit suicide. How are you going to punish them? lol

  2. I know. Some of the laws are just ridiculous. But it is fun to learn about them.