The next Dewey category in my read through library project pertains to law–which can be serious or hysterical (and often both at the same time). I plan to split “Law” into two posts, so here is the lighter side. These are actual laws in the United States unless otherwise noted. It is strongly advised that you do not take a drink of anything while reading through these!
Being a bit of a Bigfoot fan, I was attracted to this first book for reasons which should be obvious.
This is actually a very interesting book and of all of the books I encountered in this category, it’s the only one that came with a test to indicate if it needed to be read. There was only one test question which I will copy below.
Which of these statements is false?
- The earliest surviving written law code mentions beer.
- The ancient Greeks had strip searches, but the one who searched was the one who stripped.
- It’s illegal to import skunks into Tennessee.
- It is legal to mail someone a live scorpion.
- A Florida town’s ordinances contain a 249 word definition of “buttocks.”
- Tibetan lamas must get a permit before reincarnating.
If you can identify the false statement above, you may skip this book and move on to the next one. If however you can not say with 100% accuracy which statement is false, you really need to read this book.
The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance is laid out into types of law: ancient, the US, States, Cities, and US Territories. I found this a very interesting read.
The next book I want to share is Wacky Laws, Weird Decisions & Strange Statutes. This is a fun book not just because of the funny laws, but you can also turn the information in this book into a team game or an individual game. The rules and scoring for the game are explained at the back of the book, but essentially you hear an actual case and then try to figure out what the court ruled. There are various points awarded if you win your case either in lower court or on appeal. When I played this game, it seems I had a talent as an appeal court judge!
I will share some of the laws from this book below.
- Taking a bath during the winter months is against the law in Indiana.
- Each driver on a country road in Omaha, Nebraska is required to send up a skyrocket every 150 yards, wait eight minutes for the road to clear, and then drive cautiously, blowing the horn while shooting off Roman candles.
- A parent in Indiana cannot drink beer if a child is in the same room.
- In Vermont you could be fined $200 if you denied the existence of God.
- There was an ordinance in Belhaven, North Carolina permitting a sewer service charge of “$2 per month, per stool.” That has recently been revised to read “per toilet.”
- One cannot attend the theater in Gary, Indiana within 4 hours of eating garlic.
- Any man who constantly kisses “human beings” is forbidden to have a moustache if he lives in Indiana.
- It is necessary to document any services performed by a jackass in Baltimore.
- Speaking English in the state of Illinois is illegal. In 1919 author H.L. Mencken had a statute revised establishing “American” as the official language.
- A law in Maine calls for a legal hunting season on attorneys.
I found more humor in You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant 101 Real Dumb Laws by Jeff Koon and Andy Powell.
The laws I read in this book can speak for themselves.
- In Alabama it is illegal to pretend to be a nun.
- In Belton, Missouri it is illegal to have a snowball fight.
- It is illegal to intentionally burp in church in Nevada.
- In Conyers, Georgia no one may get the attention of any student in school without official permission.
- You may beat up anyone who says really nasty things to you in Georgia.
- Eavesdropping on your own conversation is a felony in Illinois.
- In early May all US citizens should recognize the importance of the transportation system.
- In North Dakota no one can be arrested on the Fourth of July.
- In Indiana one can avoid paying for a dependent’s medical care through prayer.
- Anyone under eighteen playing pool in Kentucky must have a note from his or her mom or dad.
- In Tennessee children may not play games on Sunday without a license.
- In Tennessee it is illegal for an atheist to hold any public office.
- In Indiana it is illegal to color a bird.
- By Alaskan law the entire state rarely has emergencies.
- In Oklahoma hamburgers purchased on Sunday can only be eaten in the restaurant.
- It is illegal to reproach Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost in Massachusetts.
- In Salt Lake City, Utah a person can be imprisoned for one month for not returning a library book.
- In Oregon it is illegal to pump your own gas unless you own the dispensing device and are properly trained.
- In South Carolina only fruit may be sold by itinerants within a half mile of a church.
- You may not affix the US flag to a bar of soap that is for sale
Yes folks, these laws represent your tax dollars at work. There are many, many more of these laws. I would be interested in any funny laws you would like to share in the comments section.