America's strangest laws
Sorry, you can't fish in your pajamas!If you're out for a Sunday drive in Massachusetts, you had better leave your gorilla at home. Don't you know it's illegal to drive around with a huge primate in your backseat? It's also illegal for an unmanned vehicle to go faster than 60 mph in California.
Blue laws, like the ones above, comprise many of America's strangest laws. They're antiquated city or local ordinances that have never been taken off the books. Or they have a basis in actual law, but they've been misinterpreted along the way. Some are verifiable but many are not.
Several of the funnier ones floating around haven't been found on the books but they persevere nonetheless:
• In Florida a man cannot wear a strapless gown if he's in public.
• In Nevada don't even try to drive your camel on the highway.
• It's illegal to sell one's eye in Texas.
• You're going to the pokey in Ohio if you serve alcohol to a fish.
If you happen to be in Miami, don't think you're going to get out of paying that parking meter after you've left your elephant tied to it. You will have to pay the parking fee just as you would for your Ford pickup. And if you're a single woman in the Sunshine State and you break the law by parachuting on a Sunday, you are risking fines, jail or both.
Strange Laws Still in Effect
Just in case you were thinking of trying any of the following, be forewarned! These bits of legislation have actual numbers and are still on the books. According to The Dumb Network:
• "No one can tie their pet dog to the roof of a car." – (9.36.150) Anchorage, Alaska
• "It's a $500 fine to instruct a pizza delivery man to deliver a pizza to your friend without them knowing." – (RS 14.68.6) Louisiana
• "One may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once." – (KRS 436.600) Kentucky
• "Any person who participates in a duel may not hold any public office in the state." – (Sec. 3, State Constitution of Tennessee)
Up until November 2006, Oklahomans were breaking the law by getting tattoos.
Why We Need Some of America's Strangest Laws
You have to wonder why we'd require a law prohibiting us from fastening poor Fido to the roof of our Lincoln. For every silly law there's an event that facilitated the need for such an ordinance, which is somewhat disconcerting.
For example, it's illegal in Arizona to hunt camels. Why? Because at one time, the army had a U.S.S. Camel Corps. After abandoning an experiment using them as pack animals, the army released several of them into the desert.
The whys behind some strange laws are pretty self-explanatory; at least, they should be.
• In Minnesota, it's illegal to tease a skunk. Which brings us to tomatoes. In Boston, using tomatoes in clam chowder is against the law and good taste.
• In Wyoming, you can't use a firearm to fish. (You need to just go out to eat if you have to shoot a fish in order to catch it). Additionally, in Tennessee you cannot lasso a fish (there seems to be more laws protecting fish against various types of molestation than any other kind of animal).
• Thankfully in Oklahoma, it's illegal to participate in or promote a horse-tripping event. It's also against the law to engage in a bear-wrestling match. Horses and bears are covered under the same law (21-1700). But if you're going around tripping horses, you probably deserve to wrestle a bear. Also in Oklahoma, try to remember that you can't hunt for whales or provoke a dog by giving it a dirty look.
Which Strange Laws Have You Broken?
There are some of us who've defied societal norms and dared to sell corn flakes on Sunday in Ohio. And we'd all be locked up if they enforced the 'no swearing on any road or highway' regulations that many states are said to have.
Many of these 'laws' come with pretty stiff penalties. You could face jail, the stocks, a hanging or a severe lashing if you've ever:
• Kissed for longer than five minutes in Iowa
• Pushed a live moose out of a moving airplane in Alaska (c'mon, who hasn't done that?)
• Spit on someone's porch, their deck, in their house, on the sidewalk, in front of a woman or inside or outside
• Wore a goatee in Boston
• Gossiped or talked behind someone's back in Indiana
Which terrible offense have you committed lately?