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Fun Facts: Blue Laws of the USA - Part 3

Updated on March 26, 2013
The Blues
The Blues

Blue Laws Redux

The list of blue laws seems to be a popular topic so I decided to do a few more. These are laws that are still “on the books” as they say. Meaning it is possible for these laws to be enforced. In some cases it would take a brave (and rather literal) cop to enforce them and still show their face in public. Another saying is “hindsight is 20-20” which means when you look at these laws with today’s eyes you imagine that at the time these laws made perfect sense to the law makers. What makes sense today probably will make just as little sense in the future.

Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia
"Seriously... I don't need a bath."
"Seriously... I don't need a bath."
Limited occupancy here.
Limited occupancy here.
I'd need a pedicure after this.
I'd need a pedicure after this.


This is the state where I current live and it’s interesting to learn about the things that I do that I shouldn’t be not to mention the things that I don’t do that I should be doing.


-There is a state law prohibiting “corrupt practices of bribery by any person other than candidates.

After reading the news lately there are a lot of politicians abiding by the law.

-Citizens must honk their horn while passing other cars.

This is usually followed by a gesture, but I don’t think that’s part of the law.

-It is illegal to tickle women.

I should mention this one to my husband.

-No one may wash a mule on the sidewalk.

Was this a common problem?

-Spitting on a sea gull is not tolerated.

As above was this a problem? And who complained? The sea gulls?

-It is illegal for a woman to drive a car up Main Street unless her husband is walking in front of the car waving a red flag.

It makes you wonder if this is before or after she runs him over.

-It is illegal to tie, or park, a horse or mule outside a bar after closing times

This gives a whole new meaning of “last call”.

-You are not allowed to drive past the same location more than once in thirty minutes on Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach.

So if you’re lost, come back in an hour.

-It shall be unlawful and a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person to stand any wagon or other vehicle on the track of any railroad, so as to hinder or endanger a moving train.

The real question that comes to me is ‘why would anyone want to’?

-Driver must wear shoes while driving!

Because driving barefoot is damned uncomfortable and is against the law.

State Seal of New York
State Seal of New York
"I prefer being stationary."
"I prefer being stationary."
What were they thinking?
What were they thinking?

New York

This is the state in which I was born and raised and naturally none of this surprises me in the least.


-The state of New York, disallows anyone to piss on a bird of any kind. Bird Pissing as it has come to be known came about as a result of a few individual getting fed up with pigeons urinating on their heads in Central Park.

I’m confused. No pissing on birds because they were tired of birds pissing on them.

-Eating chestnuts and walking backwards on the sidewalk is illegal. Most concert halls are afraid of slip and fall and all the liability that comes with walking backwards while eating nuts.

So if this was a common practice it leads one to wonder why anyone would need to do this in the first place.

-You may not eat ice cream while standing on sidewalk waiting for a bus.

Perhaps because the other passengers would be jealous?

-Men cannot go outside with mismatched color pants and jacket.

The fashion police must have cheered the day this law was put on the books.

-A $25 fine can be issued to someone caught in the act of 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’m imagining the enforcement of this law and I can see a LOT of men wearing blinders while the ladies laugh at them.

-A license must be purchased before hanging clothes on a clothesline.

The reason for this law escapes me completely. It must have been a revenue shortage.

-Citizens may not greet each other by "putting one's thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers".

As opposed to the middle finger that I haven’t found a law banning it…. Yet.


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    • profile image

      Xxxxxxx 4 years ago

      I'm from Virginia and now I live in New York. Thanks for posting this, it was very interesting, entertaining, and funny

    • profile image

      rosa 6 years ago

      stupid is what i say

    • Gemsong profile image

      Madalain Ackley 6 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Nell: Hopefully I'll run across that little rose.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, my mind is boggling at the thought of trying to spit on a seagull! lol have you seen the way they swoop down to pinch something out of your hand? you would have to stand on a step ladder! lol really funny, I do remember reading ones about a law stating that 'you can't hang women and mens underwear next too each other on a clothesline'! but I can't remember what State that was!

    • Gemsong profile image

      Madalain Ackley 6 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Thanks Rebecca. I have fun with these.

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

      oh he he, I enjoyed this one, and I now off to read the other ones you've written on this. Great job.

    • Gemsong profile image

      Madalain Ackley 6 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Glad you enjoyed it. I think walking backwards with ice cream is legal but not really too bright. In my opinion.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 6 years ago from Essex, UK

      Very nice to read these quaint old laws Gemsong.

      I like the one about walking backwards eating chestnuts, and standing on the sidewalk eating ice cream. So is it OK to stand still eating chestnuts? And walk backwards eating ice cream? Please clarify these important pieces of legislation!

      Being a rebel, next time I visit New York I will definitely have to wear striped orange pants and a checquered yellow jacket - just to provoke the police with my offensively mismatched clothing.

      As for spitting on seagulls - well, knowing seagulls I suspect they didn't need the law to protect them from spitters; I suspect they found a way of getting their own back from up above!

      Nice hub. Voted accordingly. Thanks.