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Legal Leftovers - Old Laws Still On The Books

Updated on July 20, 2012

Most of us are aware of the many, often arbitrary laws, we are expected to know, understand, and accept as a guide to living a just and lawful life, but if we were to attempt to learn every law we are under obligation to uphold, we would have very little time to pursue anything else. Most of us have also been taught that not knowing of the existence of a certain law is no excuse for breaking it. If we have a misunderstanding of any given law, it is not an excuse for breaking it. Our judicial system will exact a revenge that will teach us the appropriate meaning through fines and imprisonment. If it is considered outdated and archaic, we are not permitted to break it. By law, must use the “system” to correct and remove them in the proper manner.

We, as a people, were concerned about the potential loss of personal rights if a central government was given too much power. We maintained that individual states should retain the bulk of power in order to govern themselves according to local needs.

Great idea, except now we've got a profusion of weird and bizarre laws left on the books. I'm often left scratching my head and wondering if the issues addressed in these laws were so rampant as to even warrant the creation of a law. In the following paragraphs I've listed some of the sillier ones I've come across. Be prepared. There is the likelihood you are a criminal who has gotten away with many, many unlawful acts.

Putting salt on a railroad track is punishable by death in Alabama. So if you have a hankering to gnaw on a bit of track, please refrain from seasoning it. Or perhaps you have a craving for some ice cream. Whatever you do, don't put the cone in your back pocket for later. Causing laughter in church is a serious business if it's because of your fake mustache, and it won't do you any good to stab yourself in order to gain pity when you've been busted.

You've heard the term, “let sleeping dogs lie”? In Alaska, you must do so with bears. It's illegal to wake them just to take a picture. Killing them is OK. And if you know any kangaroos, please advise them they are not welcome in a barber shop. You will please refrain from whispering in a hunter's ear when he is hunting moose, but feel free to inform any moose you see having sex on a city sidewalk that he is breaking the law.

If you're a wife beater in Arizona, it's best to let all her offenses go unpunished until the end of the month, because you are only permitted to beat her once each month. If she owns more than two dildos or engages in oral sex, you have two more reasons to beat her as she's a law breaker. If you are inclined to wash her mouth out with soap for the offense, please make sure you pay for the soap. Stealing it will require you to wash yourself until it's all gone, but since it's illegal to allow your donkey to sleep in the bathtub, there should be plenty of room to get the job done.

Arkansas lawmakers don't ask for much. Just don't mispronounce the state name while there, nor are you to engage in the buying or selling of blue light bulbs. I suppose they are strictly reserved for use by K-Mart. They don't like noise either. If you are somewhere that cold drinks and sandwiches are being served, sounding your car horn could land you in the slammer if it's after 9:00 pm. In Little Rock, your dog will accompany you if he barks after 6 pm.

California is a rough state to live in. For one thing, animals are banned from mating publicly within 1500 ft of taverns, schools, and churches, and Ventura County requires a permit for dogs and cats to have sex. If your sense of fashion urges you to wear a pair of cowboy boots, make sure you own at least two cows, but don't ever drive more than 2000 sheep down Hollywood Blvd. I wouldn't worry about paying the $500 fine for detonating a nuclear device within city limits. Who would issue the fine? However, please be advised that bathing two babies together in the same tub is unlawful, in Los Angeles. And crying on the witness stand will only get you into more hot water. Finally, as a wife, please understand that your husband may beat you so long as he uses a strap no wider than 2 inches. If you wish to give him permission to use something wider, you must make sure permission is granted prior to the event.

If you are a woman wearing a red dress, you must be off the streets by 7 pm in Colorado or risk arrest. Riding a horse while under the influence is prohibited as well as mutilating a rock in a state park. For those who like to kiss sleeping women – Don't do it! At least not in Logan County.

In Connecticut, crossing the street on your hands may get them slapped with a fine. If you're into canning your own goods, you'll want to become adept at making pickles, because they aren't officially pickles unless they bounce. Hartford doesn't seem to cater to the heart, at least on Sundays, as it's illegal to kiss your wife on that day.

If you're planning to go for a swim at Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, make sure you arrive dressed for the purpose unless you're a little girl. It's illegal to change clothes in your car or any public restrooms, but a six year old girl may not run around without being fully clothed. I suppose she'll have to swim that way, too. If you're planning to go out for a night of drinking and dancing, you'll have to make a decision and pick one. Alcohol may not be served in nightclubs where dancing is occurring on the premises at the same time.

Apparently, it's not much fun to be a man in Florida, because not only are you prohibited from kissing your wife's breasts, but don't even bother borrowing her strapless gown because it's illegal for you to be seen in it publicly. If you pay for a lap dance in Tampa, remember to keep at least 6 ft from the dancer, and understand that a topless dancer isn't permitted to show her breasts. If after all this hot action, you're feeling “in the mood”, make sure you don't attempt to do anything about it with a porcupine as it's illegal. Now, you might think some “alone time” in the shower is just the ticket, but remember not to be naked while showering for that too, is an offense.

Georgia supports the notion that all work and no play is a good thing. It is illegal for a citizen not to own a rake and equally illegal to own a sex toy, as they are all banned. If you shout out an expletive upon discovery of a dead body in your kitchen or living room, no problem. However, once it's removed to the coroner's office or a funeral home, it's illegal to cuss in front of it. Also, the question of why the chicken crossed the road is a moot point in Georgia because it's illegal for a chicken to cross the road.

Putting coins in one's ears is illegal in Hawaii. You would be better off to save them toward the purchase of a boat as it's illegal not to own one.

Merry-go-round riding must be done Monday through Saturday as Sundays are off limits in Idaho. If you can't take your Sweetie to ride the merry-go-round, give her a box of candy, so long as it doesn't exceed 50 lbs. Or maybe you'd like to go fishing with your camel. Just remember to get off the camel's back before casting your line. It is illegal to fish from a camel's back. Always, always remember to wear a smile in public if you're visiting Pocatello, otherwise you might get thrown in the Pokey.

In Chicago, Illinois, it's illegal to eat in a building that is on fire, to give a dog whiskey, to fish while sitting perched on a giraffe's neck, or to spit. However, if you're visiting the Pullman area, things are even more strict. You are prohibited from drinking your beer out of a bucket if you're sitting on the curb. I'm not sure if this is an indication that it's OK to stand while drinking it from a bucket. If you're going to protest in front of city hall in a state of nudity, make sure you have the proper legal permits, and you are under the age of 17. Stafford County wife beaters have the privilege of beating their wives on the courthouse steps up until 8 pm.

If you're male, over 18, and don't want to risk being arrested for statutory rape, make sure all passengers in your vehicle, under the age of 17, are wearing their socks and shoes while in the state of Indiana. If adhering to the law of not bathing between October and March should cause one of your dependents to become ill, you can get out of paying for the medical care by praying for that person.

Drug dealers may have found a haven in Iowa. In order to sell or distribute narcotics and other drugs, one has only to obtain the appropriate Iowa drug tax stamp. Now if any of them have mustaches, they won't be permitted to kiss a woman in public. And if any of them are one-armed piano players on the side, they will be required to perform for free. A word of caution to any dealers with a meth lab in Fort Madison. Don't allow any explosions or fires without giving advance warning to the fire department, They are required by law to practice fire fighting for 15 minutes prior to attending a fire.

The residents of Kansas want to keep their cherry pies pure. There will be no putting ice cream on top. Riding any animal down a road in Derby is against the law, but all businesses in Dodge City are beholden to provide a horse water trough. The people of Lawrence know there is a proper place to keep a bee, and it's not in your hat, at least while you're wearing it, anyway.

It's illegal to fish in the Ohio River in Kentucky without an Indiana Fishing License. However, fishing license or no, the deed may not be accomplished by use of a bow and arrow. Ladies, if you're planning to accompany your husbands on their fishing trips, make sure you get their permission to buy a fishing hat, as the purchase of any hats must first be approved by your husband.

If you steal an alligator in Louisiana, you might just be facing 10 years of jail time. Any rituals that involve the ingestion of blood, urine, or fecal matter are not allowed, either. I suppose that may be since some personal hygienic practices are frowned upon, such as gargling in public. That sort of cinches it for me. If I can't gargle the taste away, I guess I'm not going to swallow any of that other nasty stuff, either. The town of Sulfur has sort of solved two problems at once. It's illegal to be an alcoholic as well as illegal to have sex with a cow. My guess it that you'd have to be pretty well lit to even think about getting involved with a cow. Maybe that's why people steal alligators?

Maine requires its residents to remove all Christmas decorations prior to January 15th, but please do not step out of an airplane in flight to comply. Also, when going to church, make sure you grab your shotgun along with your bible. You never known when those pesky Native Americans are likely to attack!

I'm supposing the lawmakers of Maryland have taken precautions against the conception of even more homely people, because though it's illegal to sell condoms from vending machines, an exception was made for businesses with alcohol consumption on the premises. Everybody knows it all looks good at closing time. If you're in Baltimore there are several things you must remember. You may not take a lion to the movies. You may not curse within the city limits. And whatever you do, you must refrain from tossing bales of hay from second story windows.

Evidently Massachusetts hasn't given up the activity of witch hunting because all witches are now banned. They have expanded the ban to include Quakers. Clam chowder production may not include the use of tomatoes. After all, that would make it Manhattan Clam Chowder and Massachusetts is a New England state. If you go to a wake, please remember to eat no more than three sandwiches as that is the legal limit. It's also illegal to go to bed without a full bath, probably to combat the tendency to snore, which is also illegal unless all bedroom doors and windows are closed and securely locked. No matter what, bullets are not an acceptable form of currency.

Michigan is determined to keep the family unit and its morals in tact. It is illegal to live with a woman for over a year without being married. During that year of cohabitation, remember it is illegal to sleep with an unmarried woman. Don't think you can get around the law because you happen to still be married to someone else, because it's illegal to cheat, or to sleep with a woman who is cheating. Keeping in line with proper morals and values, if you've managed to reach the age of 13 without being convicted of a felony, you are rewarded with the right to own a handgun.

In Mississippi it's illegal for a man to seduce a woman by lying about his intentions to marry her. For those who don't understand polygamy, they'll have to stay ignorant because it's illegal to teach on the subject. If you create a scene in church, don't be surprised if your own brother arrests you. Private citizens are permitted to make a personal arrest of anyone disturbing a church service and cattle rustling is still a hanging offense.

It's illegal for minors to buy a cap pistol in Kansas City, Missouri, however their disappointment is balanced out by their ability to buy a shotgun instead. If your finances require sharing household expenses, make sure you don't do so with more than three roommates, otherwise you will be in violation of the Marquette, Missouri, Brothel Laws. You might want to steer clear of babies if there's anything scary about your appearance as it's against the law to scare a baby in the town of Mole. All residents of the state will find themselves behind bars if they engage in the act of oral sex as it is illegal.

While it is against the law to show movies that depict acts of felonious crime, in Montana, it's perfectly acceptable to open fire on a group of seven or more Indians as they would be considered a war party. Wives may be dismayed to discover they are committing a felony if they open their husband's mail, but they can relax knowing it's equally illegal for men to have a sheep in the cab of their trucks unless there is a chaperone present.

Nebraska has deemed it unlawful to go whale fishing in that state. Though a parent can be arrested for his child burping during church services, a mother isn't permitted to give her daughter a perm without a state license.

In Nevada you may not drive a camel on the highway or have sex without a condom. For those wishing to conceive a child, I guess you've got to go out of state. It is illegal for a a man to buy drinks for more than three people at a time, so if you have any ideas of getting together with friends, keep it to a small private affair. The state hasn't taken away all your freedoms, however, as you've still got the right to hang anyone who shoots your dog on your property.

New Hampshire doesn't like it if you check into a hotel under an assumed name. I suppose it makes sending coupons to preferred customers a bit tricky. They also will not stand for anyone tapping their feet, nodding their heads, or keeping time to music in any way, while patronizing a tavern, restaurant, or cafe. Damn it! You're there to eat and drink, not have a good time! Sundays are a pious day. You must keep your eyes to the task at hand, as looking up while relieving yourself is illegal on Sundays.

In order to even the odds, the state of New Jersey has deemed it illegal to wear a bullet proof vest while committing a murder. Getting convicted of drunk driving will result in you never again being permitted to purchase vanity plates for your vehicle. If you live in Trenton, you may not eat pickles on Sunday, nor may you toss bad ones into the street on any day.

There are two things to remember in New Mexico. It is illegal in the town of Carrizozo for a female to appear unshaven in public. I'm not sure exactly what parts they're talking about, but if you're showing it in public, make sure it's shaved. If traveling on foot in Las Cruces at lunchtime, it would be wise to know your way around because it's illegal to carry your lunchbox down Main Street.

New York has taken all the fun out of living there. It's against the law to throw a ball at someone's head for the sake of having fun. It's against the law to be seen in public in mismatched jackets and pants in the town of Carmel. It's illegal for men to go topless in the center of town in Ocean City. It's against the law for a father to call his son a “faggot” or “queer” to try to get his girly behavior stopped, in Staten Island. No citizens in the entire state may hang clothes on a clothesline without a license. A man can be fined $25 for flirting, which means he can't turn around to look at a woman “in that way”. A second conviction will result in him being required to wear horse-blinders whenever out for a stroll.

In New York City, it's illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing “body hugging clothing”, but perfectly acceptable for her to go topless so long as it's not for business purposes.

North Carolina watches out for the virtue of their elderly folks. It's illegal for an establishment to hold more than two bingo games per week and they may not last longer than five hours. Farmers aren't as looked after because it's been determined that they may not use elephants to plow their cotton fields. I don't assume karaoke bars do too well there, either, because it's illegal to sing off key. The upside to living in North Carolina is that you may be able to find a cheap solution to expensive wedding costs. If an unmarried man and woman register at a hotel as married, they are then legally married. Though you can use the hotel in place of the church for marriage purposes, you may not have sex in the churchyard. Doing something like that might be difficult anyway if you live in Charlotte because women are required to keep their bodies covered by at least 16 yards of fabric at all times. The town of Winston-Salem isn't a place you want to raise a family due to the fact that they have outlawed children going to college before the age of seven.

North Dakota doesn't ask too much. No bar or restaurant may serve both beer and pretzels at the same time. I'm guessing there isn't much call for beer pretzels anymore, either. When you're tired you can't lie down and go to sleep unless your shoes are off. But cheer up! It's perfectly legal to shoot an Indian on horseback if you're in a covered wagon.

It doesn't pay to make a fish your drinking buddy in Ohio. It's illegal to get a fish drunk. Maybe they're trying to kill the comparison of “drinking like a fish”. If traveling to Youngstown, it's best to fill up the gas tank prior to leaving, because if you run out of gas there, you'll be breaking the law.

Females are forbidden from doing their own hair if they aren't state licensed in Oklahoma. This may be one of the reasons they found it necessary to make it illegal for a man to have the hind legs of farm animals lodged in their boots. Since the law also only states that it is illegal for a bar owner to allow a patron to pretend to have sex with a buffalo, I'm wondering if it's alright to actually have sex with it.

Fishing laws are very strict in Pennsylvania. Not only are you prohibited from using dynamite to catch a fish, but you also are prohibited from using any body part other than your mouth to do so. And while you're required to have a hunting license for use on your own property, you are permitted to fish there without a fishing license. Sorority houses around college campuses may be breaking the law. It's unlawful to have more than 16 women residing together in one house as that constitutes a brothel. Puts a whole new spin on “earning your grades”, doesn't it? Singing in the bathtub is prohibited though nothing has been said about the shower. There is a special cleaning ordinance banning wives from hiding dirt and dust under rugs, and in Allentown, men are not permitted to become aroused in public. The best law can be used to political advantage. A person isn't eligible to become Governor if he's participated in a duel. So, want to take out the competition? Have someone challenge him to a duel.

Rhode Island law says that a marriage can be annulled if either of the parties is an idiot or a lunatic, but I've got to ask: Why would you marry anyone you thought was a lunatic? Who's really the idiot? If you're traveling to Providence on a Sunday, remember to pack either your toothbrush or your toothpaste. It's illegal to sell both to the same person on Sundays.

Sundays in South Carolina are boring. You aren't permitted to work, nor are dance halls permitted to operate. If you want to break the boredom by firing off a few missiles, you must first obtain a permit. If the boredom becomes to much and you decide to commit suicide, please exert caution. Accidentally killing another person while attempting suicide is a capital offense.

Any movie portraying police officers being struck, beaten, or mistreated are forbidden in South Dakota. However, it's perfectly OK to shoot Native Americans if there are more than five of them on your property.

Tennessee holds that anyone who has been drinking is “sober” until he or she “cannot hold onto the ground.” That might explain the need for the law that prohibits driving while asleep, as well as the one that makes it illegal to use a lasso for fishing purposes. Shooting game, other than whales, from a moving vehicle is also illegal, and stealing a horse will still get you hanged, but you are permitted to gather and consume roadkill.

Texas had taken a civilized approach to the acts of committing crimes. It is now a legal requirement for criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either verbally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed. It's illegal, and may be considered a felony to promote the use of, or have ownership of more than six dildos. Dallas has taken it a step farther in making it illegal to possess realistic looking dildos of any number.

It is illegal to detonate any nuclear weapon in Utah. Doing so would also break a second law; that of causing a catastrophe. And just in case there is a catastrophe, no one may have sex in the back of an ambulance when it's responding to an emergency call.

Vermont has made it illegal to deny the existence of God, to whistle underwater, and to paint landscapes during times of war. And ladies, if you wish to wear false teeth, you must first get written permission from your husbands.

Virginia has a preoccupation with their women. Since it's illegal to tickle them, it only makes sense to require them to wear a corset after dark when in Norfolk. I suppose that helps to rebuff any intended tickling as they are also required to be in the company of a male chaperone at that time of day. Having sex with the lights on and in any position other than missionary is illegal. So don't try to kick your wife out of bed if she's not interested because that's illegal too, at least in Lebanon.

In Washington, it is illegal to pretend to have rich parents or to paint polka dots on the American flag. It is equally illegal to go out in public if you have the common cold, and eating a lollipop is a big no-no as they have been banned. Any motorist with criminal intentions is required to stop at the city limits and telephone the police to warn them of his arrival.

West Virginia is an easy state. Not only is it legal to take home roadkill for dinner, but it's OK for a male to have sex with an animal as long as its weight is over 40 lbs. However, owning a red or black flag will not be tolerated.

It's illegal to kiss on a train as well as cutting a woman's hair in Wisconsin. You would also do well to remember you are risking a $10 fine if you camp in a wagon on a public highway. Not only is it illegal to serve butter substitutes in state prisons, but also to serve them in a restaurant unless the customer requests them.

Forgetting to close a fence in Wyoming is subject to a fine of up to $750. If a woman is drinking, it's illegal for her to stand within five feet of the bar. It's also illegal to wear hats which obstruct another's view in a public theater. If you feel the urge to photograph a rabbit, please do it before winter sets in since it's illegal to do so from January to April.

Hopefully, everyone is now prepared to be law abiding citizens no matter where their travels may take you. If you travel often, you may want to carry a copy of this with you. There is a lot of information contained within these pages, which can be easily forgotten from lack of use. There's no telling when you are going to be faced with a group of Indians and will need to know the exact number permissible to shoot.

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    • amybradley77 profile image


      8 years ago

      That is good to know about the California and Alaska no animal mating laws. I have close family that live in both states. When I visit them, or them us it would be good to talk about. A.B.


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