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It's The LawPosted Saturday, November 29, 2008, at 6:55 PM
A friend from Minnesota recently told me that you could no longer dry your laundry on an outdoor clothesline in the suburbs surrounding Minneapolis. Apparently, it's the law.
Most people I know just want to live a normal life with a basic set of rules protecting them from unreasonable intrusions of other citizens and government agents. Unfortunately, we live in a world of overzealous lawmakers who often make a mockery of judicial restraint by forcing rules upon society that seem outright ridiculous.
While researching legal sites on the Internet, I discovered numerous absurd laws that actually exist.
In spite of the principle of separation of church and state, many frivolous laws pertain only to Sunday.
1) In Florida, it's illegal for single, divorced, or widowed women to parachute on Sunday afternoons.
2) In Massachusetts, it's unlawful to deliver diapers on Sunday.
3) In Thomasville, North Carolina, it's illegal to fly an airplane over the town on Sundays between 11 AM and 1 PM.
4) In Providence, Rhode Island, it's illegal to sell both toothpaste and a toothbrush to the same customer on a Sunday.
Many laws still on the books are clearly out of date.
1) In Hollywood, California, it's illegal to drive more than 2000 sheep at a time down Hollywood Boulevard.
2) In Utah, it's illegal for pharmacists to sell gunpowder as a headache cure.
3) In Pennsylvania, motorists driving along country roads are required to stop every mile, send up a rocket and wait 10 minutes for the road to be cleared of livestock before continuing.
4) In Nebraska, motorists approaching a horse at night are required to stop their vehicle, send up rockets and throw a tarp over their car to conceal it from the horse.
Special rules often exist for women.
1) In Oklahoma, women are forbidden from doing their own hair, unless licensed by the state.
2) In Cleveland, Ohio, women are not allowed to wear patent-leather shoes.
3) In Michigan, a woman's hair legally belongs to her husband.
4) In Helena, Montana, a woman cannot dance on a saloon table unless her clothes weigh more than three pounds, two ounces.
5) In Kentucky, a law reads that no female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within the state unless escorted by at least two officers or unless armed with a club. An amendment to this law states that it shall not apply to females weighing less than 90 pounds nor exceeding 200 pounds, nor shall it apply to female horses.
Some laws are downright insane.
1) In Tennessee, it's illegal to operate a motor vehicle while sleeping.
2) In Alabama, it's illegal to operate a motor vehicle while blindfolded.
3) In Virginia, bribery is prohibited by anyone other than candidates for public office.
4) In Seattle, Washington, it's illegal to carry a concealed weapon greater than six feet long.
5) In New Hampshire, it's against the law to tap your feet or in any way keep time to the music in a tavern, restaurant or café.
6) In Texas, to go barefoot requires a five-dollar permit.
7) In Oregon, a dead person cannot be required to serve on a jury.
Naturally, all this nonsense has inspired me to come up with a few proposals of my own.
1) In Alaska, it shall be illegal to put lipstick on a pit bull.
2) In Arizona, it shall be illegal to refer to the Grand Canyon as a really big hole.
3) In Arkansas, it shall be illegal to name a mule after a Baptist preacher.
4) In California, it shall be illegal to yell "Fire" or "Brittney Spears" in a crowded theater.
5) In Delaware, it shall be illegal to refer to Joe Biden as the Veep of the Peeps.
6) In Florida, it shall be illegal to sell sea shells by the seashore.
7) In Georgia, it shall be illegal to expose a red neck or green teeth on Sunday.
8) In Hawaii, it shall be illegal to refer to any body parts as the Big Kahuna.
9) In Idaho, it shall be illegal to substitute a tomato for a potato in a public restaurant.
10) In Iowa, it shall be illegal to wear a John Deere hat while driving a Massey-Ferguson tractor.
11) In Kentucky, it shall be illegal to marry your first cousin until after her thirteenth birthday.
12) In Maine, it shall be illegal to whistle near a moose during rutting season.
13) In Maryland, it shall be illegal to name your first child Mary unless she's a Capricorn or a guy.
14) In Massachusetts, it shall be illegal to graduate from college unless you can spell the name of the state.
15) In Minnesota, it shall be illegal to fish from a three-legged stool on a frozen lake if it is not frozen.
16) In Mississippi, it shall be illegal to utilize explosives or false teeth when catfish noodling.
17) In Missouri, it shall be illegal to say "show me" to anyone wearing a raincoat on a sunny day.
18) In Nebraska, it shall be illegal to call someone a cornhusker unless they can actually husk corn.
19) In New Hampshire, it shall be illegal to ask someone whatever happened to Old Hampshire.
20) In New Mexico, it shall be illegal to do the Mexican Hat Dance with an older hat.
21) In New York, it shall be illegal to call yourself a Yankee Doodle Dandy unless you're a hairdresser.
22) In Ohio, it shall be illegal to discard anything into Lake Erie that's more toxic than Courtney Love.
23) In Oklahoma, it shall be illegal to use the phrase "sooner rather than later" during a marriage ceremony.
24) In Rhode Island, it shall be illegal to tell tourists that they're really not an island.
25) In South Dakota, it shall be illegal to ride a pink Cushman scooter into Sturgis during biker week.
26) In Tennessee, it shall be illegal to operate a liquor still in a hollow within 20 feet of dead car.
27) In Texas, it shall be illegal to wear a ten-gallon hat if you have a seven-gallon, or less, head.
28) In Utah, it shall be illegal to have more than five wives if you can't count to six.
29) In Wisconsin, it shall be illegal to wear a cheese-head hat in a duck blind.
30) In Wyoming, it shall be illegal to have a powwow with a buffalo on Buffalo Bill's birthday.
I would have done all 50 states, but it's against the law.
Quote for the Day -- "The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." Ayn Rand
Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.