July 9th, 2003


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11:06 am - on dumb laws
so, I've been watching Montel and he is talking about dumb laws. They metioned dumblaws.com which has lists of laws that are stupid on a by state basis (as well as some international ones). Some of my favorites from Pennsylvania:

  • Any motorist driving along a country road at night must stop every mile and send up a rocket signal, wait 10 minutes for the road to be cleared of livestock, and continue.
  • A special cleaning ordinance bans housewives from hiding dirt and dust under a rug in a dwelling.
  • A person is not eligible to become Governor if he/she has participated in a duel.
  • Any motorist who sights a team of horses coming toward him must pull well off the road, cover his car with a blanket or canvas that blends with the countryside, and let the horses pass. If the horses appear skittish, the motorist must take his car apart, piece by piece, and hide it under the nearest bushes.
  • You may not catch a fish by any body part except the mouth.
  • Dynamite is not to be used to catch fish.


And my favorite law mentioned on Montel was from Washington State:

A law to reduce crime states: "It is mandatory for a motorist with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town."

Wheee!

Current Mood: [mood icon] amused

(12 comments | Leave a comment)

 
on dumb laws - graffiti.maverick

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Comments:


[User Picture]From: wooble Date: July 9th, 2003 - 08:49 am (Link)
Uh, yeah. They probably made up 95% of them, as they don't bother to provide citations.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 9th, 2003 - 08:56 am (Link)
it depends on the state... in some of them they did have full text citations and references... And I'm aware of several of the PA laws (like, all licquor stores must be run by the state, no more than 2 packages beer can be sold to an individual at one time unless by a beer distributor, no more than 16 women living in the same building). Also, the Montel show had people on who had been arrested for breaking several stupid laws... it appears to be pretty legit.
[User Picture]From: wooble Date: July 9th, 2003 - 09:13 am (Link)
Well, the dumbest of the laws (the ones about horses and sending up flares on country roads) are not Pennsylvania laws. It's fairly easy to search the Consolidated Statutes.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 9th, 2003 - 09:34 am (Link)
well, I've also heard the one about dismantling your car before...

How are you searching said statutes?
[User Picture]From: wooble Date: July 9th, 2003 - 10:19 am (Link)
I heard that once this lady bought a dog in Mexico but it turned out to be a rat, and then it expoded and there were scorpions everywhere. So it must be true.

The 16 women in one house is an urban legend; so is taking your car apart.

I use Lexis/Nexis to search, but you probably don't have access to it. Google should be able to find other sites that work, I'd imagine.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 9th, 2003 - 10:34 am (Link)
google found a few places, but none of them have all the consolidated and unconsolidated statutes online and they all say that...

I don't really know anything about the take your car apart thing, but I'm quite certain that the 16 women thing is a legitimate blue laws... there are tons of them. Nobody ever bothers to repeal old laws until there is an issue. The show this morning had a guy on it that was arrested for tattoo'ing without being an MD in Mississippi, he is currently battling an appeal in federal court having lost at the state level.
[User Picture]From: anisodragnfly Date: July 9th, 2003 - 09:09 am (Link)
a friend of mine growing up had a book called You Can't Eat Peanuts in Church, and other little known laws which we always found very amusing to leaf through. i think my favorites were the ban on whale hunting in Oklahoma and it being illegal to park your elephant at a parking meter in Florida (that's at least sensible).

i notice that the dumblaws.com people have their own book, but they've only got 101 laws with pictures instead of the many more in You Can't Eat Peanuts.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 9th, 2003 - 09:35 am (Link)
yeah, and given that they have more than 101 laws on their website, it hardly seems worth the money...
[User Picture]From: mamarayne Date: July 9th, 2003 - 09:12 am (Link)
Wow, Ohio is more strict than Pennsylvania:
PA:
It is illegal to have over 16 women live in a house together because that constitutes a brothel. However up to 120 men can live together, without breaking the law.
OH:
It is illegal for more than five women to live in a house.

I guess I'd better open my brothel here in Nevada!
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 9th, 2003 - 09:37 am (Link)
well, I think the 16 people is supposed to be one building... I know it was an issue for sororities on campus when i was in school. Technically however, its illegal for more tha 3 unrelated people to live in one residence in PA in any case though, so you know, whatever...
From: sumnerhayes Date: July 9th, 2003 - 01:14 pm (Link)
The sororities bit is a false urban legend. See e.g.:
http://www.snopes.com/college/halls/brothel.htm

It was circulating when I was there too, but so was the "roommate commits suicide and you get a 4.0 GPA" bit.
[User Picture]From: jeremiahblatz Date: July 9th, 2003 - 10:15 am (Link)

Dynamite fishing

I highly suspect that the dynamite fishing thing was passed to stop a not-uncommon practice. You toss some mild explosives in the water. The shock wave screws up the fishies floatation systems, so the all come bopping up to the top (alive, AFAIK). You just row around and scoop up the fish. Of course, it's a little dangerous, and highly inefficient (Do you really have a good use for *all* the fish in the pond?), so they made it illegal.

http://stigmes.gr/br/brpages/articles/dinambr.htm
http://www.sidsnet.org/latestarc/coastal-discussion/msg00003.html
Among others
 

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