Yes, that's right. It is, in fact, illegal to sing off-key in North Carolina. It is also illegal to tie a giraffe to a parking lot lamp post in Atlanta, GA. I am not certain, who came up with these laws to begin with or why they are still on the books. But apparently quite a few of them are still active although, thankfully, not enforced - because that would make life really rough for all the giraffe owners of Atlanta. Below is a quick roundup of America's, shall we say, more puzzling bits of legislature.
- It is illegal to sell peanuts in Lee County after sundown on Wednesday.
- Putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death. (Oops, I am sorry, Officer, here I was walking along the tracks when a salt shaker fell out of my pocket.)
- While it is legal to shoot bears, waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.
- Hunting camels is prohibited (are there a lot of those in Arizona?)
- Donkeys cannot sleep in bathtubs.(Sheesh, I'd hate to break this to my pet donkey.)
- It is illegal to manufacture imitation cocaine. (So the real thing is ok?)
- Honking one’s car horn at a sandwich shop after 9 PM is against the law in Little Rock.
- Alligators may not be kept in bathtubs.(What is it with animals in bathtubs? Am I seeing a trend here?)
- It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale. (I knew we could count on some good ones from California!)
- No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.
- Catapults may not be fired at buildings in Aspen. (So, take that cow catapult to Boulder, Monty Python fans).
- It is illegal to bring your horse or pack mule above the ground floor of any building in Cripple Creek.
- In order for a pickle to officially be considered a pickle, it must bounce. (I am trying to imagine the quality control department at a local pickling factory.)
- It is unlawful to walk backwards after sunset in Devon.
- One may not whisper in church. (Is it ok to yell at the top of one's lungs?)
- It is illegal to fly over any body of water, unless one is carrying sufficient supplies of food and drink.
- The state constitution allows for freedom of speech, a trial by jury, and pregnant pigs to not be confined in cages.
- A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing. (Uhh, being a female paratrooper in Florida is TOUGH!)
- No one may carry an ice cream cone in their back pocket if it is Sunday.
- Goldfish may not be given away to entice someone to enter a game of bingo in Athens-Clarke County. (I would LOVE to know how that one came about.)
- Not surprisingly, Hawaii appears to be a lot more laid back than the other states. However, coins are not allowed to be placed in one’s ears.
- It is illegal for a man to give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing less than fifty pounds. (Valentine's Day galore!)
- In Pocatello a person may not be seen in public without a smile on their face. (How do they handle funerals, I wonder.)
- The English language is not to be spoken.
- In Chicago law forbids eating in a place that is on fire. In the Pullman area, it is illegal to drink beer out of a bucket while sitting on the curb. (There goes the Super Bowl party!)
- The value of Pi is 3. :-|
- Baths may not be taken between the months of October and March.
- The Fort Madison fire department is required to practice fire fighting for fifteen minutes before attending a fire. (911, "Sorry, ma'am, we'll be there just as soon as we have finished practicing fire fighting.")
- If two trains meet on the same track, neither shall proceed until the other has passed. (How is this accomplished, precisely, if they are on the same track?)
- The state game rule prohibits the use of mules to hunt ducks.
- One may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once.
- It is illegal to fish with a bow and arrow. (WHO came up with that one?!)
- It is illegal to rob a bank and then shoot at the bank teller with a water pistol. (Ok, how about I rob a bank and shoot the teller with a real pistol? Would that be alright?)
- To stroll down the street playing a violin is against the law in Augusta.
- It is illegal to expectorate from any second-story window in Freeport. (Any other window?)
- It’s illegal to throw bales of hay from a second-story window within the city limits. (What is it with the second-story windows?!)
- It’s illegal to take a lion to the movies in Baltimore. (Well, damn, I guess you'll just have to tie him to a post near the entrance and make him wait.)
- It is illegal to remove a public building by writing on it in Rockville. (What were they writing with? Acid? Or maybe that's what people who wrote these laws were taking.)
- All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday. (In case the priest gets too verbose?)
- Hunting on Sundays is prohibited. (Unless you are in church, apparently)
- No gorilla is allowed in the back seat of any car. (There is just no break for King Kong, is there?)
- It is legal for a robber to file a law suit, if he or she got hurt in your house. (So, be nice to your robbers, ladies and gentlemen.)
- It is illegal to let your pig run free in Detroit unless it has a ring in its nose.
- A person may not cross state lines with a duck atop his head.
- Red cars may not drive down Lake Street in Minneapolis. (I should remember this the next time I decide to go driving from North Carolina to Minnesota. My car is red.)
- Private citizens may personally arrest any person that disturbs a church service.
- It is unlawful to shave in the center of main street in Tylertown. (What, did someone try?)
- In Columbia, you can not have a antenna exposed outside of your house yet you can have a 25′ satellite dish.
- Installation of bathtubs with four legs resembling animal paws is prohibited in Kansas City. (But I LOVE clawfoot tubs!)
- It is illegal to have a sheep in the cab of your truck without a chaperone. (In case you decide to get frisky with the sheep?)
- It is illegal to use speed-dial in the city phone system in Billings.
- In Helena, it is illegal to annoy passersby on sidewalks with a revolving water sprinkler. (That's ok - in the great spirit of American ingenuity we'll find some other way to annoy them.)
- If a child burps during church, his parent may be arrested.
- Doughnut holes may not be sold in Lehigh. (As if living in Nebraska wasn't tough enough...)
I thought you could do just about anything in Nevada, but apparently not.
- It is illegal to drive a camel on the highway.
- Everyone walking the streets is required to wear a mask in Elko. (Is this a Witness Protection capitol of the United States?)
- Sex toys are outlawed in Reno. (REALLY?!!!!!!!!!!)
- On Sundays citizens may not relieve themselves while looking up.
- It is illegal to wear a bullet-proof vest while committing a murder. (As if anyone committing a murder would be bothered by violating the bullet-proof vest law.)
- It is against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.
- You cannot pump your own gas.
- Idiots may not vote. (Fabulous idea, but how do they determine the idiocy level among voters?)
- You may not carry a lunchbox down Main Street in Las Cruces.
- It is illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing “body hugging clothing” but women may go topless in public, providing it is not being used as a business.
- The penalty for jumping off a building is death. (No, really?)
- Slippers are not to be worn after 10:00 PM.
- Elephants may not be used to plow cotton fields. (I am sure elephants are greatly relieved.)
- It is illegal to have sex in a churchyard. (Well, there goes my social life!)
- Bingo games may not last over 5 hours unless it is held at a fair.
- One may be jailed for wearing a hat while dancing, or even for wearing a hat to a function where dancing is taking place.
- It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.
- Women are prohibited from wearing patent leather shoes in public. (Well, that settles it - I am not moving to Ohio!)
- It is illegal to get a fish drunk. (Does that mean enough people tried it to make this a law?)
- It is illegal for more than five women to live in a house. (What about nunneries? Or girls' schools?)
- No one may be arrested on Sunday or on the Fourth of July. (Very cool - so, if you want to commit a crime in Ohio, that's the time to do it!)
- It is illegal for the owner of a bar to allow anyone inside to pretend to have sex with a buffalo. (What if they are not pretending?)
- Dogs must have a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate in groups of three or more on private property.
- Fish may not be contained in fishbowls while on a public bus.
- An adult may not show a minor any piece of classical artwork which depicts sexual excitement. (So, no antiquities and most of the Renaissance is out too.)
- It is illegal to whisper “dirty” things in your lover’s ear during sex. (How is this reported?)
- It is legal to conduct a horse race or a symphony concert in Eugene. (Their cultural life must suck!)
- You may not sing in the bathtub.
- 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.
- No one may bite off another's leg. (What about other body parts?)
- In Scituate, it is illegal to drive down any street with beer in your car, even if it is unopened. (So, I guess, if you are having a party you have to transport the beer home from the store on foot or on horseback.)
- It is a capital offense to inadvertently kill someone while attempting suicide.
- Horses may not be kept in bathtubs. (There we go again!)
- No horses are allowed into Fountain Inn unless they are wearing pants. (I am not certain, what I am interested in seeing more: horses in pants entering Fountain Inn, horses without pants being kicked out of Fountain Inn, or the act of trying to get pants onto a horse?)
- It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory.
- Skunks may not be carried into the state. (That's ok, they'll figure out how to get in on their own, thank you very much.)
- It is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish.
- A recently passed anticrime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed. (Whew, at least you get a warning!)
- The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home. (Apparently, just excluding that particular section of it wasn't enough.)
- It is illegal to dust any public building with a feather duster in Clarendon. (What if I use the Swiffer duster?)
- It is illegal to cause a catastrophe. (Wow, it's a good thing Moses was trying to get out of Egypt and not Utah. He'd be in so much trouble with the whole seven plagues business.)
- Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth. (Oh no! What next?! False noses? False boobs?)
- It is illegal to tickle women.
- Spitting on a sea gull is not tolerated in Norfolk.
- It is illegal to display a hypnotized or allegedly hypnotized person in a store window in Everett. (That happens often?)
- 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."
- While eating roadkill is illegal in Tennessee, in West Virginia roadkill may be taken home for supper.
- Whistling underwater is prohibited. (Because?)
- It is legal for a male to have sex with an animal as long as it does not exceed 40 lbs. (Ri-i-i-i-ight...)
- As people used to smuggle it in from Illinois, all yellow butter substitute is banned.
- It is illegal to kiss on a train.
- You may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit. (All those rabbit models must be devastated!)
- Using a firearm to fish is strictly forbidden. (Bummer. I love me a little rifle fishing no and then!)
And - sorry to disappoint you boys and girls - oral sex is still illegal in most states. :-)