Crazy laws that are still in the books.....

Crazy laws that are still in the books.....


There are many crazy laws that are still in the books in the U.S. I'm sure this is true in other countries as well.

I was reminded of this by our member Sanlee:

It is prohibited to throw pickle juice in a trolley in the state of Rhode Island.

Just for laughs, please add any crazy, antiquated laws that you are aware of to this thread.

Here is my contribution:

"It is illegal to allow a donkey to sleep in a bathtub in Brooklyn, New York".

Don't even think about it!!!

updated JUN 1, 2010
posted by Nicole-B
Great thread Nicole! - sanlee, JUN 1, 2010
You were the inspiration Sanlee. Thanks! - Nicole-B, JUN 1, 2010

18 Answers


These are taken from The Book of Useless Information:

A Virginia law requires all bathtubs to be kept out in the yard, not inside the house.

Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

Impotence is legal grounds for divorce in twenty-four American states.

In a tradition dating back to the beginning of the Westminster system of government, the bench in the middle of a Westminster parliament is two-and-a-half sword lengths long. This was so the government and opposition couldn’t have a go at each other if it all got a bit heated.

In Alaska, it is illegal to shoot at a moose from the window of an airplane or other flying vehicle.

In Athens, Greece, a driver’s license can be taken away by law if the driver is deemed either “unbathed” or “poorly dressed.”

In Cleveland, Ohio, it is illegal to catch mice without a hunting license.

In Hartford, Connecticut, it is illegal for a husband to kiss his wife on Sundays.

In Helsinki, Finland, instead of giving parking tickets, the police usually deflate tires.

In Italy, it is illegal to make coffins out of anything except nutshells or wood.

In Jasmine, Saskatchewan, it is illegal for a cow to moo within three hundred kilometers of a private home.

In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry ice cream in your back pocket.

In Sweden, although prostitution is legal, it is illegal for anyone to use the services of a prostitute.

In Texas, it is illegal to put graffiti on someone else’s cow.

In the United Kingdom, there is no Act of Parliament making it illegal to commit murder. Murder is only illegal due to legal precedent.

It is against the law to stare at the mayor of Paris.

In Singapore, it is against the law to urinate in an elevator.

In Sweden, it is illegal to train a seal to balance a ball on its nose.

In California, it is illegal to eat oranges while bathing.

In Bladworth, Saskatchewan, it is illegal to frown at cows.

In Malaysia, it is illegal for restaurants to substitute toilet paper as table napkins. Repeat offenders go to jail.

Mailing an entire building has been illegal in the United States since 1916, when a man mailed a forty-thousand-ton brick house across Utah to avoid high freight rates.

A monkey was once tried and convicted for smoking a cigarette in South Bend, Indiana.

According to the United States Refuse Act of 1899, every industrial discharge into bodies of water since 1899 has been a crime.

Every citizen of Kentucky is required by law to take a bath at least once a year.

If you live in Michigan, it is illegal to put a skunk in your boss’s desk.

In Hartford, Connecticut, you may not, under any circumstances, cross the street walking on your hands.

In Idaho, a citizen is forbidden by law to give another citizen a box of candy that weighs more than fifty pounds.

In Indiana, it is illegal to ride public transportation for at least thirty minutes after eating garlic.

In Minnesota, it is illegal for women to be dressed up as Santa Claus on city streets. In Morrisville, Pennsylvania, women need a legal permit before they can wear lipstick in public.

In some parts of Alabama, it is illegal to carry a comb in your pocket.

It is illegal for boys in ninth grade to grow a mustache in Binghamton, New York.

In Omaha, Nebraska, it’s against the law to burp or sneeze in a church.

Some of these really make you wonder why they needed to become laws...

updated JUN 1, 2010
posted by --Jen--
Nice thanks. - ian-hill, JUN 1, 2010

For Florida

Corrupting the public morals is defined as a nuisance, and is declared a misdemeanor offense. Why are the politicians not convicted?

Women may be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer, as can the salon owner.

A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing.

If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.

It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit.

Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.

It is illegal to skateboard without a license.

You may not fart in a public place after 6 PM.

It is considered an offense to shower naked.

You are not allowed to break more than three dishes per day, or chip the edges of more than four cups and/or saucers.

Penalty for horse theft is death by hanging.

Pertaining to sex:

Unmarried couples may not commit “lewd acts” and live together in the same residence.

When having sex, only the missionary position is legal.

Oral sex is illegal.

You may not kiss your wife’s breasts.

Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal. Who were they trying to protect?

updated JUN 2, 2010
posted by 00a52084

In Massachusetts...

"At a wake, mourners may eat no more than three sandwiches." (especially if they are deviled ham).

updated JUN 2, 2010
posted by Lucrecia

In Pennsylvania, all fire hydrants are to be inspected one hour prior to all house fires.

updated JUN 2, 2010
posted by Nicole-B
And how do they propose to carry this one out??? lol - chica_rica, JUN 1, 2010
Before house fires? And how are they suppose to do that? - Rey_Mysterio, JUN 1, 2010
Well I guess if you are an arsonist, you must make sure you are at least polite enough to check the hydrants first. For accidental fires.....? - Nicole-B, JUN 1, 2010

Here are some in Montana:

Helena: A woman cannot dance on a saloon table unless her clothing weights more than three pounds, two ounces.

It is illegal for a wife to open her husband’s mail.

It is illigal to spit tobacco on the street.

updated JUN 2, 2010
posted by scottdoherty
Ha! Well I like the last one! - margaretbl, JUN 1, 2010
And thus, the invention of lead pasties. - Goyo, JUN 1, 2010
lol - nizhoni1, JUN 1, 2010

State of Massachusetts "Blue Laws"

.In Massachusetts taxi drivers are prohibited from making love in the front seat of their taxi during their shifts

An old ordinance in Massachusetts declares goatees illegal unless you first pay a special license fee for the privilege of wearing one in public.

updated JUN 2, 2010
posted by 002262dd

I believe it is still legal for an Englishman to shoot a Welshman with a bow and arrow if he enters English territory.

Also it is still illegal for a Catholic to be King or Queen.

Earlier reference to England, by nametaken, leads me to remind people that England does not have a written constitution. Everything is allowed unless prohibited by law.

I almost forgot this one.

A licenced taxi in London has to have enough headroom for the passenger to wear a Top-hat.

updated JUN 2, 2010
edited by ian-hill
posted by ian-hill
Fat chance that a Catholic should become King or Queen of England anyway! Heck, the way it's going, it seem like not even Prince Charles has much of a chance! - Gekkosan, JUN 1, 2010
Hey, if you give Fergie a few bucks, who knows what is possible. - Nicole-B, JUN 1, 2010
Both on right counts. :) - ian-hill, JUN 1, 2010
jeje, muy bien - margaretbl, JUN 1, 2010

The purpose of this law was to encourage people to go to church on Sunday. So much for separation of church and state.....

Massachusetts liquor stores can only open on Sundays if they are in Berkshire, Essex, Franklin, Middlesex or Worcester counties and are within 10 miles of the Vermont or New Hampshire borders.

updated JUN 2, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
Those places sound lke you are talking about England Marianne - except Massachusetts of course. - ian-hill, JUN 1, 2010
I actually live in a dry county, but my city has a waiver in order to have a convention center, so we have 5 liquor stores! - mar959, JUN 1, 2010

Aparentemente, la ciudad de Londres tiene algunas muy interesantes. Por ejemplo:

"No se permite llamar a un taxi a gritos y hay que estar vivo para viajar en ellos, ya que los taxistas no pueden transportar cadáveres."

Aquí hay más. grin

updated JUN 2, 2010
posted by Gekkosan

Here are some that I have heard about in Texas:

• When two trains meet each other at a railroad crossing, each shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other has gone.

• It is illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing.

• Criminals are required to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.

In Galveston (where I spent a good deal of my youth):

• One needs permission from the director of parks and recreation before getting drunk in any city park.

• Any person who sits on a sidewalk may be fined up to $500.

• No person shall throw trash from an airplane.

• Beer may not be purchased after midnight on a Sunday, but it may be purchased on Monday.

updated JUN 2, 2010
posted by Izanoni1
How DO some of these laws ever get to pass!??? - Gekkosan, JUN 1, 2010
Beats me - Izanoni1, JUN 1, 2010
Statistics show that most accidents between cars in the UK are between two stationary vehicles according to insurance claims. - ian-hill, JUN 1, 2010
Maybe the train companies don't want any insurance claims - ian-hill, JUN 1, 2010

I hope our good friend Goyo pays attention to this law that was listed by Nametaken:

Every citizen of Kentucky is required by law to take a bath at least once a year.

How are you doing with this one Greg? wink LOL LOL

updated JUN 2, 2010
posted by Nicole-B
I'm good for another year. :p - Goyo, JUN 1, 2010
lol :) - Nicole-B, JUN 1, 2010

In Rhode Island, you cannot sell a toothbrush and toothpaste to the same person on a Sunday.

updated JUN 1, 2010
posted by sanlee

In Atlanta, it's illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or street lamp.

updated JUN 1, 2010
posted by mar959
  • In Philadelphia it is illegal to put pretzels into a bag.

This law is based on an act from 1760. Good thing for the airlines that they bag their pretzels somewhere else or it would be tough to fly in and out of Philadelphia.

Philly soft pretzels: alt text

updated JUN 1, 2010
posted by Nicole-B
Mmmmm...soft pretzels! Is it acceptable to put mustard on them there or not? - mar959, JUN 1, 2010
Yes, mustard is the one and only accepted condiment on a Philly pretzel. :) - Nicole-B, JUN 1, 2010

Ok, really now. Some of these "laws" are clearly silly and preposterous, not just old fashioned. Can anyone come up with the story of how at least some of the sillier ones came to pass? Was it a matter of some wise guy trying to see what he could get away with on a sleepy summer session? Was it a matter that all the other legislators were drunk? Was it a bunch of bored lawmakers having a laugh at the citizens' expense?? ohh

updated JUN 1, 2010
posted by Gekkosan
I agree, I think at least half of these are made up. Actually, I think in Colorado it's illegal to make up phony laws... - amykay, JUN 1, 2010
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