Laws are made to function a seemingly healthy community in a stable and disciplined fashion. However, there are many strange laws still in operation around the world. Some evoke a response of “Is this real?” and others evoke genuine laughter, but technically you could be prosecuted if you break the following laws.
Politicians do some downright stupid things. Sure, we all do. But these are the people who draft our laws – the ones who decide how the rest of us should live and behave. Maybe you consider wars you disagree with to be “stupid” decisions.
Perhaps it’s the latest report of infidelity from politicians that’s getting under your skin. But today let’s have some fun and look at the lighter side of government gaffs by exploring some incredibly stupid laws that may still be on the books.
Do Not Feed The Pigeons
It’s illegal to feed pigeons in Venice, Italy. The pigeon poop actually pollutes the local buildings and a fine of around 50-600 USD should be enough to deter you.
Do Not Forget Your Underwear
In Thailand, it is illegal to leave the house if you are not wearing underwear.
Do Not Stare At Mannequins
One law to remember when on your family holidays in the UK is that any boy under the age of 10 may not see a naked mannequin!
Do Not Drive a Dirty Car
Dirty cars spotted in Moscow can end up with a 100 USD fine, although how dirty isn’t defined.
Do Not Chew a Gum
Chewing gum isn’t sold in Singapore and chewing it will get you in trouble, as will feeding the birds, spitting and not flushing public toilets. Singapore is a pristine and immaculate destination and they want to keep it that way.
Do Not Cheat On Exam
In Bangladesh, children 15 and older can be put in jail for cheating on their final examinations. Every year, Bangladeshi government takes strong measures to stop cheating and carries out a massive media campaign to forewarn students through print and television.
Do Not Have a S E X
In Bozeman, Montana, a law prohibits all sexual activity from the front yard of a home after sundown.
Do Not Make Ugly Faces
In Oklahoma, you can be arrested for making ugly faces at a dog.
Do Not Eat Chocolates
In England, it is illegal for a lady to eat chocolates on a public conveyance.
Do Not Look At Moose From An Airplane
Isn’t it highly unlikely for the human eye to view a moose from an airplane? Nevertheless, expect your eyes to be scooped out if you break this law!
Do Not Allow Your Dog To Bark
Dogs may not bark after 6 PM. Taping your dog’s mouth for this one might not get you a fine. How can one stop dogs from barking after a specific time?
Do Not Drink Alcohol
Alcohol may not be served in nightclubs if dancing is occurring on the premises at the same time. Intoxication may lead to over enjoyment, which may lead to one dancing, how expression of joy is illegal here, is beyond the logical mind.
Do Not Snore
Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and securely locked. They actually made this a statute! Uproarious!
Do Not Walk In Public Without a Smile
A person may not be seen in public without a smile on their face. Simply, if you are having a rotten day, some massive grievance just struck you, just keep smiling! No matter what!
Last But Not Least – Beat Your Wife!
In South Carolina it is legal to beat your wife on the courthouse steps on Sundays.
In Pennsylvania it’s illegal to have more than 16 women live in the same house.
I wanted to kick things off with an example of a dumb law from my own home state. I’m not sure if the specifics reported are right, or if it’s still the case (as opposed to an old law). But I do remember the topic coming up periodically when I was in college. It was a concern for sororities where groups of “sisters” would share a sorority house.
In Sweden it’s illegal to paint a house without a painting license from the government.
Well, if that’s the case I’m glad I don’t live in Sweden. I just painted my place this spring, and am planning to do some more paint touch-ups soon. While this sounds like a pretty stupid law, I could maybe understand it if it’s outdated and became law out of concerns over lead-based paint or something.
It’s reported that in San Antonio, Texas it’s illegal to use your eyes or hands while flirting.
Why not just ban flirting altogether? Outdated, still on the books — I don’t know. But this is one where I can’t even begin to understand the logic if it’s true … not even in a historical context. You?
Don’t send the kiddies trick-or-treating on Halloween in Virginia.
It’s reported that doing so is illegal. Again, I’m not sure if this is legit or current. But the idea doesn’t really surprise me. I know where I live Halloween trick-or-treating is very different than it was when I was a kid. They’ve put strict limits on the time kids can go out, and I seem to remember them deciding trick-or-treating should be a different day at some point — maybe if Halloween was on a school night. So no, if this is true, it wouldn’t really surprise me. Just for curiosity’s sake, have you seen changes in trick-or-treating since you were a kid too? Or do I just live in a dud of a town?
In Singapore, oral $ex is illegal (unless it leads to the real deal).
Let’s be honest here. $ex laws can sometimes be the funniest. It’s usually a case of them being outdated, based in times when public opinion was quite different. And when it comes to international $ex laws, I’m pretty “forgiving” because I certainly don’t understand every culture out there. What sounds crazy to me might be perfectly normal there. But this one? I really hope it’s just a joke or at least off the books now. Oral $ex is illegal, unless you use it as foreplay. Why do I suspect only a man could come up with that idea?
While we’re talking about Singapore, tourists take note: it’s also illegal to pee in an elevator.
Because apparently we need a reminder.
Way to go Fairbanks, Alaska! (They cleaned up filthy moose $ex on city streets!)
This is one of those reported laws that’s so incredibly stupid I can’t help but hope it’s true (because that makes it all the funnier). As if animals give a moose’s behind what our laws say. If it works, maybe my local officials can write a law that would stop those damned birds from crapping on my car.
In Canada, it’s reported that it’s illegal for clear and non-dark sodas to be caffeinated.
Ironically, just this morning I was talking to someone about caffeinated beverages (yes, my life is so relevant to my work!). I never actually knew that Mountain Dew had caffeine (haven’t had it in years either). It was pointed out to me that it’s indeed one of the most caffeinated sodas here in the U.S. So when I saw this stupid law I immediately thought of Mountain Dew. And I just had to look it up — is Canadian Mountain Dew different from “real” Mountain Dew? And it seems that it is (or at least was)! I don’t understand why the law was created in the first place, but I found it to be one of the most interesting. Yes. I find soft drinks fascinating. Shut up.
In Washington State, it’s illegal to use x-ray machines to find the perfect shoe fit.
The hilarity of this dumb law is in its specificity. Sometimes when you read about stupid laws, they’re actually just taking general laws and twisting them to sound silly (like a ban on large animals such as big dogs on a beach being twisted to say you can’t take a polar bear to the beach). But this one isn’t one of those. The law specifically mentions shoe fittings, and you can see the actual text of the law in the source for this one. I could completely understand a law banning any non-medical use of x-ray equipment because of the radiation involved. But to specifically call out shoe fittings? What were they thinking? I just can’t imagine so many people in Washington State trying to do this that they felt it necessary to make it illegal.
In New Jersey, it’s illegal for a murderer to wear a bullet-proof vest while committing that crime.
Well, I guess if you can’t get him on the other charges.