Friday, June 6, 2014

Even More Stupid Laws

Blogging is an interesting pursuit.

My story?  I have all these voices and ideas in my head that I believe are meant to be shared.  And, I must share them or else my brain might well explode.  An outlet, pressure release, whatever...although I am not so naive that I can realistically conjure up an large blog audience breathlessly awaiting the next installment of Mister Tristan (the blog, not the 6-year-old human being).  So I write, assuming that it is largely a one-way street, since this blog is small and with little readership.

Enter Ella M, whom I have never met save thru eletcrons...and the one-way street suddenly becomes a two-way street.  A couple years ago I posted this, a casual post about 17 bizarre laws, and recently it was discovered by Ella.  She then contacted me about a series of three articles she has written on the very same topic, covering strange laws in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.

Please click over and read all three articles--they are fairly short and quite entertaining. 

Here's what jumped out at me from the three articles as I read them.  I'll pull out 2 of Ella's items from each country--I love her dry wit as she writes about these strange laws that still reside on the books:

United States:

--You can't take a bath without doctor's orders
Keeping clean is a serious business in many parts of the US. You can't just take a bath whenever you want.
Unless you're ready to risk being arrested for it, you will need to get a prescription from your doctor before you have a bath in Colorado, while in Florida, you will have to keep your clothes on.
You can bathe once a month during the winter if you are in Lander Wyoming, if you're an adult, but children there aren't legally allowed to take baths at all during the cold weather.
--You can't carry an ice cream cone in your pocket
A law prohibiting the eating of ice cream on Sundays inspired the creation of ice cream sundaes in Ohio, which hid the offending treat under some respectable fruit in order to get around the restrictions, but this isn't the only crazy dessert-based law in the US.
In Lexington, Kentucky, it was apparently thought necessary to outlaw the carrying of ice cream cones in pockets, so think carefully before you decide to free up your hands.

United Kingdom:

--You can't fire a cannon within 300 yards of a house
The UK still has a law in effect that makes it illegal to fire a canon within 300 yards of someone's home, but there is no word on how kindly the police might look upon anyone firing one further away.
If you are planning an old fashioned war, you might also need to know that it is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing armour.
--You can't carry a plank on the pavement
If you're planning to put up some shelves, you might need to think about how you are going to get the supplies home, since there is a law in the UK that specifically prohibits the carrying of planks down the pavement. 
While it's unlikely you'd ever actually been thrown in jail for this unless you caused some major issue or obstruction, technically it could happen - so, home delivery could be worth considering as a way of saving yourself the bother of negotiating the streets and the law! 
It is just one of the activities banned in the streets by a law that also makes kite flying, annoying games and sliding on ice illegal.


--You can't wear a strapless dress, if you're a man
Men in Melbourne are specifically prohibited from wearing a dress that doesn't have any straps, although apparently the person who wrote this law had no problem with either women in strapless dresses, or men whose dresses had straps.
The absurdly specific nature of this law seems to suggest that it might have been a fashion statement rather than a moral stance. Clearly, someone had strong opinions about how men should wear dresses.
That said, if you're a man that's planning on dressing up down under, saving your strapless number for back home could be worth it just in case...
--You can't crush a beer can between your breasts
Exercising your muscles as you recycle might get you in trouble if you are a woman with the unusual talent of being able to crush beer cans with your breasts.
It is illegal to do this in Western Australia, and it can actually lead to arrest.
A barmaid in Pinjarra was arrested, tried and find a thousand dollars for showing off this trick in public.
If she'd inspired a meme by putting it online, she could have turned a lot of other people into criminals too.

Aagin, here are the links to Ella's articles:

5 of the Strangest Laws That Can Get You Locked Up in the U.S.
5 Crazy Laws That Can Get You Arrested in the UK
5 Bizarre Laws That Can Land You in Jail in Australia

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