When you think of laws being created and pondered over, repeatedly argued and debated about, ad naseum in the higher levels of government, the romanticized notion might be one of noble minds and the pursuit of higher goals, of righting wrongs and fighting for the little guy that cannot fight for himself. What was going on in the minds of lawmakers when these odd laws were passed, I have a difficult time imagining. Granted at some point in time these may have had purpose and validity, but reading them cold without the accompanying reasoning and history leaves one doubting the mental acuity of some lawmakers and politicians.
It also makes one wonder whether they had nothing better to do with their time or had such powerful advocates and backers in favour of some of these peculiar laws that passed, that the law was put through with little thought to their long term use and purpose or without reflection on their real necessity. ( One should be diplomatic I suppose and not call some of them outright idiotic, since we were not there when they were being forged and passed, but when you read them you might not be inclined to be that generous in your assessment of them .) Nowadays it takes countless time, money and backing and battling to even get a proposed law in front of our lawmakers, much less passed.
Obviously many of these are outdated and remain in the annuls of law, most probably covered in dust from non usage along with other like dinosaurs of times gone by. Can you imagine going to court now, wasting a judges much sought after time, not to mention today’s astronomical lawyers fees to actually fight one of these in a current court, if you had been charged with one of them? I suppose with all the finagling that goes on before many cases even get to court, that some would never see the light of a courtroom, but I can’t help laughing, picturing a somber and serious court full of lawyers and clients, battling over some of these without cracking a smile or two. The tabloids would have a field day with these.
Baldwin Park, California
“Nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.” (Now you know every kid is going to want to try this just to see if it can be done. They will take it as a personal challenge that they wouldn’t have been remotely interested in trying until this law passed. Now all the wanna be bad boys will be rushing to belong to the pool riding clubs. )
“One may not bring their dog to school. “(Well at least they didn’t include lambs, so I guess Mary is still legal.)
“Bowling on the sidewalk is illegal.” ( I wonder how many pedestrians got bowled over before they felt it necessary to pass this one. Is this where the “three strikes you’re out” idea originated or was that really from baseball and not the prison system after all?)
“It is illegal to plant a garden in any public street.” ( This must have been one of those laws to protect people and make them use common sense. All those garden plans shot to heck and the local garden society was having such a good time.)
“It is illegal to wash your car in the street.” ( I didn’t know they made hoses that long. It must be fun darting in and out of traffic, kind of like dodge ball on fast forward.)
“Men who wear moustaches are forbidden from kissing a woman.”. (I’m certainly glad my husband does not live in Eureka.)
“No one may annoy a lizard in a city park.” (I guess it is o.k., to annoy a snake though. I think I would rather annoy a lizard.)
“Permanent markers may not be sold in the city limits.” (It looks like office and school supply stores are verboten there. The black market in markers must be doing a thriving business in Fresno. Watch out , teachers may be shipping them in on the backs of trucks hidden under tarps.)
“It is against the law to hold a private bingo game.” ( Geesh, my mother-in-law will never move there now, and here I thought I might convince her to move to California.)
“Cars may not be driven in reverse.” ( I guess they want everyone to stay parked in their driveways to conserve fuel.)
“It is illegal to drive more than two thousand sheep down Hollywoood Boulevard at one time.”. ( One sheep on a city street there would cause back ups for hours and about 20 accidents from rubber neckers pausing to see the sights. Two thousand and the city would grind to a halt for days.)
“It is illegal for a trumpet player to play his instrument with the intention of luring someone to a store.” ( Somehow I think someone did not get the idea that soothing music keeps people in the stores and shopping longer and that as much as many of us love a good jazz trumpet, it doesn’t exactly draw people in to have their ears blasted when they are trying to enter a store.)
“Drinking intoxicating cement is illegal.” ( I truly would like to know what would possess anyone to even attempt to drink liquid cement in the first place, but even more I would like to know precisely what ingredient in cement is intoxicating. It might be worth a try…)
“It is illegal to possess, own or raise roosters.” (Chickens are o.k. though? Is this their attempt at noise abatement or were they being overrun by an uncontrollable fowl overpopulation problem. Either way those chickens are not going to be very happy and may very well go on strike and then where would breakfast be? A pen of cackling hens can make a lot more noise than a rooster or two, just ask my husband.)
“Cars are the only item allowed in the garage.” (I’m in major trouble here. The only thing NOT in my garage is my car.)
“It is illegal to curse on a mini-golf course.” ( We save that for the regular golf courses where we actually have something to curse about.)
“Zoot suits are prohibited. “(I’ve read my history books. I know what a zoot suit is. Whomever passed that law would have fainted when the hippies were “in” or saw the oversized hip hop or street style clothes in vogue today. Zoot suits were downright radical you know and were known to be the cause of all kinds of wild behavior, sort of like rock and roll contaminates our feeble minds.)
“Growing oleander flowers is prohibited.” (Has anyone taken a look at public parks, roads and highways in California lately? Oleanders are the main staple of freeway landscaping. Maybe it is legal to plant them, just not to grow them. Sounds like something along the lines of those pot laws that passed here a few years ago.)
“It is illegal to fish from an overpass in the city.” ( I think someone needs a basic course in fishing and what you are allowed to hook with your fishing pole. I think cars might be a little bit over the size allowance.)
“Two bathtubs may not be installed in the same house.” (I dare you to run a real estate search on google and see how many builders have broken the law since they made that law. Does that mean they have to retroactively remove all extra bathtubs installed in houses since then in order to comply with the law?)
“Motor vehicles may not be driven on city streets unless a man with a lantern is walking ahead of it.” ( I see some seriously bogged down emergency rooms from this law. Road rage and impatience would take on a whole new chapter. A new game of chicken with lantern men would soon be added to video game collections. Let’s see how many we can knock down and so forth.)
“It is illegal to wipe one’s car with used underwear.” (I’m not touching this one with a ten foot pole.)
“You may not play percussion instruments on the beach.” (And here I thought twenty people playing competing radio stations was bad enough as it was, as I am trying to enjoy the sound of the waves crashing on the shore and the seagulls crying overhead. I guess I should count my blessings.)
“Kites may not be flown above ten feet over the ground.” ( Can you even fly a kite that low and who is going to stand there with a ten foot measuring stick making sure yours doesn’t go an inch beyond ten feet? Will the cops hide in the bushes waiting for violators to ticket like they do with cars? What would they call that…a height trap?)
Now stop laughing, the law is a serious matter you know.