Strange Laws: What Were They Thinking?

Falyn Katzman and Kelly Bender, Assistant Editor and Reporter

Laws are the body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a political authority. Without laws, people could do whatever they want whenever they want without any consequences. Laws keep us safe and out of trouble. Some of these laws are that one must be 18 to vote, one can’t drink before the age of 21, and no one under the age of 16 is allowed to get behind the wheel. There are many instances each day of people breaking these vital rules. But how many laws a day do people break without even knowing there is a law against it?

According to, it is illegal to wear a fake mustache to church or to drive blindfolded in Alabama. Dominoes may not be played on Sunday. Possessing confetti in the city and bathing in city fountains are illegal. Putting salt on a railroad track is punishable by death. In California, animals are banned from publicly mating within 1,500 feet of a school or place of worship. Florida bans the ability to sing in a public place while wearing a bathing suit and the right to have sexual relations with a porcupine. If an unmarried woman parachutes on Sunday or if any woman, married or unmarried, falls asleep under a hairdryer at a salon, she will be fined. If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle. In Nebraska, it is illegal for bar owners to sell beer if they are not also brewing a kettle of soup. North Dakota made falling asleep with your shoes on and selling beer and pretzels in the same restaurant or bar illegal. It’s against the law to serve butter in state prisons in Wisconsin. In Texas, it is prohibited to take more than three sips of beer while standing. It is illegal to milk another person’s cow. Also, the online Encyclopedia Britannica is banned because it contains the formula for making beer.

In the state of New York: The penalty for jumping off a building is death. If somebody jumps off a building, what are the odds of survival? Then, if that person does survive, wouldn’t we want to help them come to terms with this issue that caused them to make this harsh decision, not execute them? If you are too poor to feed and clothe your family, or are a veteran from Iraq in need of money to maintain a condition received while a war, don’t bother begging, because that’s illegal too. This law is really unsettling; if one of these people asks for a measly dollar, who wouldn’t help? Also in New York, on a hot summer’s day, don’t go to a street vender, buy ice cream, and put it in your pocket on the way back to wear you were, especially on Sundays. So what? There’s packaging on the ice cream, and at worst, you’ll stain your pants. That doesn’t look nice, but neither does half the stuff New York citizens wear. Women may go topless in public providing it is not a business. Contradictory? Doesn’t this go against the law of public indecency? Public indecency consists of the prohibition of being nude in public.

Maybe, at some point in time, there was a need for these laws. Right now, they are outdated and not enforced, but no one has bothered to appeal them. Imagine for a moment, the same penalty for murder as salting railroads in Alabama! Let’s just hope that Congress will focus on the economic crisis in America such as the decline in employment or the consumer’s market.