Skip to Content
Watch BCTV Now
/ Articles / Opinion /

The letter of the law can make for a funny alphabet

Aug 01, 2018 • by Mike Zielinski, Host of The Mike Zielinski Show
Mike Zielinski

Laws, I’m told, are a good thing. They’re the glue that keeps society stuck together.

Without laws, the theory goes, we all would morph into mindless barbarians in the twinkle of an eye.

Of course, moral codes of conduct such as the Ten Commandments often help keep society’s behavioral spinal cord aligned.

But a lot of folks aren’t particularly religious.

Hence, we need secular constraints such as laws to preclude chaos from infecting each and every one of us.

Still, there are some laws that can be construed as downright silly.

Here is a sampling of why we need fewer lawmakers and legal beagles in America:

In Pennsylvania it’s illegal to tell a fortune teller where to dig for buried treasure.

In New Jersey it’s illegal for a man to knit during the fishing season.

In Wyoming you may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit.

In the state of Washington the harassing of Bigfoot, Sasquatch or other undiscovered subspecies is a felony punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

In West Virginia whistling underwater is prohibited.

In Texas it’s illegal to sell your eyeballs.

In Georgia it’s illegal to keep an ice cream cone in your back pocket on Sundays.

In Ohio it’s illegal to get a fish drunk.

In South Carolina horses may not be kept in bathtubs.

In Arizona it’s illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs.

In Rhode Island biting off someone’s limb will result in 1 to 20 years in prison.

In North Dakota it’s illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.

In Alabama it’s illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.

In Indiana mustaches are illegal if the bearer has a tendency to habitually kiss other humans.

In Alaska it’s illegal to wake a sleeping bear to take a photo.

In Missouri it’s illegal to drive with an uncaged bear.

In California a frog that dies during a frog-jumping contest cannot legally be eaten.

In Iowa one-armed piano players must by law perform for free.

In Michigan it’s illegal for women to cut their own hair without their husband’s permission.

In Vermont women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

In Minnesota a person may not cross state lines with a duck atop his or her head.

In New York slippers are not to be worn after 10 p.m.

In South Dakota it’s illegal to sleep in a cheese factory.

In North Carolina it’s illegal to sing off-key.

In Rhode Island you may not sell toothpaste and a toothbrush to the same customer on a Sunday.

In Utah marriage between cousins is against the law only if they are younger than 65.

In the state of Washington you cannot buy meat of any kind on Sundays.

In Indiana it’s illegal to attend a public event or use public transportation within four hours of eating onions or garlic.

In the state of Washington a motorist with criminal intentions must stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he or she is entering the town.

In Arizona if you’re caught stealing soap, you must wash yourself until the bar of soap has been completely used up.

Oh, well. I guess these trivial laws prevent anarchy from rampaging through our souls and messing with our serenity.

We need your support!

Your contribution makes community media possible.

A donation of any size to your nonprofit media organization supports the future of media access in our community - the things you love, and the places you know, by the people you care about.

Watch BCTV Live