Next time you plan to go fishing, wear a dress, put on false facial hair
or murder your husband's Hong Kong-based mistress with anything other
than your bare hands, you had better think again. There may be an
oddball law prohibiting it.
Wacky laws are alive and well and on the books in most American states
and in many international destinations. Although it is rare to find
oneself under arrest for driving more than 2,000 sheep down Hollywood
Boulevard in Los Angeles or throwing out anything but water and chicken feathers from a car in California, the law is the law and it could happen.
To prevent getting tickets, fines or spending time in the clinker, here
are the top ten of the wackiest laws you need to know about as you head
off in your travels.
1. In Alabama, it is unlawful to wear a false mustache in church
and cause "unseemly laughter." The state also keeps a law against
driving while blindfolded on the books, just in case you are in a hurry
to get to church and do not want to be sidelined by even the possibility
of seeing someone with a false mustache and risk breaking into a gale
2. In Phoenix, Arizona,
the law states that every man who enters the city limits must wear
pants. Maybe this was aimed at Scottish bagpipe players, but the law has
ensured the city stays clean of men in skirts from wherever they hail.
3. In Hawaii,
coins may not to be placed in one's ears. You can wear them in your
nose, on your toes and under your arms but the ears are definitely out.
Magicians take note.
4. In Montana, it is illegal for married women to go fishing
alone on Sundays. And it is illegal for unmarried women to fish alone at
all. This law is so critical to the upholding of ethical behavior in
the state that the Billings Convention and Visitors Bureau featured the
tidbit of information on its website.
5. In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their
husbands to wear false teeth. But a note from hubby should make it all
ok again no matter where the spectacle occurs.
6. In Australia, you'll never be far from a comfortable bed of
sorts if you are in a taxi. Taxicabs are required by law to carry a bale
of hay in the trunk at all times.
7. In Singapore – a country where caning is not an act reserved
for wicker furnishings, and mandatory death penalties are handed down
for many narcotics offenses – take care of what you do with that plastic
water bottle. A litter law dating from 1968 states if you drop trash on
the ground you can pay up to $1,000. Do it again and you might be
forced to do community labor and pay another fine. Even worse you'll
have to wear a bright fluorescent jacket that says in so many words, "I
am a litter lout." Similar statutes are in place for relieving yourself
in an elevator. Better keep that plastic water bottle handy.
8. In Switzerland, it is illegal to flush the toilet after 10
p.m. in most apartment houses. Polite as always, this considerate
population would rather suffer a build up in the toilet bowl than a row
with neighbors over the roar of flushing through the midnight hours.
9. In Thailand, it is illegal to leave the house without wearing
underwear. Perhaps it's a public health issue or a law aimed at the
ladies of Patpong who might be practicing their amazing feats while
walking through the supermarket or seated on the bus. It is not clear
how the law is enforced, however, nor what the penalty is and whether a
note from one's spouse will make everything right again.
10. In Connecticut, it is illegal cross the street while walking on your hands in Hartford, Connecticut.