Dumb State Laws That Made Me Laugh

Fab photo from Lynn Kelley ~ WANA Commons

Fab photo from Lynn Kelley ~ WANA Commons

We like to get our giggle on every Monday here at More Cowbell and earlier this week, I saw just the thing to get us started:

Dumb Florida State Laws – over on Kelly Miller’s site.

My Florida favorites were:

  • It is considered an offense to shower naked. (Perhaps they should define “shower.”)
  • You may not fart in public places after 6 pm. (Hubs: Bet it gets gaseous at 5:45.)
  • Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal. (Thanks so much for telling me!)

Here’s my favorite Dumb Laws from my own sunny California:

  • California prison workers will no longer be allowed to have sex with inmates.
  • Women may not drive in a house coat. (I don’t know if any Cali gals own a housedress.)
  • No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour. (Whew.)
  • It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.
  • Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of taverns, schools, or places of worship.
  • Sunshine is guaranteed to the masses. (Huh.)

Some cities have their own version of idiocy in addition to the state’s.

Blythe: You are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own 2 or more cows.

Carmel: A man can’t go outside while wearing a jacket and pants that don’t match.

[Doesn’t it seem like there are LOTS of fashion-related rules?]

Chico: Detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results in a $500 fine.

Also in Chico: Bowling on the sidewalk is illegal.

[Note to self: Avoid Chico! There’s nuclear devices and an abnormal fixation on bowling.]

Dana Point: One may not use one’s own restroom if the window is open. (What?!)

Eureka: A man with a moustache may not kiss a woman. (I wonder who they can kiss.)

Hermosa Beach: Public restrooms must be supplied with toilet paper. (Amen.)

Hollywood: It is illegal to drive more than 2000 sheep down Hollywood Blvd. at one time.

Indian Wells:

  • Drinking intoxicating cement is prohibited. (Why would you drink any cement?)
  • It’s illegal for a trumpet player to play his instrument with the intention of luring someone to a store.

Los Angeles has some doozies:

  • Zoot suits are prohibited.
  • Toads may not be licked. (Wish someone had told me when I was still dating!)
  • You cannot bathe two babies in the same tub at the same time. (I call “multiple birth discrimination!”)

Pacific Grove: It is illegal to molest butterflies. (I REALLY don’t want to know.)

Pasadena: It is illegal for a secretary to be alone in a room with her boss. (How do they get any freaking work done?)

Prunedale: Two bathtubs may not be installed in the same house. (You must be joking.)

Riverside: One may not carry a lunch down the street between 11 and 1 o’clock.

Crazy San Francisco laws:

  • Giving or receiving oral sex is prohibited. (I’ll be they’ve repealed this law.)
  • It is illegal to wipe one’s car with used undies. (That’s one I can get behind, IYKWIM…)
  • Persons classified as “ugly” may not walk down any street.

In San Jose and Sunnyvale it is illegal for grocery stores to provide plastic bags.

All laws came from: http://www.dumblaws.com/laws/united-states/california

Hubby and I have contemplated moves to Washington State and Texas…now I’ve got to go look up their “most idiotic” laws. If you click the link above, you’ll be able to locate the laws in your state. There’s international laws there too.

What’s your fave crazy law above? Did you look up your state? Share the “best of your worst” with us in the comments section! Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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61 Responses to Dumb State Laws That Made Me Laugh

  1. I love looking up dumb state laws. My favorite is the one from Pennsylvania – you can’t sleep on top of your refrigerator out in your yard. I’m sure that more than one comfy night’s sleep has been ruined because of that.

    There’s one somewhere about husbands having to walk in front of the vehicle if their wives are driving. Which I think is a damn good law…if the hubby is well insured. 😉

    And now I have two observations about the ones you posted.

    First, Jenny, I have a challenge for you. Your mission is to find a farmer with 1,999 sheep…and have him drive them down Hollywood Blvd. Your job will be to film this event…with a copy of the law in hand, of course.

    And…if people can’t carry their lunch down the street between 11 and 1, can they carry large snacks? Or an early supper? 🙂


  2. Laura Drake says:

    I’m never going to San Fran again. How embarrassing would it be to be arrested for ‘walking ugly?’


  3. “Zoot suits are prohibited.”

    Honestly, shouldn’t that be an amendment to the Constitution and not just a law in LA?


    • Hmm. My cousin, the best man, and groomsmen were all supposed to have worn Zoot suits at his wedding…and they all looked pretty snappy. However, looking them up on Google images, I’m thinking they must have gone with a more modern, updated version because I know their waistbands didn’t even come close to their underarms.

      But yes, I agree….with the older pictures…they should have been prohibited. Yuck!

      I also think there needs to be an amendment stating that zoot IS a legal word for Scrabble.


  4. Cate Russell-Cole says:

    Sorry, but I am backing up Pasedena: I’ve worked with some rotters I’d much, much, much rather NOT ever be alone with EVER again. Never. Sensible that. I may also move to Eureka. 😉


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      See, obviously you are a hotter-looking secretary than I was. Nobody ever made moves on me. 🙂 I’m not a fan of facial hair either, I’ve gotta confess.


      • Cate Russell-Cole says:

        No… I wasn’t hit on. I was screamed at for being too nice, to caring and too sensitive to his needs, then he kinda, well… lost the plot and when I stood up to him, thankfully he fired me. Though was was a little bit disappointing. I’d always said, if ever fired, I wanted to be fired out of a cannon. No cannon. Damn scary stuff alone on the 10th floor of a building after hours.


  5. KA-SNORT! on Kristy’s assignment. WTG, Kristy!

    When (not if) our house sells this time ’round and I am free to pursue my road-warrior free-to-be-me adventures, my plan is to break one stupid law per state. I’ve been to that site before and think WTF??? after I stop laughing. And, before I make notes for future blogs on stupid laws.

    No. You may not delegate Kristy’s challenge, Jenny. Unless you (1) find the farmer, and (2) gather the 1,999 sheep. One of them must be black. Give your posse a shout-out when you accomplish those prep tasks. I’m sure one of us *whistling* will come to your rescue.

    I have plans for making a law breaker out of The Cowbell while she takes that wild Texas ride with me.

    Alert! Conference attendees for RWA Nationals!: Break out your rulers! In Atlanta, It is illegal to have a pubic hair longer than 6 inches. Go on. Go check. One never knows when a sleeper might have a growth spurt.


  6. filbio says:

    Can you imagine if these laws were actually enforced? It would be like Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes police!

    I better put away my nuclear device and stop molesting those butterflies while giving or receiving oral sex in SF!


  7. “Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of taverns, schools, or places of worship.” I am glad someone finally thought of the children. One of my favorites like this is an old NH law stating that you had to get a permit from the town in order to take a bath. *shudder*


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Sounds like there are some dirty birds over there in New Hampshire!!! I want to know how they decide “how far is far enough?” in terms of the taverns, schools and churches. This just fascinates me.


    • Oh! Oh! An even better way to have fun with NH? Prior to my arrival in that beautiful state (well, it is!), I could send a request for a permit to bathe while in the state. Must. Get. Statute. Reference. Numbers.

      Okay. That does it. Gotta get some blog ping-back groove on with this post.

      An exemption to the law against walk backwards past a vendor in Cleveland (? I think that’s the city in Ohio). I read magazines back to front. I choose my food the same way. Let the State Legislature ponder that one.

      And, if none of the states respond? It’s a Letter to the Editor waiting to happen.


  8. Honey, you do not want to know about Louisiana. 🙂


  9. Jenny, Jenny, Jenny… May you never cease to enlighten and entertain me. Here is the New Hampshire dumb law guaranteed to get me in hot water: “You may not tap your feet, nod your head, or in any way keep time to the music in a tavern, restaurant, or cafe.” I’m screwed. IYKWIM. 😉


  10. Julie Glover says:

    I had a history teacher in high school who shared some dumb laws in Texas. I only remember two. But I would assume these are still on the books since repealing a law is like herding 2,000 political sheep in one direction.

    1. It’s illegal to spit on the sidewalk. Which made total sense when women wore long skirts and didn’t want to accidentally start dragging a loogy (sp?) down the street.
    2. You may not walk your alligator down the street without a leash. So apparently you CAN walk an alligator down the street as long as you have control of him with a leash. As if.

    It should be law that upon entering the state, you promise to use the word “y’all” at least once a month and that you will never, ever wear a pair of cowboy boots with high-water pants. 😉


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Julie, thanks for telling me about the boots! I see people wear them with shorts and skirts, so I wasn’t aware there was a rule about pant length.

      Gators on a leash…LOL.


  11. From looking at some of these laws, it appears that owning alligators was a big deal at one time! Julie Glover isn’t allowed to walk hers down the street in Texas unless it’s on a leash, and here in Arkansas it’s illegal for us to keep our alligators in the bathtub.

    And speaking of Arkansas, it’s pronounced AR-can-saw, and it’s illegal to pronounce it incorrectly. Also, the correctly pronounced Arkansas River can rise no higher than the Main Street Bridge in Little Rock. I’d be interested to know how they intend to incarcerate a river if it breaks this law.

    We also seem to be preoccupied with eating establishments: it’s against the law to honk your car horn at a sandwich shop after 9:00 p.m., and it’s illegal to “suddenly start or stop” your car at a McDonald’s, which kind of blows that whole drive-thru thing.


  12. Um, I am guaranteed sunshine. I don’t see it. Do I sue Mother Nature, or California?

    Someone actually had to sit down to write these laws! I’m afraid. I’m very afraid of our lawmakers.


  13. My favorite New York law is: The penalty for jumping off a building is death. There are some howlers in there, Jenny. Thanks for the laugh–although my colleagues at the day job may not appreciate the howling coming from my cubicle. 🙂


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m sure your colleagues love it. Post a few in the breakroom and they’ll be howling right along with you. 🙂 Death, indeed….Somebody REALLY brainy wrote that law.


  14. Looks like Texas is trying to control the weather. LOL Though you can’t blame us. It’s pretty hot and humid right now. LOLOL


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Everything’s bigger in Texas…even the ego. Cuz there is noooo way anyone in the state capital would even make a dent in the weather (unless they swung by Chico for some nuclear devices).


  15. Thanks for the laugh, Jenny! I can’t get the vision of wiping one’s car with used undies!


  16. I drafted a post months back about my state, but I’m often embarrassed enough without bringing up the more ridiculous laws. “Dogs may not molest cars.” Nice law, Kentucky.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Dang, that’s about as bad as “Don’t molest the butterflies.” I’d really like to see how they define all this “molesting.” Sounds like we’re electing some filthy-minded politicians, eh?


  17. So what I’m gathering from this is that everyone – and I do mean everyone – has broken some kind of law somewhere. I’ve broken many, apparently.

    And I really want to know who’s the lucky bastard going to count all of those sheep coming down Hollywood Boulevard. Because, now that I know the limit, I’m thinking of running 1,999 down just for kicks and jollies. Can’t want to watch some poor sap counting sheep. Think he’ll fall asleep in the process? I’m going to bet he/she will. I’ll just wait for them to nod off and then proceed driving the sheep north. Or south. Or east. (Not sure which way Hollywood Blvd runs.)

    Can you see the headlines? “Woman wrangler legally drives 1,999 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard.”

    Dumb asses. That’s all I’ve got to say.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Dumb asses sums it up well, Patricia. LOL.

      Pleeeeeeaaaaase let August and I be your baton twirlers or something while you herd your sheep. If we can stop laughing before we pee ourselves, I think we’d be a great local addition. 😀


  18. Eureka’s dumb law made me think they’d been watching too many Village People videos…. or 70’s “adult” films.


  19. Jess Witkins says:

    So if two animals are caught mating in public, who gets the fine? And then…who pays it?

    These are some seriously fascinating laws. LOL


  20. Since I just moved to Maryland I looked up the laws just so I know what I’m violating: Persons may not swear while on the highway. All that road rage and all you can legally say is “darn it!”.

    If you’re in Baltimore, you can’t curse at all. Someone should tell all the people around the ball park. It’s also illegal to throw bales of hay from a second-story window, and sadly
    It is a violation of city code to sell chicks or ducklings to a minor within 1 week of the Easter holiday. Apparently any other time it’s okay.

    And in my previous home state of Texas, a recently passed anticrime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed. But my absolute favorite is: up to a felony charge can be levied for promoting the use of, or owning more than six dildos. Watch out Texas ladies…better go check your drawers for the dildo count! 😀


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  23. John Holton says:

    “Eureka: A man with a moustache may not kiss a woman. (I wonder who they can kiss.)”

    A porcupine?


  24. kandy braley says:

    I love dumb laws. Though I am trying to change one myself. In the state of Massachusetts you can not buy private health insurance IF your employer makes it available to you. It causes a lot of problems for people when a job offers horrible insurance.


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