Strange Laws

One of the major debates raging today in the US is the battle between federal and states’ rights. Many states feel that state law trumps federal law when a conflict arises. According to the US Constitution, federal law takes precedence, but with all the rhetoric bouncing around on this subject, maybe we should review some of the laws the states have managed to pass on their own:



  • Mispronouncing “Arkansas” is a crime – anyone with a “Yankee” accent is automatically targeted.
  • The Arkansas River can rise no higher than the Main Street Bridge in Little Rock. I’m glad to see Mother Nature complying with that regulation.
  • School teachers who bob their hair are prohibited from getting raises. Only their hairdressers know for sure.
  • Oral sex is considered sodomy. Now that law’s a mouthful.
  • A man can legally beat his wife once a month. This coincides with the “one Saturday night a month” bath rule.


South Carolina:

  • Men can only beat their wives on Sundays on the courthouse steps.



  • Camel hunting is prohibited.
  • It is illegal to manufacture imitation cocaine. Nothing is said about manufacturing “real cocaine.”
  • If you commit a misdemeanor while wearing a red mask, it is considered a felony. However, wearing yellow, blue, or green masks while committing a misdemeanor is still a misdemeanor.


New Jersey:

  • It is illegal to wear a bullet proof vest while committing murder. This is also known as “The Sopranos Law.”
  • All motorists must honk before passing another car, bicyclist, skater, or even a skateboarder. Not surprising. The only automobile controls most people from NJ ever learn about are the accelerator and the horn. And road rage.
  • No “soup slurping” for you.
  • It is against the law for a man to be knitting during fishing season.
  • It is illegal to “frown” at police officers.
  • Handcuffs cannot be bought by minors. No matter how many times they’ve seen 50 Shades of Gray.



  • Mourners attending a wake are prohibited from eating more than three sandwiches.
  • Shooting ranges are not allowed to use targets that look like humans
  • Bullets may not be used as money.
  • Quakers and witches are banned.
  • Tomatoes are not allowed to be used when making clam chowder.
  • All men must carry a rifle to church with them although it is illegal to hunt on Sundays. Bet that causes some internal conflicts.
  • Taxi drivers are prohibited from having sexual relations in the front seat of their taxis when they are on duty. But, won’t that affect their tips?
  • A woman cannot be on top during sexual activities. Especially in the front seat of a taxi while the driver is on duty.



  • The Texas legislature funds the study of weather control. Once again, Mother Nature probably has some say in this.
  • It’s illegal to sell one’s eye. We’ll see about that!
  • The Encyclopedia Britannica is banned because it includes a recipe for making beer at home.
  • It’s a misdemeanor to take more than three sips of beer while standing up. Of course, doing that in Arizona while wearing a red mask is a felony.
  • It’s illegal to shoot a buffalo from a second story hotel room. Seems to be ok from the first or third floor though.
  • Milking someone else’s cow is definitely a no-no.



  • You must obtain a sheriff’s permission to cross dress. Sorry, RuPaul.



  • It’s illegal to point sprinklers so they annoy passersby. Awww…



  • It’s illegal to give a dog a lighted cigar. Woof!

Cities and towns also do their part to add to weird laws across the country:


Rohoboth, DE

  • You may not pretend to sleep on a bench on the Boardwalk. Either pass out or move on.


Dallas, TX

  • It is illegal to own “realistic looking” vibrators. It’s is also against the law to own more than six vibrators. The town fathers must have had real “confidence” problems to pass those laws.


Lee County, Alabama

  • It’s illegal to drive while blindfolded.
  • It’s against the law to wear a moustache to church that will cause laughter.
  • It’s illegal to play dominoes on Sundays.


In Barre, VT

  • A law states everyone must bathe on Saturday night.


The most widespread of these strange laws however deals with donkeys. In Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia and Brooklyn, NY, laws are on the books prohibiting donkeys from sleeping in bathtubs. I never realized that displacing donkeys in order to bathe was such a huge problem.

Be glad you’re not a donkey on a winter’s Saturday night in Barre, VT.