It’s The Law

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

Do you remember a few columns back, July 11, I told you that it was against the law in Chicago for extremely ugly people to appear in public? This somewhat controversial, although interesting, bit of information I picked up in Uncle John’s Slightly Irregular Bathroom Reader. I am sure at the time most of us were going through our list of friends trying to decide which ones would likely be turned away, never thinking of course that it’s quite possible you and I would never get across the Illinois border.

Assuming that in their wisdom (an odd choice of words to use when discussing our government, or any government for that matter) our elected officials did pass such a law who would be the judge, and perhaps more important, extremely ugly compared to whom? At the time I was thinking of suggesting some of my friends but after looking in the mirror I may very well qualify myself and realise that I have for some time. That explains why in our wedding pictures I am the one with a bag over his head.

You won’t be surprised to learn there are many, many, more weird laws on the books across the border and no doubt Canada has a bathroom reader-full of stupid regulations up here.

Several whacko laws struck my fancy, but these winners would at least get honourable mention up here and honorable mention down there. (At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, some of the U.S. spellings make more sense than our own. The Canadian edition of Webster’s dictionary cost much more in bookstores than the American version for no other reason than someone must pay for all the extra ‘u’s.)

You can possess one bear gall bladder in California, but not two, which is a shame really since I bought a matched set at a garage sale. I wondered why the lady was snickering as I was walking away.

In Washington D.C. it is against the law to marry your mother-in-law. I wondered at the time if that really was that much of a problem south of the border but then I remembered that a buxom Anna Nichole Smith married J. Howard Marshall when he was 89 and she was but a child of 27, granted she may have been, shall we say, around. But who knows, one of his sons might have been interested.

I remember at the time, Marshall ‘s doctors warned him such an age difference could be fatal once the bedroom action started, but as J. Howie put it, “If she dies, she dies.”

Did you know it is illegal to sleep naked in Minnesota, but what if one were with the mother-in-law and both wore a hat?

Maine law states that you may not catch a lobster with your bare hands – as if you would want to.

In Arizona donkeys, by law, may not sleep in bathtubs.

Detroit law prohibits a man from scowling at his wife on a Sunday.

Apparently, it is not a problem the rest of the week. I understand the logic, but what if the poor guy was tired and sweaty from a long day on the golf course and when he dropped into the tub there was a flipping donkey in there sound asleep? Those suckers take up a lot of room. I believe you also learned in one of my columns that donkeys have the loudest farts in the animal kingdom. If you plan to move to Arizona once the pandemic is over, you might want to consider having acoustic walls installed in the john.

Exploding an atomic bomb in Chico, California is punishable by a $500 fine. I understand the reasoning for such a law but if for a bit of a joke, one did set one off, to where does one mail the cheque assuming the authorities can find enough of one to write it.

In Stockton, California, it’s illegal to wiggle while you dance. An interesting aside here, Chubby Checker sold no records in Stockton and Elvis was skunked there too.

How many people in Victoria, Australia does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, but he (or she) must be a licensed electrician. I guess if we were walking around upside down all the time, that would be the law up here too.

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