Friday, July 22, 2011

Nutso Laws and Charging Bosoms

Thought for the day:  The real problem is not whether machines think, but whether men do.  B.F. Skinner

Have you ever wondered how (and why) legislators continually contrive to come up with more and more new laws every year? I mean, come ON! Shouldn't these solons have covered everything up, down, back, forth, and sideways by now? God deemed TEN relatively short and to-the-point commandments to be sufficient, but our earthly lawmakers seem to ascribe to a more is better mentality, as though their paychecks depended on them regurgitating a never-ending list of long-winded laws, statutes, and regulations every year. Thankfully, the laws of God and nature remain the same, but the laws of man have a way of changing at the whim of our legislators, and we the people are expected to know what they are and to obey them.

Gimme your hat; it's time to make dinner.
An article in this week's newspaper told the tale of Austrian Niko Alm's response to his country's law regarding head coverings. The only time they're to be allowed in official documents is if they are being worn  for religious reasons. When it came time for Mr. Alm, an atheist, to renew his driver's license, he submitted a picture of himself with a colander on his head. Said he was a pastafarian. Took him three years to get past all the official hemming and hawing, but he got his license, colander and all.

As they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Emulating our fellow citizens in the hopes that THEY are obeying the laws doesn't always work, either. There's an old movie called Starman,  in which a man is driving an alien around, who concludes by observation that an amber traffic light means drive faster. And in parts of most cities in the world, one could assume by observation that it's perfectly legal to urinate in public. Or to panhandle. Or to throw trash on the ground. So, how, pray tell, are we to know?

Easy. You've got ME to tell you! Okay, so these laws I'm going to tell you about aren't ones you're ever likely to break, and it's probably a pretty safe bet that the legislators aren't even aware of them anymore. But they ARE currently on the books. Today, we're going to take a peek at some of the laws currently on the books in the state of Alabama.

  • Bear wrestling matches are illegal. (just in case you were considering it ...)
  • It's illegal to wear a false mustache that causes laughter in church. (I guess ridiculously funny REAL mustaches and fake ones with a serious side are OK)
  • You may NOT flick boogers into the wind. 
  • It's illegal to sell peanuts in Lee County after sundown on Wednesdays.
  • You may NOT play dominoes on Sundays.
  • Putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death. (Yipes! How about PEPPER?)
  • It is LEGAL to drive the wrong way on a one-way street if you have a lantern attached to the front of your automobile. 
  • You may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time. (oh, darn!)
  • In the event of divorce, women are able to retain all property they owned prior to marriage. However, this provision does not apply to men. 
  • It's illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while driving.
  • In Anniston, it's illegal to wear blue jeans down Noble Street. (So, what? People strip them off?)
  • In Auburn, men who deflower virgins, regardless of age or marital status, may face up to five years in jail. (Um, does this apply to the wedding night?)
  • In Mobile, women may not wear a "lewd dress" in public. 
  • Also in Mobile, bathing in city fountains is prohibited.
  • AND ... it's illegal to possess confetti. 
  • OR ... spit orange peels on the sidewalk. (In the streets is OK?)
  • OR ... to howl at ladies within the city limits. (AL seems to have it in for men, but if the ladies were wearing a "lewd dress", they might catch a break on this one ...)
  • Last mention for Mobile: it's unlawful to wear women's pumps with sharp high heels. 
  • And in Montgomery, it's illegal to open an umbrella on the street. It might spook the horses. 
See? Dontcha feel better? More informed? Yeah, I thought so. We'll look at the crazy laws of another state next week. For now, it's time for (ta DA!)

The Weirdest News Stories of the Week

**  A Texas gal was only trying to help her future hubby conquer his fear of heights when she convinced him to take a bungee ride with her. The problem? The ride got stuck. While they were on it. Fifty feet off the ground. For three hours, the couple dangled, until firefighters used an aerial ladder to rescue them. Amazingly, the couple still plans to marry in February. However, the experience did NOT conquer this gentleman's fears. It's safe to say he will never, I say NEVER, take another bungee ride again.

Coming into the stretch ...
**  Rain caused a twenty-minute delay in a Norfolk, England race  recently, but the competitors didn't mind. They're snails. This annual event attracts trainers and their snails from all over the country, and each entrant is marked with a number, because as the organizers said, "One garden snail looks very much like another." The record pace was set ten years ago by a snail named Archie, who covered the thirteen-inch track in two minutes flat. Coolest name in this year's race: Optimus Slime. 

**  In this year's running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, the naked truth is, one runner stood out from the crowd. In a sea of runners clad in the traditional white shirt and red neckerchief, a bull zeroed in on an Australian gent who chose a more nontraditional garb. Nothing. The streaker was seriously injured when the bull gored him in the leg, but is expected to recover. He was, however, arrested for causing a public disturbance.

For Dolly Parton's iKini, maybe?
**   New York designer Andrew Schneider created quite a buzz when he came up with a way to charge your gadgets with your boobs. Sorta. Called the iKini, his design, currently available from Solar Coterie for about two hundred dollars, is a bikini covered in photovoltaic strips, (i.e. solar panels) terminated in an USB connector capable of providing 5 volts. And yes, it IS possible to swim in it, ladies, provided you remember to unplug your gadgets first. And oh yeah, better not try to reconnect until you're completely dry. Men, never fear. Another  version is in the works just for you. The solar shorts, to be dubbed iDrink, will feature a higher voltage output capable of  powering a peltier junction, which will connect to a custom coozy, so you can keep your beer cold while charging your iPod. (Too bad Mr. Schneider didn't figure out how to harness methane in his design, too. Some men could power a small TV ...) 

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. This all just blew my mind. Really. I haven't a thought left.

  2. Um, so does that mean that you can drive in AL with your eyes closed? As long as you're not using the blindfold.

  3. I'm doesn't happen often but here I am...speechless.

  4. LOL! Note to self: leave confetti home next time I visit Alabama.

    Thanks for another fascinatingly wacky collection of info!

  5. The ice cream cone get's my vote for silliest law. Why would anyone legislate about ice cream cones?

  6. Hi, All. Thanks, as always, for your comments. You guys (and gals) rock.

    Austan- Must be the heat got to ya.

    Connie- We had a friend, who has since passed away, who'd been blind since birth. When he was in college, his buddies used him as their designated driver when they were too drunk to get behind the wheel. True story. They never got caught (or killed) but I think it was just dumb luck.

    Delores- Wow. Now I'M speechless. (Mark the calendar!)

    Linda- Yeah, cocaine and meth are okay, but definitely ... NO confetti!

    Cro- Beats me. If you can figure out the rationale behind half the kooky laws our illustrious lawmakers pass, you're a smarter man than I. (um, you know what I mean!)

  7. This list is so incredible that I can't even choose one that really stands out! Have you ever thought about working for Letterman or Leno? They should be fighting over you any minute! Julie

  8. Hi, Julie. Thanks for the thought, but nah. I'm just reporting on the funny things that are already out there, not creating them myself. Take care.

    Hi, Alex. Yup. Unfortunately, there are probably more useless laws on the books than there are sensible ones.

  9. I read all this before my day went nuts... and thought, wow, what a wonderful collection of information! Love the variety. They are still actually in place today, those crazy rules? Just shows why we need to be constantly assessing things, and yeah, maybe we need to loosen up somewhat! Survival of the fittest (smartest) and all that. ;)

  10. I am sure that Alabama is not alone in having old, outdated, stupid laws. I am sure you could do 49 more blogs on this subject alone.

    Have been away for awhile but have kept up on your posts (although for some reason, I could not comment). They are always funny and of course, well written. It gave me something to smile about on bluesey days.

    Hope this comment posts, I am having better luck today.

  11. Hi, Carrie. Glad you enjoyed it. I have no trouble loosening up. (Gravity's taking care of that for me quite well.)

    Hi, Starting Over. You read my mind. I plan to cover the weird laws of a different state (or country) each Friday. (or at least, until I get bored with the concept.)Sorry you've had some bluesy days, but I'm glad I made you smile.