Odd Laws Can Turn High-Heeled Hare-Tinters Into Outlaws


You can’t dye rabbits in Prince George’s County. It’s against the law. The Washington Post reviews this other weird local laws across America. High heels are banned in Carmel, Calif., unless you get a permit to wear them. It’s a misdemeanor to call to an animal at the zoo in Idaho Falls, Idaho. And it’s illegal to sell gasoline to a drunk person in Fresno, Calif. Whistling — loud enough for someone 50 feet away to hear it — is unlawful in Greenbelt between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. And leave your cow at home when passing through Bowie; it’s illegal to lead or ride one on the sidewalks.

Legislation is usually humorless stuff. But time does funny things to laws. Prohibitions that once made perfect sense can spoil with age. Long forgotten, they linger for decades on the pages of law books from Anaheim, Calif., to Gaithersburg, restricting everything from trick-or-treating to mule riding to bowling. They are signposts to a long-lost era, when it was necessary to regulate the washing of horses on sidewalks and to set penalties for speaking falsely of a woman’s chaste character. In these litigious times, more and more of these laws are being wiped off the books by lawmakers seeking an embarrassment-free code of ordinances.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/22/AR2005052200963.html

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