Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Silly, Silly Laws




Yet another little diversion from a point that was mentioned in class. Susan mentioned a law that was around when she lived in Tennessee that prohibited more that three unrelated females to live in the same dwelling - thus preventing brothels and, as it turns out, sororities . . . Click the links to check out the silly, silly laws.

Silly Law Site One
Silly Law Site Two

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

The silly laws were pretty entertaining. However, I surprised that there were not any old racist or sexist laws, forbidding women or African Americans of things, you know, like the Alabama Constitution.

V Holloway Tusc.

scarlett holt said...

Re: V. Holloway
I laughed at some of these laws and also realized that they were dated. You bring a good point about the missing element of racism and sexism. Howver,I am glad, as am sure that you were that it was missing!
Scarlett H.

scarlett holt said...

Re: V Holloway
I laughed at some of these laws, and realized that they were dated. You make a good point at the missing elements of racism and sexism, however, I am glad, and am sure that you were too, that they were missing.
Scarlett H.

jefN gadsden said...

I love how Kentucky operationally defines "sober". I wonder if Jim Beam had something to do with that.

jefN gadsden said...

There were laws forbidding females from doing things: appearing unshaven in public, driving a car unless there is a man waving a red flag, more than 8 women may not live in the same house, doing their own hair without being licensed by the state, and wearing patent leather shoes in public.

Tiffiney Brittingham said...

Very Very funny...I want to know what situation arised to make this laws a law! I really need to know who was the first person to throw a moose out of a moving airplane in Alaska! lol...

Tiffiney Brittingham said...

I agree with Scarlett the laws were dated and I live in Alabama. I have really had enough of the ignorant laws in this state. There is not much humor left in those anymore...

Tiffiney Brittingham

Kristie said...

Re: Scarlett Holt, I agree Scarlett, i laughed at these laws as well but, the element of racism and sexism is very real in some of these laws. Interesting to see what was serious enough to be law is no funny enough to be laughed at. Kristie R.

Amy H. said...

Reading these silly laws really made me wonder what the law makers were thinking when these laws were voted on and put into place. Most of these laws are very dated and should have been updated or taken out years ago.

Anonymous said...

Wow...it is scary to see how lawmakers wasted their time on these silly laws. The Tennessee law that prohibits the consumption of roadkill was very interesting. I thought that the Alabama law that stated it was illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle was especially unique. Someone actually had to have tried this to see that it did not work and should not be legal.

Robin G.-Gadsden

Stacy said...

I like that you can shoot WHALES from a vehicle but cannot lasso a fish!! What a riot. Where in Tennessee are there going to be whales to even shoot for that law to have been made. In response to the other postings I just want to assure you that you can count on the fact that Tennessee still has racist and sexist laws, although Alabama is definitely the worst. Thanks Josh, reading the silly laws was a highlight to my day.

Stacy said...

Hey Josh, I keep forgetting to put my name on my blogs. I'm sure that you can tell but if you cannot please let me know. I will try to do a better job. Stacy C.

Tysie Baker said...

Okay, stealing a horse is punishable by hanging, come on people. I am so tired of the craziness that is still alive. People do not even use horses to get from one point to another point anymore, so my question is, why do the laws still exist? States should hire me to clean out all the ignorance.

Tysie Baker said...

I agree with Tiffiney, I live in Alabama also, and this mess is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they were sober and if so, what was going on at that time that they would have created such laws.

LDW

Anonymous said...

I agree with Robin, someone had a bunch of time on their hands and didn't use it wisely. It's hard to believe that such laws exist.

LDW

Kimberly said...

These silly laws were very funny. I especially like the one that says that it is illegal to spit on the sidewalk. I wish more states would adopt that law. I hate that. lol

LaTasha T. said...

These laws are truly pathetic. I would like to see the cases that surround these laws being put into place. This just goes to show that having the government involved in people's "personal" affairs and lives can be a bad thing. These laws contradict with the U.S. Constitution as well as human rights! That is also the case for many other laws. I think that policymakers and interest groups need to come together and do some evaluation on their state's constitution!


I would hate to live in Indiana during the winter if "bathing" is forbidden! :)

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that stupid laws like this really exist and that lawmakers are wasting precious time making these laws. The funnest was the law stating it was illegal to spit on the sidewalk. This to sounds silly but not a bad law.
Faye

Anonymous said...

I agree with Scarlett that the laws were dated. I am not originally from Alabama but I find it not only silly but embarassing to see such things in a state that I now reside in.
Faye

Destin C said...

Latasha, I agree with you - I was going to comment the same thing- that it must have been rough in Indiana during the winter with NO BATHING! What about Pennsylvania requiring men to have a note from their wife to purchase alcohol?
However, Im sure some ladies would appreciate this one. These were out there!

Destin C- Gadsden said...

These were entertaining to say the least. Josh, my husband and I had a good laugh! I was surprised at how personal a few of the laws were- appropriate or not. I am shocked that Alabama did not rank right up there with the most ridiculous. Evidently Alabama has updated more proficiently than the other states. I agree with another comment that they need to hurry and revise those, omit, etc. for the ignorance and reflection upon those states. Glad though that some appear more backwards than our state - Alabama having the longest operative consitution of anywhere in the world.I am an animal activist so I particularly disliked the one that stated any person crippling or killing a proud dog at large would not be held liable.

Anonymous said...

I just went back and read some of the blogs that you guys wrote after I posted last and I agree, it is craziness how outdated these laws are. It just goes to show you that although you might think you are living in an up to date world, really in some areas that matter most it is not the case. Just think about social welfare policy in the same light. I mean I don't know very much about it but if state laws can be so outdated I bet you that some of the really important laws that many of us serve under are too!!! STACY C.

ojwashington said...

These laws are hilarious, but the sad fact is that somebody was responsible for doing things which caused these laws to be enacted.

ojwashington said...

Re: V. Hollway

I agree with you about the lack of laws that that violated the rights of minorities, women and other populations. I guess we can always depend on good Ole Alabama to be one of our nation's front runners in the oppression of these populations.

Teresa D. / Gadsden Center said...

Do states not periodically review their laws? Some are surely dated, like Tennessee's law that said "When you pull up to a stop sign you must fire a gun out the window to warn horse carriages that you are coming." Some made me wonder what caused them to make the laws like Alabama's law that said, "It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle." Couldn't they just give them a ticket for wreckless driving? But the one that really got me was the one from Connecticut
that said, "You can be stopped by the police for biking over 65 miles per hour." I have never seen a bicycle go 65 miles per hour! I did, however google this and many have set records faster than that! amazing!!

Teresa D. / Gadsden Center said...

reply to jefn gadsden:
You are right Jeff. There were many laws regarding women. So 8 women can't live in the same household, but 8 men can? Women can't appear in public unshaven, but men can? Maybe we can get women's lib involved???

Gina Smith said...

I to agree that these laws seem silly, unnecessary, and a waste of time, but have you ever read some of the warnings on the daily products that we use? What I find unbelievable is that somewhere in this world, maybe even the town that we live in, there is somebody that did something so stupid that should have been common sense to not have done, that these warnings needed to be placed on the product. Unnecessry lawsuits, for example, suing McDonald's because your coffee was hot, you spilled it on you, and they did not warn you the coffee was hot, has also added to a lot of these warnings. Like Forrest Gump said, "Stupid is as stupid does."

chadknight said...

My favorite is that you're considered sober in Kentucky until you "can't hold onto the ground." Does that mean you're sober until you fall to the ground? Some of these laws are not only dated but simply ridiculous.

chadknight said...

Good point V. Holloway made about the lack of racist laws. I'm sure there are plenty of them out there if you look hard enough.

Anonymous said...

These laws are indeed silly and unnecessary. However,we should be asking ourselves why are these laws still on the books.

tiff. varner

Anonymous said...

Re: Tiffany Brittingham

I was thinking the same, as to how these laws came about and are they still necessary in these states.

tiff. v

Anonymous said...

These were really funny and Im so glad I reside in Alabama and not Florida because im sure I would be incarcerated for falling asleep under the hair dryer on a regular basis. Some of my best sleep, neck jerking and all!

CPaulk

Anonymous said...

Re: V. Holloway
I laughed at many of the laws but racist or sexist laws would probably fall under that particular heading, "Racist,Sexist Laws". Having to wait 4 hours before you ride public transportation or go to a movie theatre after eating garlic is silly. Thats why we have breath mints. :)
C.Paulk

Walter L. said...

After reading these laws, my first thought was "which lawmaker moved on to hold national lawmaking positions in the house or senate. Maybe they became Governor or President.

Walter L. said...

I agree with amy these laws are and the lawmakers were not thinking. Walter L.

R.A.Montgomery said...

Rosie A. Montgomery

I was amused by some of these and frightened by other. I love history, and truth is always stranger than any fiction. I wonder, how disgusting or foul smelling the normal populace had to be fore Vermont mandated that everyone bath once a week, or in West Virginia were children were baned from coming to school with breath smelling of wild onions?


Destin C said...
Latasha, I agree with you - I was going to comment the same thing- that it must have been rough in Indiana during the winter with NO BATHING! What about Pennsylvania requiring men to have a note from their wife to purchase alcohol?
However, I am sure some ladies would appreciate this one. These were out there!

I agree with both of you these are crazy laws but somewhere in time theses, laws were actually voted into being by the local populace as a necessary ordinance. This says volumes about us a people, then and now.

Stu J. said...

Alabama's "silly law" on Site 2 re: driving whie blind-folded reads like many warning labels these days. How much "help" do we need in this world?

Stu J. said...

In reply to V. Holloway, I hope that means these laws are off the books. Perhaps over-optimism on my part.

Stu J. said...

In reply to V. Holloway, I hope that means these laws are off the books. Perhaps over-optimism on my part.

Linda B said...

These silly laws showcase the need for state constitutional reform, as well as a review of local laws that are out-dated. A review of the silly laws is also a good indicator of how thinking and political thought has changed through the years. For many of those changes, I am very grateful. It would be nice to have some simple problems that you worry about how people spit in the street. We now have too many real concerns such as drug abuse and identity theft to be making insignificant laws. But, I'll probably pick up the paper soon, and realize that I'm wrong about that also.

Linda B said...

In response to Gina Smith's comment:
I absolutely agree about the silly comments on products - these are obviously there to potentially protect from frivolous lawsuits. I sure many of the silly laws were enacted with the same mindset.

Anonymous said...

Conteria Williams, original post on The Silly Laws

The silly laws were pretty entertaining. I was just so glad that the missing components of racism and sexism was not there. But, I was exspecting it to be present.

Anonymous said...

Conteria Williams, response to Jeff Nelson

I did not agree with the stipulations that were placed on the femals. Because, there is no way that one should have to wait on her husband to go out in the car. But, overall I am thankful that I did not have to endure what they did.

Anonymous said...

- RESPONSE to Tiffany B.

I agree that that the humor is short-lived in reading these. The reality is that there are current laws that oppress certain populations and infringe on personal rights. As Social Work Students who may one day influence policy, we need to keep these laws in mind. Maybe we should think about how future generations will view our current laws and policies in regards to this post. This is motivation to advocate on a micro and macro level.

- ORIGINAL

Hopefully this is one area that history will not repeat itself. Oops, I almost forgot, Alabama does have a law banning the sale of certain intimate “accessories” if you will. For example, there is a store in Oxford, AL that was raided and shut down for a period of time recently for this unspeakable crime. Just when you think we are evolving intellectually; glad to see my tax dollars are at work on the important issues. I didn’t see it listed, but I believe that it used to be against the law to refer to someone as being pregnant. The preferred language was “in that way”.

Matt G. (Gadsden)

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! I think the governments in each state need to get together and clean up these old and outdated laws. Alabama sure does have its share of stupid and racist laws, but I'm sure parents in Nebraska are talking to their children about not burping in church as they don't want mom/dad arrested. Wonder when the last time that one was enforced. In Pennsylvania, the law says men can't buy alcohol without written consent from his wife and in Florida, remember not to tie your elephant to a parking meter without expecting to pay the same amount as you would for a vehicle. I don't know about you, but I've never seen an elephant tied to a parking meter in Florida. But I'll remember this law if I take a notion to do this. Laws such as these make the states, especially the south look backwards and ignorant and isn't that the stereotype we are trying to get away from?
Angel P-Tuscaloosa

S.Ray said...

I think the lawmakers that passed the law about Panhandlers obtaining a $10permit before begging on the streets of downtown Memphis (Passed in 1996)are now serving in the Senate. Some of the recent stuff coming out of Washington makes about as much sense!

David L. said...

No one may eat ice cream on the sidewalk in Lexington, Tennessee. I wonder if this law applies during the summer or winter months? I enjoyed reading and laughing at the different laws.

David L. said...

Faye, I agree with you. It amazing those lawmakers has the time to even think about the silly laws. Maybe one of us will become lawmakers one day in the future and show the “silly” lawmakers what our states and communities truly need.

T M Morgan said...

I thought is was great that it is legal to collect and consume roadkill, but not legal to call a man for a date...they may be onto something there though, it would probably save us women a whole lot of trouble. I guess it would save us even more if we didn't call the men who were out collecting and consuming the roadkill.

T M Morgan said...

What kind of woman would want to cut her own hair anyway? And as for patent leather shoes...who needs them? Ouch! I say, bring back some of the crazy laws...the police need more to do (NOT!)

Karen P said...

It is a shame that these "silly" laws are still on the books. What does that say about the conscientious work of our rational, competent, and qualified government and legal officials? Do they even know that these laws still exist? If they do, why haven't they taken steps to get them removed? If they don't, what does that say?

Karen P.

Karen P said...

Response to Robin:

Good call Robin on the blindfolded driver in Alabama giving it a trial run...LOL. I can just picture some idiot on one of those country back road (probably unpaved), thinking he/she knows the road like the back of thier hand, siking themselves up, probably being urged on by a bunch of other idiots, takes off in the car blindfolded, and lands in a ditch or pond somewhere...OOPS!!!

Karen P.

nikkig said...

I don't even know how to respond the Silly Laws. All I can say is WOW. I wonder what had to have been going on for Alabama to site a law about someone being prohibited from driving blind folded.

nikkig said...

In response to V. Holloway,
You make a good point. I'm shocked by that also.

SWilliams said...

I am always amazed at the silly laws that are developed. I know that a lot of them are actually from years ago, and have never actually been changed on the books. I will say that for anyone interested in making people go wow, there is a board game called Balderdash, it is about getting someone to believe what you come up with. There is a section for definition of words, famous people, and unbelievably silly laws. It is loads of fun and you will never believe what you will learn about those different topics.

SWilliams said...

Nikki, I have to agree with you about the WOW factor. Every time that I read one of these silly laws I wonder why would someone come up with something like that, but then again probably at some point in time someone tried it, at one point or another.

bekkah_s said...

Hahaha! Tennessee's dumb laws are my favorite! I am almost positive that Alabama has one similar to the brothel law. I was told that was the reason that UNA in Florence didn't have any sorority house. Not sure if UA has any or not.
I am so glad to see how far we have come as a nation in just a short time. We still have such a long way to go. But, at least frogs can be free to croak after 11:00, we can sing whatever song we want to, and eat ice cream wherever we want!

bekkah_s said...

I agree with everyone that discussed how ridiculous it is that lawmakers wasted time on developing these laws. I agree with Virginia regarding the racism and sexism that comes through with old laws such as these. I guess that the lawmakers had to validate their jobs in some way to keep their status and power.