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What the…? That’s a law?! Seriously?!

Yes, it is true that some cities and states still have some crazy laws, and when I read an article by a news website about their five personal favorite “Weird Laws,” I couldn’t help but laugh!

"That's a law?!"

Weird Law No. 5:  Monsters Must Be Licensed — Urbana, Illinois

The basis for this strange city requirement can be found in an act from 1872, which states that “exhibitions of freaks of nature or monsters” staged for profit within city limits must first receive a license from the city clerk.  In all seriousness, you have to applaud the forefathers of Urbana who had the vision to protect the east-central Illinois city from freely roaming monsters. After all, think of the all the damage Tokyo would have been spared if it had had the foresight to license Godzilla.

Weird Law No. 4:  No Tobacco, Alcohol For Park Animals — Dyersburg, Tenn.

If you ever find yourself with time to kill in the western Tennessee town of Dybersburg, be sure to not contribute to the delinquency of a squirrel in the city’s parks.  That’s because the city’s code prohibits “giving an animal or bird tobacco, alcohol or another known noxious substance in city parks.  Maybe some people were all too willing to let crows and other wild birds bum cigarettes? Or perhaps there was a rash of people trying to string out rabbits on meth?

Weird Law No. 3:  Rural Drivers Must Fire Signal Flares Every Mile — Pennsylvania

At one time these Pennsylvania “rules of the road” set up by the Farmer’s Anti-Automobile society probably made pretty good sense.  After firing his (yes, HIS) rocket flare, the motorist was required to wait 10 minutes to ensure all livestock had been startled off the road. Not thoroughly amused yet? The rules also called for a motorist to pull off the road and cover his vehicle so as not to spook an approaching team of horses. And if the horses still were startled? Said motorist then had to “quickly and completely disassemble his motorized vehicle and hide such under the nearest brush or shrubbery.”

Weird Law No. 2:  No Baths In The Winter — Clinton, Indiana

In Boston, people were prohibited from bathing on Sundays, and a doctor’s note was needed on other days. Florida and Portland, Ore., once had laws requiring bathers to wear a bathing suit or other clothing. And Virginia law forbade bathtubs in the house, relegating them to the yard instead.  At that time most doctors thought that people became sick when they got wet or chilled. With some researchers calling for more frequent baths to wash away germs, doctors disagreed and pushed for the bathtub laws.  If you do bathe — and find yourself in Pennsylvania while doing so — just don’t sing in the tub. That used to be illegal too.

Weird Law No. 1:  No Ice Cream Cones In Your Back Pocket — Lexington, Kentucky

You might think it strange today that lawmakers would seek to protect you from a melty mess in your jeans, but there once was a good reason for such laws.  Besides Lexington, this was also once the law of the land in states such as Alabama and Georgia. The reason? Very simple: To stop people from stealing horses.  As anyone who’s ever seen a western can attest, horse thieves were just about the lowest no good, dirty, rotten scoundrels around. Some sunk even lower by using the promise of a pocket ice cream treat to lure horses away. If caught, they could always claim the horse simply followed them home.

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