29 Sept 2020
I’ve been reading a book that appeals to my sense of humour – it’s about history, and some of the quirky and weirder elements of it 🙂
One section I read last night was about laws that still exist throughout the world. The book specifically looked at laws in the US, but, of course, it made me do a bit of research into what weird laws are still current everywhere.
And, of course, by research, I always mean that I googled it on the computer. I did not seek input from law societies and so forth, so if any of my ‘research’ is inaccurate and you have real concerns that I’m misleading the general public, I can only assume you have way too much time on your hands. I hope you get as much enjoyment from the following list (that is possibly all true) as I did!
In Melbourne it is apparently illegal to dress up as Batman and/or Robin. Go figure. But supposed like also in Melbourne you aren’t allowed to wear pink trousers after midday on Sunday. The big no-no in Victoria, by the way, is that only licensed electricians are legally allowed to change lightbulbs.
Melbourne also has some pretty strict housekeeping rules too – vacuuming your house between 10pm and 7am during weekdays and 10pm and 9am during the weekends is against the law. So don’t think of getting an early start on the housework on the weekend.
Queenslanders aren’t immune from strange laws either. In Brisbane, homeowners are obliged to sweep the footpath outside their homes daily before 8:30am or face a $5,000 fine, with an increase of $500 for each additional day. Qld regulations declare that taxi drivers must carry a bale of hay in the trunk of the car at all times, and in the Gold Coast, it is illegal for women to wear a bikini where the material exceeds six square inches. They have skimpy standards, obviously.
Swimwear is regulated quite a bit – on Brighton Beach in NSW, local laws decree that neck to knee swimsuits must be worn in order to swim. I can only assume that this law is no longer regulated, or that they are just really, really, SunSmart on Brighton Beach!
There is apparently a law in Victoria that say if there is no urinal close, don’t worry – you are legally allowed to urinate on the rear left tire of your vehicle. I’m assuming that this must face all the non-gender specific rules too, and that females also have this freedom. The rest of us can check out the tyres of Victorian cars we see and understand now why one tyre is cleaner than the others.
Supposedly all Aussie bars are required by law to provide a stable, water and feed for the horses of their customers. Obviously they get all hung up on the liquor licensing laws nowadays and not worry about the poor horses. Fortunately the Queensland taxi drivers still have all that hay available for them.
And then from around the world:
In England and Wales, it’s illegal to hold salmon under suspicious circumstances.
In Milan (Italy) it is a legal requirement to smile at all times except at funerals or hospitals.
In Florida, it is illegal to pass wind in a public place after 6pm on Thursdays. It is also illegal to sing while wearing a swimsuit, and unmarried women may not parachute on a Sunday.
In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter.
In Samoa, it is illegal to forget your wife’s birthday.
In Tennessee, it’s illegal to hold public office if a person does any of the following: “fight a duel, or knowingly be the bearer of a challenge to fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge for that purpose, or be an aider or abettor in fighting a duel.”
In New Jersey, it’s a third-degree crime to wear a body vest while “engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit murder, manslaughter, robbery, sexual assault, burglary, kidnapping, criminal escape or assault.” If you’re intending to murder someone, don’t wear a bulletproof vest, or you could get in trouble.
In Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, it is strictly forbidden to play chess during sex.
In Switzerland, it Is illegal to own only one goldfish.
In Thailand, you can’t leave the house without wearing underwear. But apparently in Scotland, if a male wears underwear under his kilt, he’s in trouble. My mind boggles about what a Scottish male wearing a kilt in Thailand would do.
In France it’s illegal to name your pig Napoleon.
Apparently it’s illegal to flag down a taxi in England if you have the plague. I’m a little suspicious about this one. Is it just any plague, or one specifically?
This one is sensible – Any child born in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales must be able to spell the town name by the age of six and pronounce it by the age of thirty-four. Fortunately I was born in York.
Another sensible one – it is illegal to ski down a mountain in Switzerland while reciting poetry.
An ancient Norwegian law (according to google, still in use) states that males must go off on expeditions of rape and plunder to nearby countries at least once every 5 years.
It’s legal to marry a dead person in France.
In Arkansas, it’s illegal to keep alligators in your bathtub, and in Alabama it is illegal to wear a fake moustache in church.
I don’t think I’ve broken any of these laws. I don’t play chess anyway.
Have you broken any of them?