Ettie Newlands

It came up at a family dinner that in Blythe, California, people aren’t allowed to wear cowboy boots unless they own at least two cows.

Also in California, in Carmel specifically, there was a law against standing on the sidewalk with ice cream. The concern was it would melt and make the sidewalk yucky. When Clint Eastwood was the mayor, he repealed that law. Apparently, he’s not just a pretty face. And oh yes, even at his advanced age…

There is also, reportedly, a law that animals cannot mate publicly within 1,500 feet of a church, bar or school. Let’s assume that applies to people as well.

But wait, those aren’t the strangest laws ever on the California books. Since 1920, it was deemed illegal to eat an orange in the bathtub. It was believed the citric acid would mix with bath oil and cause an explosive mixture. Kiwi and mangoes are okay.

Redondo Beach law says it’s illegal for a dog to bark after 6 p.m. Teaching a dog to tell time sounds a bit tricky.

But contrary to the general consensus, California isn’t the strangest state we have.

In Michigan, it’s against the law to curse God.

And along those lines, it is illegal in Alabama to pretend to be a clergyperson. And in Texas, officials cannot be excluded from holding public office because of religious beliefs, but there is a law that the person has to acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.

Also in Alabama, it’s illegal to play Dominoes on Sunday.

Just last year, it became legal to throw snowballs in a particular Colorado town.

In Indiana, if your intention is to get high, it’s illegal to sniff glue. What legitimate reason would anyone possibly have to sniff glue?

In Rhode Island, it’s illegal to bite off someone’s limb. Good to know.

In South Carolina, a dance hall — do they still have dance halls? — cannot be open on Sunday and cannot be within ¼ of a mile of a church or cemetery.

It’s against the law in Georgia to live on a boat for more than 30 consecutive days.

In 1996, Silly String was banned in one Connecticut town.

In Everett, Washington, people can only be hypnotized indoors.

In Oregon, there’s a fine for leaving your car door open for too long. Theoretically, that’s so folks on bikes don’t have to veer to avoid it. Car door veering is apparently an issue.

Don’t even think about selling dog hair in Delaware or selling pickles at Connecticut flea markets.

Never having been caught doing any of these supposedly illegal acts, I cannot vouch for them.

The information came from the internet. And I’m sure there’s a law somewhere saying it’s illegal to question anything we find there.


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