I’m Under Arrest for What? 50 Bizarre U.S. Laws

Iíve never claimed to have extensive knowledge of U.S. legislation throughout history, but itís safe to say that I and most people I associate with are law-abiding citizens Ö or not. As it turns out, every state in this country has at least one wacky legal stipulation that could land residents in hot water if they donít comply. Donít say I didnít warn you.

Itís illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.

Whispering in someoneís ear while heís moose hunting is prohibited.

Cutting down a cactus may earn you a 25-year prison term.

Itís illegal to mispronounce the name of the state of Arkansas.

You may not eat an orange in your bathtub.

Itís unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor (Denver).

A pickle cannot actually be a pickle unless it bounces.

Itís illegal to get married on a dare.

Washington, D.C.
Itís against the law to post a public notice calling someone a coward for refusing to accept a challenge to duel.

If you tie an elephant to a parking meter, you must pay the same parking fee as you would for a vehicle.

Itís illegal to change the clothes on a storefront mannequin unless you draw the shades first.

All residents may be fined for not owning a boat.

A man must not give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing fewer than 50 pounds.

Itís illegal to take a French poodle to the opera (Chicago).

The value of pi is 4, and not 3.1415.

One-armed piano players must perform for free.

Itís illegal to throw knives at men wearing striped suits (Natoma).

Every citizen is required to take a shower once a year.

Biting someone with your natural teeth constitutes simple assault, but biting someone with your false teeth classifies as aggravated assault.

If you keep your Christmas decorations on display after January 14, youíll be fined.

Itís against the law to wash or scrub a sink, no matter how dirty it is (Baltimore).

No gorilla is allowed in the backseat of any car.

A woman may not cut her own hair without her husbandís permission.

Itís illegal to paint a sparrow with the intent of selling it as a parakeet (Harper Woods).

Walking a dog without dressing it in diapers is forbidden (Temperance).

Children may buy shotguns in Kansas City, but not toy cap guns.

Itís a felony for a wife to open her husbandís mail.

Bar owners may not sell beer unless they brew a kettle of soup simultaneously.

Itís illegal for men with mustaches to kiss women.

New Hampshire
Itís forbidden to sell the clothes youíre wearing to pay off a gambling debt.

New Jersey
Itís against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.

New Mexico
Females may not appear unshaven in public.

New York
While riding in an elevator, you must talk to no one, fold your hands, and look toward the door.

North Carolina
Itís against the law to sing off-key.

North Dakota
Itís illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.

You must honk the horn whenever you pass another car, according to the stateís driverís education manual.

Itís forbidden to take a bite out of another personís hamburger.

State law requires dishes to be drip-dried.

Itís illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.

Rhode Island
You may not bite off another personís leg.

South Carolina
If a man promises to marry an unmarried woman, he is required by law to keep his promise.

South Dakota
It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory.

Selling hollow logs is strictly forbidden.

You may not shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.

It is illegal not to drink milk.

Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

Tickling a woman is unlawful.

Itís illegal to pretend that oneís parents are wealthy.

West Virginia
If you make fun of someone who does not accept a challenge, you risk a six-month prison sentence.

Unless a customer specifically requests it, margarine may not be substituted for butter in a restaurant.

Unless you have an official permit, you may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April.

This Court Is Adjourned
Whew! With all this legislation, itís a wonder weíre not all sharing a prison cell right now. Granted, something tells me the Los Angeles Police Department has bigger fish to fry than popping people who dare to eat oranges while bathing, and that most people who saw me catching some shut-eye on top of a fridge in Pennsylvania wouldnít call the cops on me, but you never know when you might come across that rare whistle-blower who wants you persecuted to the fullest extent of the law, so itís probably better to be safe than sorry. The next time I tie up my elephant at a parking meter in Florida, Iíll be sure to bring a pocket full of quarters.

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By Annie Tucker Morgan, DivineCaroline


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

id like to know the stories behind some of these. bahahaha

Lika S.
Lika P5 years ago

These were so crazy, they made me laugh.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

"A pickle cannot actually be a pickle unless it bounces." Lol, since when do pickles bounce?

Idk why some are these laws are one the books. No surprise, some of them even crossed personal choices while others made me wonder what was the story behind the creation of certain laws.

pam w.
pam w5 years ago

The mind REELS at these things (with the exception of the very important Ariz. law which Kynthia explained just now.)

Illegal NOT to drink milk?

I assume the Utah dairy industry is quite powerful.

Kynthia R.
Kynthia Rosgeal5 years ago

The AZ law about getting fined for cutting down cacti is not bizarre (one of the few laws in that state that aren't). This was done to protect Sugauro cactus, those giant limbed cacti that look like a man with his arms raised. They are very sensitive to changes and are rustled (literally stolen from property at night) by cactus rustlers, who typically sell these cacti for huge profit in CA where they die within a few years.

Having had to face rustlers on my property back when I lived in AZ, I was glad I had someone with me and we were both armed,

Brandy Kathavong
Brandy K5 years ago

Interesting...and possible? Wow! Thanks for the post!

Roger M.
Past Member 5 years ago

Very good. Thanks.

Susie B.
Susie B5 years ago

I'm from Arizona and the law about cactus is to protect the giant saguaros - some that are hudreds of years old. The stupider law is that it is illegal to shoot camels between Tucson and Phoenix!

Jenna W.
jen b5 years ago

I can think of about 50 more stupid laws right off the top of my head

Mary B.
Mary B5 years ago

Well next time I'm in Alabama, I'm going to paste on a fake mustash for sure and walk into a church...
Don't you wonder what the back story on these laws are? You can be sure that this is how the discontent with 'government intrusion' is started and purpetuated. Stupidity that in it's own day may have made some sense. Or not.