Thursday, September 06, 2007

Illegal Activities

by Joyce Tremel

Last week, when I was researching some Pennsylvania laws, I came across some strange ones. It's hard to believe that some of these are still on the books.

In Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, it is illegal to walk backwards while eating peanuts in front of Barnstormers Auditorium while a performance is going on.

It is illegal in Morrisville for a woman to wear any kind of cosmetics without acquiring a special permit.

You cannot use dynamite to catch fish.

All liquor stores in Pennsylvania shall be run by the state government. (This one explains a lot.)

Housewives are not allowed to clean by brushing the dirt and dust underneath a rug. (What about brushing it under the furniture?)

It’s illegal to have more than 16 women living in the same domicile. It would be considered a brothel if there were more than that.

It is illegal to discharge a cannon, firearm or any kind of explosive device at a wedding.

A person is not eligible to become Governor if he/she has participated in a duel.

All fire hydrants must be checked one hour before all fires. (Firemen have ESP?)

Any motorist who sights a team of horses coming toward him must pull well off the road, cover his car with a blanket or canvas that blends with the countryside, and let the horses pass. If the horses appear skittish, the motorist must take his car apart, piece by piece, and hide it under the nearest bushes.

In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania it is illegal to have sex with a truck driver inside a toll booth. (Don't you wonder WHY they had to come up with this law?)

In Philadelphia you can't put pretzels in bags.

In the Mount Pocono region any group of 5 or more Native Americans are to be considered a raiding party and may be killed on the spot.

In York, Pennsylvania you can't sit down while watering your lawn with a hose.

In Pittsburgh it is still illegal to bring a donkey or a mule onto a trolley car. No one is allowed to sleep on a refrigerator.

In Tarentum horses are not to be tied to parking meters.

The state law of Pennsylvania prohibits singing in the bathtub. (What about the shower?)

You may not catch a fish by any body part except the mouth.

I'm sure there are more of these out there. How about all of you? Care to contribute silly laws from your own states?


Anonymous said...

OMG, Joyce! These are too funny!

There's a story waiting to be written about any one of these.

Ramona said...

Delaware is too dull to have bizarre laws, but here is one from my home state:

It is considered "simple assault" to bite someone in New Orleans; it is "aggravated assault" if the biter has false teeth.

Anonymous said...

I REALLY want to know the story behind the one about not eating peanuts while walking backwards.

Joyce Tremel said...

The one that really cracked me up was the one you had to take your car apart so you wouldn't scare the horse. I wonder if anyone has actually done that?

The toll booth one was my favorite though.

Ramona, I wonder what the logic is behind that one? Maybe because the teeth aren't attached, they're considered a weapon???

Anonymous said...

I once put a goat in a minivan. I bet that's illegal somewhere. Certainly at Chrysler, because the goat pooped in that pocket thingie on the back of the passenger seat.

It's a long story.

I'm thinking we all need to count up how many of these laws we've broken.

Anonymous said...

Here's some goofy laws I listed in my book:

(For you, Ramona) In Rehoboth Beach, Delaware it's illegal to whisper in church.

Florida: It's illegal for women to parachute on Sunday.

Hawaii: It's illegal to place coins in one's ears.

Oklahoma: It illegal to engage in whaling.

California: It's illegal for a vehicle without a driver to travel over 60 mph.

Florida: It's illegal to sing in public places while wearing a swimsuit.

Oklahoma: It's illegal to have the hind legs of any animal in your boots.

Anonymous said...

Joyce! Don't make me laugh this morning -I have a headache! I would love to research each of these and tell the story of how they ended up as laws to begin with. I wonder if there are transcripts of the discussions about them.

Ramona said...

Thanks for the warning, Lee. Next time I'm in a church in Rehoboth (like I go to church when I'm in Rehoboth!), I'll be sure to yell.

Joyce Tremel said...

Sorry about the headache, Brenda. I'd like to know the story behind all these. You KNOW something happened to make someone think these up in the first place.

Nancy, you have to tell that story sometime.

Joyce Tremel said...

Lee, so that's why there's so many cops around for karaoke when kids are on spring break in Florida! Here, I thought it might be because of all the drinking. Guess I was wrong!

Anonymous said...

There used to be a law on the books in Pittsburgh that cross gender massage was illegal, unless the therapist was a medical person. I never worried too much about it since I'm an RN, but I wonder if the law's still out there.

Anonymous said...

Nancy, the goat thing might be illegal and strange where you're from, but in the South that's called prom night.

Ramona said...

Hey! I'm from the South. That's kind of insulting, Lee.

Wait a minute. My junior prom, the couple we doubled with? She's dead and he's doing life in Angola, for killing her. No kidding. A goat would have been better.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to insult or offend anyone. Golly, I didn't say the goat was ugly or anything. But I lived in the South, too, so that gives me the automatic right to go huntin', fishin', and to be a role model for all Jerry Springer guests.

Being a former resident also allows me to speak freely about our peeps and sheeps. So bahahahack (sheep noise) off... :)

Joyce Tremel said...

Lee, I guess you'd be okay then concerning the PA laws on fishing that I listed.