The saying goes “Rules are meant to be broken”. However, that doesn’t apply to the law. Get busted and ignorance unfortunately does not mean bliss because here in the states (and I’m assuming worldwide) not knowing you are breaking the law doesn’t make it any less illegal. The world is ever changing and evolving but some of our laws are stuck in a dated century, which means that many of us are not law abiding citizens, in the strictest sense of the word. Of course there are some ridiculous penal codes that aren’t being broken (mostly because they are so far fetched) but there are a few surprising ones that you are definitely committing…perhaps even daily.
What’s even more disturbing is that all of these are actually laws, which means, you can face jail time for them. In a weird homage to yesteryear, there have recently been fines given out for some of the more bizarre ones, reminding citizens who’s really in charge. Better hope the police officer that catches you in the act is in a forgiving mood, because it is up to him or her to write that ticket. Because laws can be a long and difficult process to change or alter, we really took the hippie stoner route as a society and just said, “leave it” and continued about our day. Imagine how many more laws we’ll have to pay attention to in the next decade if that attitude persists. Let’s start getting rid of the old so we can make way for the new and relevant. In the meantime, here’s all the ways you’re being a criminal.
14 Singing “Happy Birthday To You”
Ever sing happy birthday at a party? Congratulations, you’re a criminal. If you’re at a restaurant or in a park, this is construed as a public performance, even if no one is paying to see it. You now owe an exorbitant amount in royalties to Time Warner, who own the rights to the song. This company gets paid millions of dollars every year just so someone can sing it in a movie or television show. Don't worry though, Time Warner isn’t that crazy; they will allow you to sing it in the privacy of your own home. How nice of them.
13 Writing “Disturbing” Stories
Know how much we all love the First Amendment? Freedom of speech, we can say what we want and are protected! Psyche. Like any “freedom” there are stipulations. For instance, if you write something that someone reads and finds disturbing in any way, you can face up to thirty days in jail and fines over 1,500 dollars (but not in California so don’t even think about trying to report me, I’m free as a bird). What’s even more crazy is that the writing doesn’t even need to be published work. Someone can break into your house, read your journal, think you’re weird and try to send you to jail; this is America, they will probably succeed!
12 Home Improvements On Sunday
Now this is a law I can get behind. Heck, let’s extend it to have peace and quiet all weekend. Sure, the neighborhood would start to look a little scruffy, but sleep is more important than appearance, right? There are some places in which it is illegal to mow your lawn, use a leaf blower, or nail anything together on a Sunday. As our workforce grows so does the demand for necessary quiet time before Monday morning rolls around. I’m sure residents in houses built in close proximity to others are thankful for this rule and others are wondering how we can adopt it. Can we make Silent Sundays a nationwide thing?
11 Connecting to Unsecured Wifi
Just because it isn’t password protected, doesn’t mean it’s free for the taking. Which makes sense when you look at it a different way. If someone puts down a bag of groceries to open the trunk of their car, you wouldn’t just come take it because it’s not being protected. Free for the taking? The law says no. This WiFi regulation claims that jumping onto an open network is stealing, and can be punishable by a hefty fine and/or jail time. Unfortunately for them, this is a difficult one to enforce, but it is still a FEDERAL crime.
10 Underage Possession...Of A Permanent Marker
Ever bought your child some permanent markers for a school project? Well then you have aided in the delinquency of your offspring, not to mention broken the law yourself by supplying an underage person with this contraband. You should be ashamed. I’m sure the teacher will take some heat as well; we’ll show her, for being all artsy. Originally intended to fight the “war” on graffiti, it is illegal in quite a few states (including California) for a minor to be in the possession of a permanent marker and weirdly enough, this law is still being enforced.. Parents beware, your ten year old can be carted off at any time.
9 Bathing Two Babies At Once
I should call my friend with newborn twins and let her know she breaks the law about 4 times a week. Even if you have little tub baby seats (I’m clearly not a mother) where they can safely sit while you pour small cups of water over their baby fat, this act is still illegal. At no time may two babies be washed at the same time. Haven’t law makers ever heard of multitasking? Not that any mother would want to give newborns a bath at the same time (I’m just guessing here but the odds of drowning seem unnecessarily high) but hey, if she wants the option then so be it! I say, you push it out, you get to decide.
8 Hanging Unmentionables Up To Dry
In Los Angeles it is illegal for a woman to hang her “intimates” out on a clothesline that is in public view. Sure we do worse things in the bathroom every weekend, but drying granny panties on a clothesline four stories up? Mayhem, where will the madness cease? Gives a whole new meaning to airing your dirty laundry (although we really hope in this case it’s clean). I’m offended this applies only to women. If I can’t hang my bras up to dry, then I certainly don’t want to see your tighty whities. So much for promoting energy conservation.
Of course we all know jaywalking is illegal, we are not allowed to play real life Frogger, as tempting as it sometimes seems. What you may not know is that you aren’t allowed to step into the crosswalk if the hand countdown has started. If you’re anything like me and bolt through when there’s eight seconds left on the clock, you’re risking a fine of up to 250 dollars. With the amount of pedestrians and cars on the road, the police have really begun cracking down on these crazy criminals to hopefully help eliminate the number of accidents each day.
6 Watering The Lawn While It Rains
You know when you order a coffee and the sleeve says, “Caution, the beverage you're about to enjoy is extremely hot” and think, “duh”. Well, stupid people often dictate our governing laws because there was once a time when someone did something incredibly dumb, like water their lawn while it was raining. To make sure we are all on the same non-idiotic page, laws like this one were enacted. Other than being incredibly intoxicated, how can one justify doing this? Did they not understand what rain was made out of? Whatever the case may be, this is a real life law with real life consequences.
5 Showering Naked
Yes, you read that right. In some crazy cities the law clearly states one must not shower unless properly attired. Do lawmakers know how to read? Can they understand words? Some places require clothing that extends from the neck to the ankles. So, shower in a business suit? Got it. Seems to defeat the purpose to say the least and some places must have a lot of clean clothing and a lot of stinky people. Although it’s more than safe to say law enforcement is not checking up on their residents to ensure their cooperation.
4 Crying On The Witness Stand
There are some places, including the city of Los Angeles, where it is illegal to cry on the witness stand. They do that all the time on television; where else am I supposed to get my sense of right and wrong, if not from the high class material Hollywood churns out? While this law is not actively enforced, be warned the next time you are subpoenaed; if the judge looks like a no nonsense kind of dude, better keep dry eyes just in case. I wonder if this law was proposed by the pissed off lawyers who struggled to understand eye witness testimony, or the court reporters trying to write it all down between the sobs.
3 No Talking In The Elevator
Again, a law I’m okay with strictly following. There are few things worse in life than a Chatty Cathy in the elevator. There’s a difference between a casual “Hello” and an attempt to find your new bestie in a bank elevator; no one wants to hear about your day so far and if it is first thing in the morning, all our focus is on waking up and figuring out how to struggle through the day, not on anything that comes out of your mouth. Don’t make us look like the bad guy when we don’t have the wherewithal to respond. No talking in the elevator.
2 Unmarried Couples
Some places still have a law on the books that states unmarried couples must not commit any 'lewd acts’ or live together in the same residence. Good thing that’s not a penal code in LA because the entire city would be behind bars. I am a full believer in living with someone before getting married, and doing the deed. How else are you supposed to know what you are setting yourself up for a lifetime for? Don’t buy the car without a test drive first. Goes to show how far we have evolved as a society and what we once found unacceptable (and illegal) is now the norm.
1 Farting In A Public Place
Is this not the best law you have ever heard in your life? It is illegal to fart in a public place in Florida, but only after 6pm. This rule brings up so many questions. Why Florida? Why 6pm? How many people are walking around farting on each other over there? I learned two things from this, the first being that under no circumstances will I be entering a Florida library before dusk and the second, is that I want to create laws. I really hope this farting mandate is taken very seriously and jail time is the only acceptable punishment.