Cumberland Times-News

September 12, 2013

It’s illegal

Keep that ice cream cone where we can see it


Cumberland Times-News

— Here’s something you probably did not know, unless you read a recent Associated Press report on the matter.

The city charter of Sistersville, W.Va., contains language that prohibits women from voting.

The town’s new mayor — a woman named Ann Doig — wants to amend the charter but says that would be expensive.

Of course, women in Sistersville may vote because the 19th Amendment to the Constitution grants them the right to do so.

Odd and obsolete laws remain on the books in many places. Here, from a variety of sources, are some that — so far as we can tell — were in effect at least until recent years:

Alabama: It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while blindfolded.

California: It is illegal to try to stop a child from playfully jumping over water puddles.

Connecticut: You cannot walk across a street on your hands.

Florida: Women can be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer, and so can the salon owner. You also must pay a parking meter if you tie your elephant to it.

Indiana: Liquor stores may not sell milk.

Iowa: One-armed piano players must perform for free.

Kentucky: You cannot transport an ice cream cone in your pocket.

Louisiana: Biting someone with natural teeth is “simple assault.” Biting someone with false teeth is “aggravated assault.”

Nebraska: Parents can be charged if their child burps during a church service.

Maryland: It is illegal to take a lion to the movies.

Massachusetts: Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and locked.

Montana: Seven or more Indians are considered to be a war party, and it is legal to shoot them. (In Maine, you are required to take a shotgun to church in case of an Indian attack.)

North Dakota: Beer and pretzels cannot be served at the same time in a bar or restaurant.

West Virginia: Whistling underwater is illegal, and so is sending your children to school with their breath smelling of wild onions (i.e., ramps).

And, our favorite:

Rhode Island: Any marriage in which either the bride or groom is a lunatic or an idiot is considered to be null and void.