Concerned about the quality of politicians these days? These laws won’t make you feel any better.
1. No political voice for idiots
Article VII of New Mexico’s state constitution explains the qualifications needed to vote: in addition to usual requirements (“has resided in New Mexico twelve months”), you cannot be an idiot, an insane person or a felon. New Mexico’s not the only state — Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio all have similar rules. Brush up on that IQ and try not to commit any crimes before the 2012 elections, alright?
2. No impersonating clergymen
If banning bear wrestling wasn’t enough, Alabama also says you are not allowed to pretend to be a clergyman. If you’re in a public place and pretending to be a minister (or priest or nun or rabbi) of any religion, the state will fine you or throw you in the slammer, according to Alabama Code Section 13-A-14-4. Maybe time to rethink that Halloween costume…
3. No plumber’s crack
Remember that sagging-pants trend that caught on among young men a few years back? In Flint, Mich., that can land you in jail. In 2008, Flint Chief of Police David Dicks began implementing a law to arrest those caught with the fashion style. Wearing pants below the butt is punishable by 93 days to a year in jail and fines of up to $500. The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the law, saying it violated people’s rights to free expression.
4. No shopping for Ferraris on Sunday
A number of states across the U.S. still have “blue laws,” or laws that were created in the 18th and 19th centuries to enforce religious standards. Many states ban selling alcohol on certain days or at certain times, for example. In Illinois in particular, you can’t buy a car on Sunday. To top it off, horse racing is not allowed on Sunday either, unless the local municipality allows it.
5. No pranking your friend with a pizza delivery
In Louisiana, Revised Statutes 14:68.6 says that you cannot order goods and get them delivered to someone without the person knowing. If you’re trying to harass or annoy a friend, that person can return the items to you — at your expense! Not to mention, there’s a hefty $500 fine or six months in jail attached to that.
6. No roller-skating on sidewalks
In Biddeford, Maine, you can’t bike or roller-skate on sidewalks, according to Section 62-58 of the Code of Ordinance. Trek to another town to enjoy that childhood pastime, or face a (wallet-busting) $10 fine.
7. No moose in the barbershop
Alaska’s capital bans pets from entering public places where food is sold, barbershops and salons, according to the city’s code (Chapter 36.25). That means please leave your pet coyote at home, or face an infraction in Juneau.
8. No bear wrestling
It’s exactly as it sounds: exploiting bears for wrestling is a felony in Alabama. Bear wrestling, considered an entertaining hobby to some, has been criticized as inhumane and was banned in this Southern state. In case you’re trying to find a loophole, these are also prohibited: selling or buying a bear, promoting a bear wrestling match, and surgically altering a bear (declawing or severing tendons, for example). And if you’re caught? Your penalty might include providing medical treatment for that poor bear, according to Alabama Code Section 13A-12-5.
9. No rhinos in the backyard
Unless you have a permit. That’s right, in Norco, Calif., you’re allowed to keep elephants, leopards, bears, panthers, hippos and more as long as you have a permit (Chapter 8.05.020). Otherwise, make sure to ship that Bengal tiger back to India. It’s $100 for a permit for the first animal, and immature offspring of these animals don’t require extra permits (score).
10. No late-night jam sessions
Spontaneous poetry slams before sunrise? Not allowed in Athens, Ga., where early morning crime waves forced the city to ban late-night live entertainment. Facilities in the city cannot provide public entertainment between the hours of 2:45 and 7 a.m., or risk fines by the city (Sec. 6-18-3).