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Be discriminated against for looking too good.
April 13, 2002 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Be discriminated against for looking too good. In Western Australia, a widow whose husband died accidentally is losing compensation money because she's considered attractive enough to remarry. What stupid laws do you have where you live?
posted by Jubey (26 comments total)

 
Is that where they got the term 'kangaroo court'?

I guess to a 45 year old man she might be attractive (no offense!) but that seems like a totally arbitrary judgement.
posted by insomnyuk at 8:18 PM on April 13, 2002


Here in Florida :
1. It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit.
2. You may not fart in a public place after 6 P.M. on Thursdays.
3. Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.
4. If an unmarried women parachutes from a plane on Sunday, she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing.

In Key West, chickens are considered a 'protected species'.

In Pensacola, citizens may not be caught downtown without at least 10 dollars on their person.

In Tampa Bay it is illegal to eat cottage cheese on Sunday after 6:00 P.M.
posted by dong_resin at 8:33 PM on April 13, 2002


Here in Florida :
1. It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit.
2. You may not fart in a public place after 6 P.M. on Thursdays.
3. Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.


Damn, three dreams shattered in one fell swoop! thanx a lot dong!
posted by jonmc at 8:40 PM on April 13, 2002


Don't hate me because I'm beautiful

There! Someone had to say it!
posted by Trik at 8:53 PM on April 13, 2002


You scoff at the porcupine law. However, that law exists for a reason
posted by guyincognito at 9:03 PM on April 13, 2002


In Tampa Bay it is illegal to eat cottage cheese on Sunday after 6:00 P.M.

When cottage cheese is outlawed, only outlaws will have cottage cheese.
posted by diddlegnome at 9:33 PM on April 13, 2002


The judge should have to marry her.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:47 PM on April 13, 2002


Most "funny laws" are holdovers from earlier times, and in America at least, are either unenforceable or unconstitutional. People forget that just because a law is declared invalid in court, it isn't taken off the statutes. It takes a special act of the local legislature to do that, and as they usually have more important stuff to do, that rarely happens, which is why it's easy to find all the oddball old laws still around and make fun of them.
posted by yhbc at 9:49 PM on April 13, 2002


According to this jumping off a building in New York is punishable by death. Would have quoted something from where I am, but dong resin beat me to it.
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 9:50 PM on April 13, 2002


Most "funny laws" are holdovers from earlier times

Precisely. The law in question is a remnant of the English law that was exported to Australia in 1788.

It has since been changed in Britain, but not in Australia.

People forget that just because a law is declared invalid in court

Unfortunately, this law has not been declared invalid. From what I've read, it would take a High Court decision to do that -- but this is not an issue that many women are prepared to argue in court. Who would want to have their attractiveness analysed in various public fora?

It looks like the local legislature will have to find the time to change the law. Hell, if they managed it in Britain, surely they can do it here?
posted by robcorr at 10:35 PM on April 13, 2002




I'm in Texas...we've got some great old laws on the books and some that are just downright odd...but not terribly old.

Old laws still on the books:

No shooting buffalos from second story hotel windows. (Well, that seems fair, really.)

It is illegal to be on another person's land, or near another person's fence if you have wirecutters with you. (From the days of cattle rustlers and cattle drives.)

New laws that just confuse me:

It's illegal to possess realistic dildos. (Um, ok...but unrealistic ones are ok? Can we get a size ruling on that?)

Mesquite, TX: It is illegal for children to have unusual haircuts. (But mullets, which are nigh onto mandatory in Mesquite, are ok? )

A recently passed anticrime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.
(Hi, I'm Bob, I'll be your mugger tomorrow...couldja run by the ATM before I catch up with you?)
posted by dejah420 at 11:00 PM on April 13, 2002


Switzerland: A man may not relieve himself while standing up, after 10 PM. Wouldn't it have been better to force builders to soundproof apartment walls? Hundreds more.
posted by Geo at 11:28 PM on April 13, 2002


Location: San Francisco, California
Prohibits elephants from strolling down Market Street unless they are on a leash.
This law still exists.

Location: San Francisco, California
Persons classified as "ugly" may not walk down any street.
This law still exists.

Location: San Francisco, California
Giving or receiving oral sex is prohibited
This law still exists.

Location: San Francisco, California
It is illegal to wipe one's car with used underwear.
This law still exists.

Location: San Francisco, California
It is illegal to pile horse manure more than six feet high on a street corner.
This law still exists.

I can think of at least three of these that are broken often.
posted by Settle at 11:44 PM on April 13, 2002


In San Diego, you can get a ticket for driving while intoxicated riding a bike which carries the same penalty as if you were driving a car.
posted by keithl at 12:11 AM on April 14, 2002


It all started with Rocket Richard and Grecian Formula.

"Two minutes for looking so good!"
posted by srboisvert at 2:54 AM on April 14, 2002


I think this law is okay actually. Good looking people get special treatment all their lives. Being good looking means you're not bullied at school, you get all the plum assignments, you have more 'fun' in your teenage years, and so forth. Make the good looking people pay in some way, damn it.
posted by wackybrit at 3:39 AM on April 14, 2002


In Key West, chickens are considered a 'protected species'.

Thank Christ for that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:06 AM on April 14, 2002


Where I live, the law prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages. It's definitely a stupid law, for all that it's not unusual (43 out of 75 counties in this state are dry). It's not Islamic fundamentalism but Xian fundamentalism here.
As far as I know the county in Tennessee where Jack Daniels has their distillery is still dry also. And pretty much everywhere in the USA, 18-to-21-year-olds can serve in the armed forces but cannot legally buy alcohol. (Cannabis prohibition is stupid too but almost universal.)

I think the law the state legislature passed in the '80s against putting backward messages in songs (ex. "I serve my sweet Satan") is still in effect. And they passed a mandatory seatbelt law several years ago, then repealed the motorcycle helmet law. I don't support mandatory use of helmets, but I don't understand the logic of the lawmakers.
posted by StOne at 8:51 AM on April 14, 2002


I personally can't believe that it isn't mandatory to wear helmets when riding motorcycles, scooters and bicycles. That's just plain crazy.
posted by animoller at 12:59 PM on April 14, 2002


I think it helmet use should be optional. But that there should be real consequences if you choose to not wear them: higher insurance premiums, pay your own health care in case of accident, whatever.

I got no problem with someone not wearing a helmet. I *do* have a problem paying for their stupidity, though. As long as the financial burden is borne by them, they can do what they want.

Me, I always wear a helmet. I like my brains where they are.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:08 PM on April 14, 2002


Me too, fff. I negotiate steep, curvy hills at 35 mph just fine, but I once went over the handlebars on my bike *in my own flat driveway* (freak accident, don't ask) and banged my helmeted head on the rocks. I wouldn't even ride across the street without a helmet.
posted by diddlegnome at 1:48 PM on April 14, 2002


If the legal process differently compensates wives for the loss of their husbands than husbands for the loss of their wives (and it does ... damage awards to wives for loss of husbands are two and three times higher than vice versa in many places), it is surely due to different economic losses of spousal support, not upon the inherent tragedy of a lost loved one.

Why is it unreasonable that the purely economic element of the award be based to some extent upon the ability or inability of the injured person to cure that loss? Damages awards routinely take such factors into account.
posted by MattD at 2:40 PM on April 14, 2002


People forget that just because a law is declared invalid in court, it isn't taken off the statutes. It takes a special act of the local legislature to do that, and as they usually have more important stuff to do, that rarely happens

I don't know about all states, but in my state, it doesn't take a special act; somebody in the Legislature just sponsors a bill to repeal that part of the statutes, and it either passes or it doesn't. Same procedure as for when they enact or amend a statute.

As for that Florida stuff, you can search the Florida statutes here. The word "porcupine" doesn't turn up any hits. Nor can I find anything about singing in swimsuits, unmarried women parachuting on Sunday, or (I can't believe I searched this term) farting (and yes, I tried the phrase "pass gas" as well).

Query the Alaska Statutes here. Once again, I can't find anything about looking at moose from an airplane.

It has been my experience that state legislatures are actually very good about keeping their statutes relatively clean and reasonably up to date; after all, meeting every year and tinkering with the laws (and talking entirely too much) is what they do. I'm much less familiar with city and town governments, so maybe there are tons of weird laws on those books. But so far I've been unable to verify anything really goofy in state statutes. I wish I could; it would be fun.
posted by JanetLand at 4:01 PM on April 14, 2002


Me, I always wear a helmet. I like my brains where they are.

Didn't work so good for my friend's brother. The upper half of his body was still wearing the helmet.
posted by groundhog at 7:25 PM on April 14, 2002


When I would visit friends up at Northwestern (in Evanston, IL) I was told of such odd laws as bowling alleys are forbidden, trick-or-treating is illegal, and fast food restaurants can't bag food for take out (when we'd go to the 24 hour Burger King, they'd give us our food on a tray with a bag on the side). I was told these laws were inacted becuase Evanston had a lot of older folks, who wanted to keep Evanston safe & quite. The first two laws are verified here, which incidently offers a lot more absurd laws. The last one I cannot even begin to comprehend...
posted by harrycaul at 8:53 PM on April 14, 2002


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