13 Things You Won't Believe Are Against the Law Somewhere


As the movie Footloose taught us, some little backwater towns have a real hate for some bizarre things like dancing and youthful exuberance. Well some people apparently missed the scene where dancing makes everyone's troubles disappear, because they continue to outlaw the most petty and ridiculous shit they can think of. For example...

Indoor Nudity (Villahermosa, Mexico)

The usual ban on outdoor nudity, or at least male outdoor nudity, is fully supported by us and we recognize it as one of the great achievements of modern civilization. The town of Villahermosa, Mexico, however, has decided to take it a step further.

Citing a lack of morality, Villahermosa's town council has halted its citizens from wandering about their own homes, swinging in the breeze. After all, who wants to creep onto someone's property and peep in their windows only to find them nude in their own homes? That kind of fucked up stuff may be kosher in Sweden, but not Mexico.

Sure, we get it: a fat, naked dude indoors is really just a few short steps from being a fat, naked dude outdoors. But we're pretty sure waging preemptive wars against gross public nudity is just as frowned upon as the other kind.

Silly String (Los Angeles)

In LA, there is a scourge that few people dare mention out loud. It is not only nefarious, but remarkably retarded. It is Silly String. For years, citizens faced each Halloween on Hollywood Boulevard like Anne Frank, hiding away and hoping for the madness to end. Finally, one heroic Captain America stood up to the terror of Silly String and put a stop to it, banning it under penalty of a $1,000 fine.

That hero was city councilor Tom LaBonge. The ban is for just one night out of the year--Halloween--and resulted from complaints that random Silly String sprayings resulted in fistfights during the usual Halloween street gatherings. There were reports of people actually throwing the cans at each other, according to police, which means maybe instead of a ban, they should have simply offered classes on proper Silly String use.

Fishbowls (Monza, Italy)

In Italy, the problems of modern man are on a scale that North Americans can barely comprehend. While poverty, the environment, prohibition, chlamydia, dog racing, incest and overactive sweat glands are all that trouble us from day to day, in Monza, Italy they have all that back-burnered so they can deal with really intense shit like what happens to a fish if you keep it in a fishbowl.

Do you know what happens to a fish if you keep it in a fishbowl? It sees the world all fucked up, that's what. The cleaned up version, according to town council is that a fishbowl provides "a distorted view of reality." So it's kind of like the fish Matrix. Only we're the machines. We're the fucking machines!

Actual view from inside a fishbowl.

Luckily for the fish, the council has banned the bowls in favor of square aquariums which, presumably, represent a fish's depressing reality in an accurate and heart warming fashion.

Feeding the Homeless (Las Vegas)

Like bears and Mormons, the homeless become dangerous, bold and insatiably horny once they've been fed. The naive residents of the fairytale land of innocence known as Las Vegas are fortunate in that they have a city council watching out for them against this menace by enacting a ban on feeding the homeless.

City marshals will be enforcing the law, presumably by handing out sack beatings to both the homeless and their ne'er-do-well feeders. But fear not if you're one of those whiny "doesn't this mean the homeless are going to starve to death" types. A cracker or a sandwich won't get you a citation, according to the city attorney. But if you happen to be wandering the park looking to hand out a rack of lamb or a nice bisque, watch the fuck out.

Being at the Library Whilst Having Body Odor (Houston)

Literacy and smelling like shit have gone hand in hand for years. We're too busy reading, damn it. We don't have time to shower.

The Houston city council was not about to have this trend continue however, and has banned the fetid stink of BO in the town's libraries. And lest you think you can walk your ripe, simmering funk into the bathroom and dip your ballsack in a library toilet to freshen up, think again. They've banned that too.

This may be a roundabout way to run off the homeless (who have a tendency to set up camp in places like public libraries, to get out of the rain) but you have to admire the pragmatic approach that says it doesn't matter if you're actually a vagrant, as long as you smell like one.

The Jolly Roger (Stafford Borough, England)

Over in England, the council of Stafford Borough decided to vent its frustrations on a child by banning the pirate flag from being flown at a 6-year-old's pirate-themed birthday party. The council must have figured that pirates are known to be a crafty bunch, and if they planned to rape and pillage the neighborhood, a 6-year-old's birthday party would be the perfect cover.

In defense of their decision, the council also pointed out that if they let the Jolly Roger fly, it would open the door for all sorts of flags. And Lord knows no one wants to see that damn Canadian flag flapping in the breeze with impunity.

The family was eventually allowed to fly the flag, after paying 75 pounds for a special permit and presumably passing a piracy background check.

Ice Cream Truck Music (Stafford, New Jersey)

Stafford Township, New Jersey has had enough of your childish shit and isn't going to take it any more. In 1998 the township council voted 4 to 2 to ban the disruptive and potentially deadly music played by ice cream trucks.

We can think of two possible reasons for this. One is the known fact that no one under the age of 30 can resist sprinting out into the street at the sound of a passing ice cream truck, which probably causes millions of injuries and deaths every year (we actually couldn't find the stats on this but if there's a low, it's surely in the millions).

The other and perhaps more likely reason, is that the ban was enacted by the same people who hate it when children step on their lawn and like to water their driveway every Sunday at 5 a.m. Upon further investigation, we find the same township banned basketball hoops in driveways and attempted to have a leash law for cats implemented. So, yes, it does appear that the town is mostly run by folks who have reached the ripe old age where the sound of children laughing makes them want to curse and shake their wrinkled old fists.

Chewing Gum (Singapore)

Singapore's reputation for strict laws often makes international news, and we assume the government of Singapore likes that just fine. They're sick of your shenanigans and they're not putting up with them any more.

Therefore, in 1992 Singapore banned chewing gum. The problem was ne'er-do-wells were sticking their used gum under chairs, in mailboxes and keyholes and on the door sensors to Singapore's subways, so they decided to just have the whole damn product stricken from existence.

Only gum chewed for therapeutic reasons is allowed within the borders. When asked by a reporter if the laws were too strict, the prime minister of Singapore said, "If you can't think because you can't chew, try a banana." That the man seems satisfied with a city littered with banana peels indicates to us that he has apparently never seen a single cartoon in his life.

Lobster (Reggio, Italy)

The town of Reggio, Italy can't stomach the pain that lobsters have to endure in order to be eaten. Arguably every animal is having a bad day if it ends up on a dinner plate, but the fact lobsters have to be boiled was too intense for Reggio town council and they have now banned it.

Curiously, this was also one of Hitler's first acts once he rose to power as the sound of lobsters screaming bothered him. We're all for this if they offer some alternative, like you can only eat lobster if you duel it to the death before putting the water on.

Saggy Pants (Delcambre, Louisiana)

Rather than waiting for the whole saggy-pants fad to pass on its own, this Louisiana town put a ban on pants that show off a person's junk, ass , or their underwear at a cost of $500 to offenders.

Then again maybe the people of Delcambre should be commended for their foresight, since they realized banning saggy pants would simply usher in the era of the assless and/or crotchless trousers. Pants manufacturers are clearly on a mission, and only the power of the law can stop them.

Excuses (Megion, Siberia)

In a move that is either insane or the most awesome thing ever, the mayor of Megion in Western Siberia has banned the use of excuses by city officials. Bureaucrats are no longer allowed to say the following phrases: "I don't know," "It's lunch time," "It's not my job" and "It's impossible" amongst a list of more than two dozen other phrases that generally piss people off when coming from the mouths of government officials.

Our favorite has to be "It's impossible," as we're guessing city officials are now constantly inundated with requests such as, "I want the faucets in my house to dispense only pudding!" and "Make it rain vodka tomorrow," knowing the old, pat answer will no longer fly.

The official word on what happens if someone uses one of these phrases is that it will "speed their departure" which is probably the polite Siberian way of saying that you have to fight an especially quick brown bear.

Karaoke (Lilbum, Georgia)

As we all know, karaoke is the tool of the devil. The city of Lilburn, Georgia has put its foot down and said enough is enough. The mayor says he doesn't want clubs in his town and is pretty sure once karaoke starts up, it's just a small step before toddlers are starting fires and people who sing Cher off key will be smuggling assfuls of cocaine to their gun-running friends across town.

This is an extension of what is basically a ban on bars (town rules say booze can only be sold in places that make most of their money off of food sales). Whether they're banning karaoke to prevent places from turning into bars, or banning bars to prevent karaoke from breaking out, isn't clear.

Satan (Inglis, FL)

In 2001, the town of Inglis, Florida took the proactive step of banning Satan, something most other Godless towns have been too lazy to do.

The mayor issued a proclamation that actually contained the words "Satan, ruler of darkness, giver of evil, destroyer of what is good and just, is not now, nor ever again will be, a part of this town of Inglis." The ban was posted on signs at the entrance to town, just in case the Devil was on a road trip and thought to pass through. Whether or not the mayor was shitfaced on Thunderbird at the time is unknown to those of us who can be sued for libel.

However, the ACLU, perhaps acting on Satan's behalf, pointed out some issues with that whole "separation of church and state" thing and, after some threats of lawsuits, the ban was officially rescinded. The signs were moved to private property, at which point Satan ascended from Hell and built a dark temple of charred corpses. But only on public property.

If you enjoyed that, but are looking for more regional examples of people you might enjoy kicking in the groin, check out our rundown of 9 Cases That Prove the US Legal System is Fucked. And then watch the video that explains The REAL Reason Guns Are Dangerous.
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