5 Logical, But Wildly Unjust Rules
Laws exist to maintain order in a chaotic society. I fully understand that we can’t go back to the days of murder as a solution to land disputes. We’ve all seen The Purge and nobody’s trying to get hunted down by a freak in a mask wielding a mailbox wrapped in razor wire or whatever. Still, just because something isn’t legal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s indisputably immoral.
Sometimes, laws are more in place to keep everything moving smoothly and prevent headaches more than to punish Great Evil. Given most cops’ skill for de-escalation, you’ll probably still need dental work to recover from a case of loitering, but I think most people understand that there’s capital L Laws, and then there are things that are basically legal no-nos.
Here are five laws that make logical sense, but are deeply unjust…
No Dogs in Antarctica
Let’s say you’re planning an expedition to Antarctica. For the purposes of this exercise, let’s also imagine that it’s not automatically a suicide mission that would result in a multi-national rescue effort to retrieve your frozen fetal-posed body-pop from the cold expanse. As far as transportation goes, you might be thinking about snowmobiles. But if you don’t want to lug gasoline or solar panels along, and also desire warm embraces and friendship in a particularly cold part of an overall cold world, you might opt for sled dogs.
Well, congratulations, you criminal. The moment you bring a single sled dog onto the continent of Antarctica, you’ve broken the law. The first people to explore the continent made use of them, but they had the advantage of doing so before any scientists panicked about them ruining all that pristine nature. Up until fairly recently, they were a central part of any activity on the continent, but in 1993 they were banned because of worries about them transmitting diseases like the thoroughly old-timey sounding “canine distemper” to native wildlife, like seals.4/num]No Bread in Space
In terms of pure, warm, comfort from a food, bread is pretty high on the list. Nothing but pure, unadulterated carbohydrates, it’s like building a nourishing, cozy log cabin inside your tum-tum. Upgrade to something like a croissant or a fluffy biscuit, and man, you’ve got something that could probably give you a couple seconds of peace during an active plane crash. Now, I understand that some people have gluten intolerance, or the real version of that, celiac disease, and to them I say: We get it, nerd! Enjoy your lettuce-wrapped burgers and brownies made out of dry chocolate dust held together by the baker’s sheer will.
If you’re off to space as an astronaut, though, despite heading into a high-stress environment and situation, you won’t be able to rely on the airy, stretchy internal hug of a tasty sandwich or pastry to calm you. That’s because bread in most forms is banned on NASA spacecraft. As for the reason why, just think back to the state of your jeans after your last croissant. Eating bread rates pretty high on the crumb-generation scale. It’s no Nature Valley granola bar, but each bite definitely looses a miniature squadron of bready bits that, in zero-G, are now off on a singular mission to start a small electrical fire.
Getting Your Taxes Wrong
The American process of paying taxes is basically a massive system of mathematical gaslighting that seems designed to make April a forever horrible month. It’s the sort of thing that would be designed by a mad scientist and unleashed directly before turning on his Stress-Harvesting-Machine that uses collective frustration to fuel some sort of moon laser. This is a country that continually defunds the school system that was meant to teach us functional mathematics, then forces us to calculate how much money we owe them for that privilege every year for the rest of our lives.
If you get those calculations wrong, because percentages were probably taught to you by a depressed and underpaid English teacher during a staffing shortage, congratulations on committing tax fraud. Which also means that they knew what the right answers were the whole time, and still made you pay for TurboTax. It’s like a sadistic king making you guess how long he wants you to dance for him, and adding an hour if you don’t get it right. Sure, they have to prove you intentionally screwed up to make it a full-on-crime, but you’re still in for fines just for forgetting how to make an Excel spreadsheet. And if I’m paying a fine but you’re telling me I didn’t break the law? Buddy, that rain on my head sure smells like piss.
Now, there are plenty of places in the U.S. where you can jaywalk to your heart’s content without ever getting stopped or harassed for it, unless the nearest cop is mad at their spouse or whatever. Some places, though, do take jaywalking seriously. Los Angeles natives, for example, will warn you that a little freestyle jaunt across the asphalt to a Starbucks could cost you dearly. The fine for jaywalking in L.A. clocks in at a staggering $200.
This all seems a little ridiculous, and, to be honest, unnecessary. Jaywalking already has its own, independent legal system of punishment, known as “physics.” A system in which the death penalty is distributed freely. Part of the thrill of being alive is the ability to wager an intact pelvis on your own decision-making. A bank account and traffic court hearings aren’t needed here. The scale is plenty loaded already, with “having your ribs shattered by a Tesla” on one side and “a shorter distance to Chipotle” on the other. Let the boys play, ref!
No Putting Your Head Under the Soda Machine and Guzzling
I paid for unlimited soda. I don’t remember getting a contract or a packet of terms and conditions on my tray saying that it had to be in neat little cupped portions. Being that the amount of soda I’m allowed is “infinite,” there’s literally no concern that I will consume more than my fair share. Yet the police are allowed to put their hands on my free American body, and restrict my access to a Golden Corral, because I didn’t use a dingy plastic cup as an intermediary?
Take it off the menu if you don’t mean it. Don’t open a stable if you’re scared of horses, amigo.