As it turns out, every state in this country has at least one wacky legal stipulation that could land residents in hot water if they don’t comply. Be careful out there!

Whew! With all this legislation, it’s a wonder we’re not all sharing a prison cell right now. Granted, something tells me the Los Angeles Police Department has bigger fish to fry than popping people who dare to eat oranges while bathing, and that most people who saw me catching some shut-eye on top of a fridge in Pennsylvania wouldn’t call the cops on me. Then again, you never know when you might come across that rare whistle-blower who wants you persecuted to the fullest extent of the law, so it’s probably better to be safe than sorry.

Alabama: It’s illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.

Alaska: Whispering in someone’s ear while he’s moose hunting is prohibited.

Arizona: Cutting down a cactus may earn you a twenty-five-year prison term.

Arkansas: It’s illegal to mispronounce the name of the state of Arkansas.

California: You may not eat an orange in your bathtub.

Colorado: It’s unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor (Denver).

Connecticut: A pickle cannot actually be a pickle unless it bounces.

Delaware: It’s illegal to get married on a dare.

Washington, D.C.: It’s against the law to post a public notice calling someone a coward for refusing to accept a challenge to a duel.

Florida: If you tie an elephant to a parking meter, you must pay the same parking fee as you would for a vehicle.

Georgia: It’s illegal to change the clothes on a storefront mannequin unless you draw the shades first.

Hawaii: All residents may be fined for not owning a boat.

Idaho: A man must not give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing fewer than fifty pounds.

Illinois: It’s illegal to take a French poodle to the opera (Chicago).

Indiana: The value of pi is 4, and not 3.1415.

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

Kansas: It’s illegal to throw knives at men wearing striped suits (Natoma).

Kentucky: Every citizen is required to take a shower once a year.

Louisiana: Biting someone with your natural teeth constitutes simple assault, but biting someone with your false teeth classifies as aggravated assault.

Maine: If you keep your Christmas decorations on display after January 14, you’ll be fined.

Maryland: It’s against the law to wash or scrub a sink, no matter how dirty it is (Baltimore).

Massachusetts: No gorilla is allowed in the backseat of any car.

Michigan: A woman may not cut her own hair without her husband’s permission.

Minnesota: It’s illegal to paint a sparrow with the intent of selling it as a parakeet (Harper Woods).

Mississippi: Walking a dog without dressing it in diapers is forbidden (Temperance).

Missouri: Children may buy shotguns in Kansas City, but not toy cap guns.

Montana: It’s a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail.

Nebraska: Bar owners may not sell beer unless they brew a kettle of soup simultaneously.

Nevada: It’s illegal for men with mustaches to kiss women.

New Hampshire: It’s forbidden to sell the clothes you’re wearing to pay off a gambling debt.

New Jersey: It’s against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.

New Mexico: Females may not appear unshaven in public.

New York: While riding in an elevator, you must talk to no one, fold your hands, and look toward the door.

North Carolina: It’s against the law to sing off-key.

North Dakota: It’s illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.

Ohio: You must honk the horn whenever you pass another car, according to the state’s driver’s education manual.

Oklahoma: It’s forbidden to take a bite out of another person’s hamburger.

Oregon: State law requires dishes to be drip-dried.

Pennsylvania: It’s illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.

Rhode Island: You may not bite off another person’s leg.

South Carolina: If a man promises to marry an unmarried woman, he is required by law to keep his promise.

South Dakota: It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory.

Tennessee: Selling hollow logs is strictly forbidden.

Texas: You may not shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.

Utah: It is illegal not to drink milk.

Vermont: Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

Virginia: Tickling a woman is unlawful.

Washington: It’s illegal to pretend that one’s parents are wealthy.

West Virginia: If you make fun of someone who does not accept a challenge, you risk a six-month prison sentence.

Wisconsin: Unless a customer specifically requests it, margarine may not be substituted for butter in a restaurant.

Wyoming: Unless you have an official permit, you may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April.

The article highlights some rather eccentric laws that apparently exist in various states across the U.S. While the validity and enforcement of these regulations seem questionable, it reminds us that all places have their own unique legal codes. Most likely, these laws were conceived with good intentions, even if they now seem outdated or impractical. Ultimately, as responsible citizens, we should strive to abide by whatever guidelines are deemed reasonable and necessary to maintain order and serve the common good.

This story first appeared on by Annie Tucker Morgan.

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