Bonehead Legislation


In his book The Trenton Pickle Ordinance and Other Bonehead Legislation, journalist Dick Hyman cites 600 examples of absurd laws in America. For your consideration and amusement, here are just a few:

In Massachusetts, it is illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder.

In South Carolina, you are breaking the law if your trousers have hip pockets.

In Vermont, it is against the law to whistle under water.

A Texas law says that when two trains meet at a railroad crossing, each shall come to a full stop and neither shall proceed until the other has gone.

The Arkansas legislature once enacted a law forbidding the Arkansas river to rise higher than the Main Street bridge in Little Rock.

I think some people have a little too much time on their hands, don’t you?

“Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see them
being made.” ~ Otto von Bismarck

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7 thoughts on “Bonehead Legislation”

  1. Those are hilarious. I think the train one is my favorite.

    Too much time on their hands? Yep, just like when the Supreme Court ruled that a tomato was a fruit. My question, why does that matter?

  2. Wow! What a bunch of smart men/women we have elected…. lol!!

    Those are just hilarious! The train one was my favorite… but then, ‘no tomatoes in your clam chowder’ is pretty outrageous, too… Like Mike said, “What does it matter?”

    I feel sorry for the people in South Carolina, though, for not being allowed to have hip pockets! ;-)

    Hmm, seems to me that they keep themselves busy with these goofy laws so they can avoid the bigger ones that actually matter.

    1. “… seems to me that they keep themselves busy with these goofy laws so they can avoid the bigger ones that actually matter.”

      Seems to me you’ve got a point there. :)

  3. The Otto von Bismarck quote, now THAT’S funny! Going to post this on FB page , with credit to your blog (of course)… too good not to share the joy ;)

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