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Blue Laws

MA Blue Laws

Blue laws are old, colonial-era laws that are still on the books for some reason. For your enjoyment, I thought I would list a few from my state of Massachusetts, along with my comments:

  1. It is illegal to give beer to hospital patients. If you do, you can be fined up to $50 and sentenced to up to two months in jail. This is one of the main reasons why I hate hospitals. You are also not allowed to bring drugs to patients. I suppose that's because the hospital already has more than enough drugs there for everyone.

  2. Shooting ranges may not set up targets that resemble human beings. But I guess it's legal to use chalk outlines?

  3. If you start singing “The Star Spangled Banner” and don't actually finish singing the song, you can be fined $100. I wonder if this applies to Roseanne Barr?

  4. At a wake, mourners may eat no more than three sandwiches. The law is silent about how many you can steal and bring home with you.

  5. Tomatoes may not be used in the production of clam chowder. This is a great law, and it's clearly aimed at those nasty New Yorkers who insist on tomato-based clam chowder. It's also an offense against God and Mother Nature.

  6. Quakers and witches are banned from Massachusetts. Actually, I'm OK with this one and would expand it to include the French.

  7. All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday. Boy, would it be fun to see this one enforced!

  8. A woman cannot be on top in sexual activities. This one sort of reminds me of a form I had to fill out for my doctor. On the form, it asked if I had an active sex life. I wrote, “No, I just sort of lie there.” The doctor didn't think it was funny, but the staff cracked up.

  9. Duels to the death are permitted on Boston Common as long as the Governor is present. This is good to know, as I have a list of people I want to challenge.

  10. No one may take a bath without a prescription. Will my insurance cover this?

  11. Snoring is prohibited unless all the windows are closed and securely locked. I like this one, in case I should ever have a neighbor who sounds like a freight train.

  12. Goatees are illegal in public unless you first pay a special license fee for the privilege of wearing one in public. I guess it's OK to wear one in private; you just can't leave the house. Is a Van Dyke a goatee?

  13. No gorilla is allowed in the back seat of a car. Does that mean it's okay for the gorilla to be in the front seat of the car if he's driving?

  14. Marlborough actually has a law against detonating a nuclear device within the city limits. Well, that should stop them. It appears to be OK to detonate one if you're outside the city.

  15. A January 2010 law mandates that all children in daycare must brush their teeth after lunch. Having had kids myself, I say, “Good luck with this one!”

  16. It is illegal to own an exploding golf ball. Can you borrow one? Would that be okay if you don't actually own the golf ball? Is that a reasonable defense?

Some states are even stranger than Massachusetts:

  1. Illinois: A state law requires that a man's female companion shall call him "master" while out on a date. I really like this one! Sadly, the law does not apply to married couples.

  2. Maryland: In Baltimore, it is illegal to take a lion to the movies. What if the movie is The Lion King?

  3. New York: It is against the law to throw a ball at someone's head for fun. The Yankees must hate this law when they play Boston at home. Can you throw at someone's head if you're serious about doing injury?

  4. Tennessee: You must believe in god to be elected to office. You also are not permitted to hold office if you have ever been in a duel. I can understand the duel thing, but only if you were the winner.

  5. Vermont: In Montpelier, Vermont's capital, no law was violated when 42 cyclists rode through the city naked on May 14, 2009. The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus reported that Vermont has no law against public nudity. Disrobing in public is a crime, but the cyclists disrobed before venturing out and would not be charged. Honestly, you can't make this stuff up.

  6. Missouri: You can't drive down the highway with an uncaged bear in your car. Uhhh … okay.

  7. North Dakota: It is illegal to serve beer and pretzels at the same time. Unamerican!

  8. Michigan: A woman cannot get her hair cut without her husband's permission. Oh yeah, I can see me trying to tell the Lovely Louise that she can't get a haircut.

  9. North Carolina: It is actually against the law to sing off key. I think this should be a national law.

  10. Washington: You can be arrested or fined for harassing a Bigfoot. Probably good advice.

There are lots more but I thought it might be good for a little humorous diversion.


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