Hollywood productions have numerous examples of scenes in which the protagonist of the film unknowingly walks into a society – be it the future, the past, a village in a remote part of the world and untouched by civilization, so on and so forth – that upholds a radically different system of values, enforced of course by strict laws. While this may constitute the premise of a hilarious but over-milked comedy franchise, reality is sometimes much stranger than fiction.
Oddly enough, the legislation in certain parts of the world has not been modified in accordance to the standards modern society, and we’re not talking about Papua New Guinea or other tropical paradises. But then again, maybe we don’t understand the background that lead to the enforcement of such laws. Let’s elaborate.
1. Being naked in your own home in Villahermanosa, Mexico
Everyone can agree that not allowing people to go outside naked is generally beneficial, at least for male exhibitionists, but the council of Villahermanosa took things a bit further. Now, it is fairly true that a person who is naked inside his home is just a step away from walking out the door and onto the porch in his birthday suit, but acting preemptively to prevent this “tragedy” based on the current “lack of morality” is a tad much. Perhaps the law against indoor nudity was passed to protect the local Peeping Toms in the window and burglars scouting the homeowner’s electronics from the ungodly image, in which case good job!
2. Using Silly String in L.A. on Halloween
The good news is that you can enjoy your cans of Silly String 364 days a year in L.A., but not on Halloween. The one day ban on this fun product actually makes sense if you take into account the numerous violent incidents reported by the L.A. police on Halloween that all started with a couple of cans of Silly String and a bunch of drunk people in costumes. In fact, the city councilor who proposed the ban cited episodes during which people were tossing the container at others rather than the string. But maybe they could instate a permit for using Silly String on Halloween, following a course in responsible practices.
3. Owning a rounded fishbowl in Monza, Italy
If you guessed that the ban on fishbowls has something to do with the inhumane practice of reaping the fish out of the natural habitat and relocating them in the confines of the bowl, you’re wrong. In Monza it is perfectly legal to own a square shaped aquarium. Then what is the problem? Well, according to the council that introduced the ban, the law was passed because the round bowls confer both the owner and the fish (but mostly the fish) a distorted view on reality. In other words, it’s not wrong to imprison a fish in an aquarium as long as he is allowed to perceive the world in a correct manner.
4. Visiting the library while afflicted with strong bodily odors in Houston
A breath of fresh air for Houston’s literates, the law that forbids a person from entering the premises of the public library with a fetid aura of poisonous gas was actually the city council’s method of keeping the homeless away. Since vagrants and drifters have a tendency of seeking shelter from the elements on library grounds, the law now permits the librarians to escort them off the property without facing a lawsuit for discrimination. It is also important to note that the ban also applies for the bathrooms of the public library, so you can’t utilize the sinks to cleanse the stench and get around the law. However, an “admirable” concession on their part is that even the homeless WITHOUT body odor are welcome in the library.
5. Playing ice cream truck tunes in Stafford, NJ
The ban on the notoriously catchy ice cream truck tune has been in place in Stafford since 1998, when the majority of (4 against 2) voted for it to be outlawed. The most reasonable explanation for the town’s burning hatred towards this repetitive song stems from the propensity of all children under 35 to dash out to the streets upon hearing it and trample everything in their way, including senior citizens, their pets and their perfectly trimmed lawns. And let’s not forget that another means of endless entertainment that is forbidden in Stafford consists of driveway-mounted basketball hoops.
6. Chewing gum without prescription in Singapore
International news are always presenting exceptionally strange and strict regulations implemented by the Singapore government, that’s a given. Back in 1992 when the chewing gum industry was flourishing, the officials were faced with a serious crisis: everybody was stuffing used gum in virtually all available “orifices” including chair undersides, the mailbox, their neighbors’ keyhole, etc. Since dealing with a problem is always easier if you start at the root, Singapore officials decided that their country is no longer allowing chewing gum, with the exception of those utilized for therapeutic purposes.
7. Public officials’ usage of excuses in Megion, Siberia
A rule that we can all get behind, the mayor of the city was apparently so fed up with all the excuses for laziness and incompetence of the elected officials that he decided to make them illegal. The punishment for this “crime” is, according to him “a speedy departure”, whatever that means in Siberian slang.
8. Singing karaoke tunes in Lilbum, Georgia
Lilbum is a town populated by people more religious then the Pope when it comes to bars, alcohol retailers Isabel Marant Shoes and apparently, karaoke. The mayor stated that all these activities represent the gateway to crime. While singing certain popular tunes should be made illegal across the map for the benefit of “drinking enthusiasts”, he may be exaggerating a bit.
9. Eating and cooking lobsters in Reggio, Italy
What do Reggio and Adolf Hitler have in common? They both banned lobsters because of the sound these animals make and respectively, the cruelty of the cooking method.
10. The dark prince of the underworld in Inglis, Florida
Good news for Satan, his ban was eventually lifted by the authorities and he can finally enjoy the trip to Inglis he was planning for a while now. Now, thanks to the efforts of the ACLU and a few lawsuit threats based on the principle of separation of church and state, the mayor’s abusive act of kicking the devil out of the city’s public property is no longer in effect. When prompted for a reaction, Satan said he could not understand what the devil was for the mayor’s problem in the first place.