Steve Eighinger

Some laws might leave a bad taste in your mouth

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 21, 2020 12:01 am

Every so often, it's fun to look at some of the crazily entertaining laws that are still on the books.

Today's one of those days.

A quick scan of all 50 states supplied the following top-10 countdown. I should include a warning that No. 1 might leave a bad taste in your mouth. Maybe even No. 2:

Honorable mention: Operators of underground coal mining facilities in Ohio must provide "an adequate supply of toilet paper" with each toilet. Not sure what an inadequate supply would be, but to be honest I have absolutely no intention of ever venturing into an Ohio cole mine. Or anywhere else for that matter.

No. 10: Any parent will readily admit kids can be annoying at times, but in Florida it is a felony to sell your children. (I'm assuming it is only a misdemeanor in the other 49 states?)

No. 9: The Georgia town of Gainesville calls itself "the poultry capital of the world" and in 1961 a law was added to the city code that made eating fried chicken with utensils illegal. "Finger-lickin' good" is not just a suggestion in Gainesville. (Readers Digest reported a tourist was actually arrested in 2009 for a violation of that policy.)

No. 8: This law actually makes a lot of sense. The only reason it's on this list is because there is only one place in the nation where it can be found -- Hawaii. That state's natural beauty saw lawmakers forbid billboards (with a few exceptions) as part of a massive urban beautification initiative that dates to 1927. Raise your hand if you think would be a great idea in 49 other states.

No. 7: Any person in Iowa who attempts to pass off margarine, oleo, or oleomargarine as real butter could face up to 30 days in jail and a $625 fine.

No. 6: It is illegal to advertise on another person's tombstone in the city of Wells, Maine. Not sure about the rest of the state. (In addition, multiple counties in New Hampshire do not permit picnics in cemeteries.)

No. 5: Animals are banned in California from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school or place of worship. (Speaking of animals, in Pennsylvania it is prohibited to catch a fish with your mouth.)

No. 4: In Virginia's Prince William County, it is illegal to keep a skunk as a pet. Yeah, that law stinks. (And in Oklahoma, making glue out of dead skunks is not permitted.)

No. 3: In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

No. 2: In Rhode Island, no person may bite off another's limb(s). Which leads us to ...

No. 1: Idaho is the only state to have an active ban on cannibalism, which is defined as the "nonconsensual consumption" of another human -- meaning, I guess, if you can get your buddy's permission to partake, the authorities can't stop you.

If nothing else after taking in this information, I hope you remember the term "nonconsensual consumption."