10 crazy American laws you won’t believe are real

America has lots of dumb laws. But most people are pretty familiar with standard fare dumb laws like no butt-sex in vast swaths of the South or no liquor being sold on Sundays in rural America because it might offend Jesus. But there are a whole mess of other, more obscure dumb laws that you should know about. I mean, on the off chance that you end up rolling through Florida with a pig, or with a truck filled with dildos in Texas, you’re going to want to be informed here. And that’s why we bring you this, ten crazy American laws you won’t believe exist.

10. No Password Sharing – Tennessee

Yes, Tennessee has made it a crime to share your Netflix password, or any other password to, uh, Internet “entertainment” sites. Just be careful, you don’t want to be that guy who ends up in court, head bowed low, while Mr. Skin sits in the witness seat and explains to the jury how you and your boys wronged him. You can abuse him all you want in Kentucky, but Tennessee has higher standards than that.

9. No Posting Images Online That Cause Undue Emotional Distress – Tennessee

Who knew Tennessee was such a bastion of online decency? This law is of course completely nuts because it fails to understand that the Internet is a crazy place filled with crazy people, and there is someone out there who will claim a picture of an apple sent them into an emotional tailspin because it failed to come with a trigger warning. But even if you weed out all the crazies, you’re left with an overburdened court system dealing with bros getting bent out of shape because someone posted a picture of Goatse during a flame war, which is just sad. Then again, the thought of Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan arguing whether or not Goatse represents free speech almost makes this stupid law worth it. (Note: do not Google Image Search Goatse if you don’t know what I’m talking about. For the love of god, don’t do this.)

8. No Harassing Bigfoot – Washington

Basically, this law seems like it was crafted by the Washington legislature while they were getting stoned on a lazy Tuesday afternoon. “What if, like, Bigfoot was real? And what if, like, somebody tried to capture him or shoot him or something, dudes?” To hell with health care, this is some important shit. I’m guessing that they were all watching Harry and the Hendersons while they were getting baked and felt the need to take a stand. The funniest part is that this isn’t just a simple misdemeanor with a modest fine. No, this is a felony, meaning that you could end up doing hard time for harassing an imaginary creature. You’d probably get the gas chamber for taunting Cookie Monster.

7. No Simulated Bestiality in a Bar – Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a fairly standard law covering indecency in a bar. Basically, it holds the bar owner liable if his customers get too rowdy and start finger-banging on the dance floor. But for some insane reason, they felt the need to add bestiality to the list, which I’m guessing happened because some state senator saw some drunk college frat bro jokingly try to bang the mechanical bull at a bar while all his friends whooped it up, and decided, “No more!” After all, mechanical bulls are people too.

6. No Keeping Pregnant Pigs in Cages – Florida

This one gets extra points because it’s not just a law, it’s actually in the state Constitution. Florida, amirite? Yes, the Florida state Constitution has an amendment “limiting cruel and inhumane confinement of pigs during pregnancy.” Sure, you’ve got dudes roaming around eating bath salts and gnawing off faces, but goddammit, there are pregnant pigs who don’t have enough room to really luxuriate. You can see why this would be important. Then again, it’s Florida, so some poor idiot in the state legislature probably felt guilty after knocking up one of his pigs and decided to make sure she’d at least get to raise their bastard in comfort. These are Southern gentlemen after all.

5. Idiots Can’t Vote – New Mexico

According to the New Mexico state Constitution, everyone of legal age is entitled to vote accept for the usual riff-raff, like felons. But New Mexico decided to add a little more integrity to their elections by also disenfranchising insane people and idiots. Look, there’s an obvious joke here to be made about the Tea Party, but I’m above such things. I just want to know who decides who’s an idiot. Would Corky from Life Goes On be allowed to vote? George W. Bush? I mean, who makes this decision?

4. No Carrying Babies on the Running Boards of Cars – Oregon

This one seems oddly specific, which means that it was probably passed because some asshole actually did this. I’m guessing some poor overstressed couple had to pack up the ol’ Model T to go to Aunt Selma’s for Thanksgiving back in the day, realized they didn’t have room for both the baby and the turkey, and realized that they had a tough choice to make. Naturally, baby Jed ended up ghost-riding the whip while the precious turkey sat safely in the backseat. The law also makes it illegal to carry a baby on the hood or fender of your vehicle, so you probably shouldn’t get high and roll around town with your baby as a hood ornament, no matter how funny it may seem at the time.

3. No Owning Six or More Dildos – Texas

You knew Texas would probably show up here at some point, and naturally, it’s about dildos. I think the rationale here was that anyone owning that many dildos is a dildo salesman or something, which is also illegal in Texas for some idiotic reason. But what’s funny to me is picturing some old Texas rednecks sitting around the legislature arguing about the specific number. I mean, what made five dildos okay while six was apparently just one too many damn dildos? What if they are different types of dildos? Are vibrators considered different from dildos? What if a lady has a refrigerator drawer filled with cucumbers? Is a SWAT team going to kick in the doors after the local grocery clerk sends in an anonymous tip about bananas being sold in bulk to lonely ladies? You’ve opened a Pandora’s Box here, Texas.

2. No More Than Six Girls Can Live in a Residence – Maricopa County, Arizona

This law was passed in an effort to crack down on brothels, but in reality it’s basically declaring that the father of that nice Irish Catholic family that lives down the street is actually a pimp, and that all of those sorority houses are even more scandalous than in your wildest dreams. To be fair, the good people of Maricopa County have turned their attentions to rooting out houses filled with Mexicans in recent years, meaning that the county is probably filled with these houses of sin. I’m just saying, maybe the time has come for Sheriff Joe to show up on the news explaining what all those sorority girls are doing on his chain gangs. After all, the law’s the law, right?

1. No Seducing Unmarried Girls – Michigan

You can get up to five years in prison for seducing an unmarried girl, which means that every dude who lives in Michigan who’s married is technically a felon. That’s what makes it so ridiculous. The wording takes a standard, old fashioned dumb “no premarital sex” law and turns it into an ambiguous law which basically makes it okay for any dude who smiles at a single lady on the street to get beaten down like Rodney King by the cops. This is why I only hit on married ladies. I just respect the law that much.

(Previously published on November 14, 2013.)
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