May 29, 2024
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May 29, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

As Yidden, we sure have a lot of people who look at us and say things like, “You’re praying again? You just ate!” or, “You’re doing what with a chicken?… Well, does the chicken have to say the prayer too?”

But it’s really unfair. Because if you look around, every country has laws that are weirder than anything we do. The only difference is that most of these are laws that no one’s aware of. In fact, breaking most of these laws will not actually get you in trouble, unless the cop is an anti-Semite.

Here are a bunch of them. How many of these have you broken without even realizing?

I got 12.

  • • In England, if you find a washed-up dead whale, its head belongs to the reigning monarch. That also means you can’t personally remove the whale from the beach. I guess the monarch has to.
  • • In Vermont, it’s illegal to disguise your horse. What kind of disguise would a horse have to wear for people not to realize it’s a horse? Is there a costume that makes it look like two humans?
  • • In England, it’s illegal to be drunk in charge of a horse or a cow. Which is probably what got you to decide to put it in a Purim costume.
  • • In Singapore, it’s illegal to sell or import gum. Unless you have a medical prescription for it. Gum is a disgusting habit anyway. People keep blowing bubbles while you’re trying to talk to them. Imagine people did that with other foods.
  • • In England, it’s illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament. But if you do, your head belongs to the reigning monarch.
  • • In Rosemead, California, it’s illegal to eat ice cream in public with a fork. If you want to eat ice cream with a fork, at least don’t do it in public. Have some decency.
  • • Also in California, it’s illegal to eat an orange in your bathtub. This law was passed around 1920, when people believed that the citric acid would combine with the bath oils and create a highly explosive mixture. How are they enforcing this? Also, I can still eat oranges in the shower, right?
  • • In New York, on elevators, “One must talk to no one and fold his hands while looking toward the door.” No good conversation has ever started in an elevator. But at least now we know why everyone faces the door. It’s not just to make it weird for the next person who comes in and tries to find room to stand with everyone in the elevator staring at him.
  • • In England, under the Salmon Act of 1986, it’s illegal to handle salmon in a suspicious manner. Luckily, I live in America, where I can suspiciously handle salmon all I want. (Do they mean eating just the head?)
  • • In Canada, it’s illegal to scare the queen (who lives in England). So bringing her that whale head unannounced—just leaving it on her throne and hoping she finds it before she sits down—is out of the question.
  • • In Alabama, masks may not be worn in public. Why on earth would you wear a mask in private?
  • • In Quitman, Georgia, it’s illegal for chickens to cross a road. Also, cars are not allowed to drive on the sidewalk. The two laws might be related. (“Why did the chicken cross the road?” “Because the car was driving on the sidewalk.”)
  • • In Arizona, donkeys cannot sleep in bathtubs. This law came about in the 1920s, when someone let his donkey sleep in an abandoned tub on his property, and then one day the nearby dam broke and the donkey was washed away down the river and got stuck, and the town spent a considerable amount of resources and a manpower to save it before they said, “This is the last time.”
  • • In Georgia, donkeys cannot even be kept in bathtubs. Fish, sure. Why not? But not donkeys. Unless you want to have to share your orange every time.
  • • In Arkansas, alligators may not be kept in bathtubs. Well, that one goes without saying.
  • • In Mobile, Alabama, it’s prohibited to bathe in city fountains. (“What? There’s a donkey eating an orange in my bathtub.”)
  • • In Arkansas, if you must walk your cow down a public highway, you may not blindfold it first. (“Yeah, but then he’s going to find his way back!”)
  • • In Portland, Oregon, it’s illegal to wear roller skates in the bathroom. This is not a dumb law.
  • • In Indianapolis, one may throw a stone at a bird only in self-defense. Like if the bird started it.
  • • In Dunn, North Carolina, it’s illegal to drive cars through city cemeteries for pleasure. I don’t know what kind of pleasure you’re getting out of this. Is it a Chol Hamoed trip? Point is, you can only do it for business.
  • • In Virginia, roadkill may be taken home for supper. (“What are we having?” “Chicken.”)
  • • In Canton, Ohio, if one loses their pet tiger, they must notify the authorities within one hour. You can’t just hang fliers and wait for things to play out.
  • • -In Glendale, California, one may not take his dog on an elevator with him. But if one does, the two of them must not talk—they must fold their hands and look toward the door.

No wonder our prisons are overcrowded.

By Mordechai Schmutter


Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia and other magazines. He also has six books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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