>JP Column

>Because so many people have asked me about it, I’m going to start posting my weekly column on my blog.

Here ya go:

An article in Sunday’s Free Press about new laws in North Carolina set to go into effect today got me thinking about some things. One law in particular caught my attention: state employees are no longer allowed to smoke in a state motor fleet vehicle.

That’s a slap in the face of free will if I’ve ever seen one.

I thought the same thing about the anti-smoking laws in New York state back when those figure-heads went on a witch hunt for smokers. And no, I do not smoke.

However, I believe people should have a right to die of lung cancer, emphysema or choke to death if they choose to do so. That line about protecting non-smokers? I’m not really moved by it.

If John Wayne could smoke six packs a day and live to be 72, I’m not going to succumb to paranoia associated with smoke that comes from someone else puffing a cigarette. Let ‘em do it, I say.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ve got the folks at the health department all riled up by this point, so I’ll cut to the chase: while the anti-smoking law affecting state employees is what I would call “foolish,” it doesn’t hold a candle to some other foolish N.C. laws Sunday’s article prompted me to research.

I’ll share them with you, but along with a disclaimer. Most of these are from Web sites whose credibility I cannot speak for. In other words, I didn’t bother looking them up in the state law book, so I wouldn‘t test them.

Without further ado:

1.) It is illegal to plow cotton fields in N.C. with an elephant.
2.) It is against the law for cats and dogs to fight.
3.) It is illegal to drink milk on a train passing through N.C.
4.) It is illegal to sing off-key.
5.) If a man and a woman who aren’t married go to a hotel/motel and register themselves as married then, according to state law, they are legally married.
6.) Massage parlors have been banned in Hornytown.
7.) In Rocky Mount, you must pay property tax on your dog.
8.) Children younger than 7 can’t attend college in Winston-Salem.
9.) It is illegal to eat water melon in Magnolia Cemetery in Spartansburg
10.) In Raleigh before a man asks for a woman’s hand in marriage, he must be “inspected by all the barnyard animals on the young woman’s family’s property, to ensure a harmonious farm life.”

I’m sure some of these laws have been repealed since they more than likely applied to an earlier generation. I’m equally positive, as I’m sure both people reading this are, N.C.’s not the only state with some gibberish polluting its law books – so don’t take any of this personal (though I‘m sure I‘ll get some insightful e-mails, voicemails regardless).

Here are a few from New York State that really take the cake:

1.) You have to have a license to hang clothes on a clothesline.
2.) You can’t walk around on Sundays with an ice cream cone in your pocket.
3.) In New York State, it is illegal for the Buffalo Bills to win the Super Bowl.

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