Ripped from the headlines

8 Feb

When I was elementary school age, I loved finding out about old antiquated laws.  You know, things that while they are still “on the books” are so far-fetched that they are virtually unenforceable.  I would imagine that these laws came about because of some specific reason, like someone stepped in a big, green, gooey phlegm-glob while walking to Church in their fancy Sunday slippers.  Hello Dodge City, Kansas ordinance that prohibits spitting on the sidewalks on a Sunday.  Or a local legislator was shown up at a fishing contest in Tennessee and made it illegal to catch fish with a lasso.  It was likely a humorless parishioner who succeeding in having a law enacted in Nicholas county, West Virginia which forbids any clergy from telling jokes from the pulpit.  For the most part, this sort of legislation ended with the Industrial Revolution.  People had more places to go, productivity goals to meet and less time to worry about who is transporting dead animals across public highways or tease apart the difference between biting someone with real teeth or nibbling at them with dentures.

Put a belt on it, Jeezy

Of course, even now in modern times, there is the occasional law proposal that makes national news on the basis that it’s frivolous.  Heck, local governments in Georgia, Louisiana and Virginia have been spotlighted time and again for taking a crack at passing laws banning baggy, saggy pants.  Opponents say that Johnny Law is attacking culture and freedom of expression; the ACLU contends these proposed laws are intended for racial profiling.  Lawmakers cite baggy jeans as flouting public decency laws while school boards insist that baggy jeans pose a personal safety problem.  After actually seeing a baggy jean proponent’s junk in the front at Lenox Mall one morning, I’m kinda all for it.  There is now another proposed law breaking in the headlines this month, and for once it’s not in the South.

Who ever smelt it, dealt it

Since Saint Madonna has taken on saving the orphans of Malawi, President Bingu wa Matharika’s administration is freed up to tackle other pressing issues that plague the country.  They are looking to impose penalty on those who claim to be fortunetellers, anyone who fouls water and those who break wind in public.  That’s right, if you plan to visit the Republic of Malawi, you may want to easy up on your fiber load.  Farting is a crime.  For reals, this time.  I am guessing that sharting would be a two-count crime.  The government’s thinking here is to mold responsible and disciplined citizens.  I have often wondered what a legal test for the “he who denied it, supplied it” defense would look like.  Or smell like.

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