Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Grand Rapids, Here We Come!

Joseph in IL had some good news for us today...

City to strike ban on being willfully annoying
It's soon expected to be OK to be willfully annoying in Grand Rapids.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that the City Commission is nixing a 38-year-old section of city code that states "no person shall willfully annoy another person."
Good, because I've been staying away from Grand Rapids my entire adult life for just that reason...

It always amuses me to see recaps of the inane laws still on the books in many places. As it turns out, there's an entire website devoted to them:

Dumb Laws

(I would wager there are many websites, but this is the first one that popped up)

Looking around the round world, it seems stupid laws are in all 50 states. Like my new state:

Dumb laws in Virginia
Spitting on a sea gull is not tolerated.
Women must wear a corsette after sundown and be in the company of male chaperone.

Or my old state:

Dumb laws in Massachusetts
It is illegal to give beer to hospital patients.

Candy may not contain more than 1% of alcohol.
Dumb laws aren't limited to the US, either. In Thailand, you cannot wear a kilt:
It is illegal to leave your house if you are not wearing underwear.
In Israel, they have some bizarre rituals:
It is forbidden to bring bears to the beach.

Were sunbathing bruins really that big of a problem in the promised land?

Anyways, I'm sure that in each and every one of these instances, there's a compelling reason why the law was passed. Maybe it made sense at the time. Maybe it was in response to a specific incident. Maybe it's just a law that time forgot, like the rules about placing placards on motorcars in case you overtake a horse and carriage.

At least we don't have dumb, pointless laws that don't make any sense these days, right?

That is all.

That is all.


ProudHillbilly said...

I wonder if the willfully annoying one covers what I call "no people"? You know, those special people who just grate on your nerves not matter what they do and toward whom your first response for anything is "No!". As in "It's midnight at the equator and so the sun has set." "No!"

Douglas2 said...

Whenever I've tried to look into the provenance of some "odd law", I generally can find no trace to a legitimate codebook.

But Kevin Underhill has compiled a bunch of really genine ones with full documentation:

Anonymous said...

I given beer to a hospital patient when we were in college.

You'll never take me alive Screw!

(It was in PA and 37 years ago so I'm safe.)


Stretch said...

D.C. law forbids parking in front of a horse watering trough. And yes, there WAS one, albeit a rusted out, crumpled, disused one, in Georgetown.
A buddy routinely wrote up people using only the code number. This went on for years until a magistrate actually looked up the ordinance. Needless to say buddy and trough were relocated.

Anonymous said...

The question I usually have about these laws is "who inspired this law"?

Now they usually have titles like Megan's Law or Scott's Law. This sounds more like Get Off My Lawn's Law.

Joseph in IL

Daniel in Brookline said...

That's a fun site, Jay. Thanks!

(Check out the laws from the United Kingdom. The one about Scotsmen made me wonder.)

Will said...

SF had one about not shooting rabbits from a trolley car. I think it was eventually stricken, although not that long ago.