No one can really argue against the idea that all societies need some laws. Killing sprees, anarchy, looting, and violence aren’t fun… right? Therefore, most of us respect the laws in place and understand why they are necessary (even if you sometimes harmlessly bend the law…yeah, I’m looking at you). However, some of the laws still in existence are outdated and just plain bizarre. Even though law officials have repealed many of New York’s oldest laws, some of the weirder ones seem to have slipped through the cracks. While most of these laws aren’t really being enforced these days, we thought we should let you know about them so you’re not surprised when you’re hauled off to jail for something silly like wearing slippers after 10pm! Some of these laws will shock you, some will make you laugh, and some might even make you blurt out “what were they thinking?!”
Well, as my (not so nice) 6th grade math teacher always said, “stop being lazy and educate yourself”:
1) It is illegal to have two or more people gather together in public while each wearing any sort of disguise or mask.
Hmm, I guess it would be scary to come across a huge group of masked individuals.
2) It is illegal to sell hamburgers with more than 30% fat.
I’m sure all of the skinny betches will be happy about this one.
3) It is illegal to sell cat fur to anyone.
My cats will certainly be happy about this one! No kitten mittens for anyone, I guess.
4) One may not walk around in public with an ice cream cone in his/her pocket, specifically on Sundays.
Oh, phew! I can’t tell you how much this problem of people with ice cream cones in their pockets has interfered with my Sundays…said no one ever.
5) A woman is not to wear body-hugging clothing in public (specifically on the street).
Well, this one definitely doesn’t seem to be enforced too much.
6) Slippers aren’t allowed to be worn after 10:00 PM.
Aw, no fair! That’s micromanaging to the max.
7) Flirting can cause a fine of up to $25.
So be careful when you meet a new, cute stranger!
8 ) One must be silent, face the door, and fold his/her hands while riding in an elevator with other people.
To be honest, I think we all do this anyway (it’s no secret that New Yorkers aren’t the world’s friendliest people).
9) New Yorkers are not allowed to greet someone by “putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers.”
Huh. Well, I’ve never thought of doing this one before. Now that I know I’m not allowed to do it, though, it’s all I want to do!
10) It is illegal to throw a ball at someone else’s head if you are only doing it for fun.
But doing it for any other reason is OK I guess?
11) Some buildings have private bylaws that prohibit single women from having men over to “entertain them” after a certain time of night.
Well, that’s a pretty personal thing for a landlord to control, no?
12) It is against the law for a New Yorker to own a grizzly bear, kinkajou, or mountain lion.
Well, if this wasn’t a law I’m sure tons of people would have lions and bears in their small apartments.
13) It is illegal to dye your rabbit any color.
I guess you gotta find a new way to make your rabbit snazzy for Easter now.
14) You can be sentenced to a year in jail for “tampering with a horse’s tail.”
Not exactly sure what “tampering” with a horse’s tail refers to, but I’m sure nothing you would want to do to a horse’s tail is worth a year in jail.
15) New Yorkers are prohibited from spitting or disposing of dead animals on the streets.
No complaints about this one! I’m sure most people are happy to not having dead animals on our city’s streets.
16) It is illegal for a politician to use curse words, be nude in public, and use distasteful hand gestures.
Good, because having Bloomberg running around naked through Manhattan would certainly make for an interesting day….
17) The use of handcuffs by a citizen who is not a law-enforcement official is not allowed.
I guess I’ll have to give up my hobby of making citizen’s arrests.
18) It is against the law for more than three unrelated people to live in the same apartment.
I’m sure this has often been used as an excuse to evict cash-lacking tenants.
19) Buying and selling horse meat is completely legal in most states.
20) The act of cutting a person’s tongue into multiple parts (tongue-splitting) is only allowed to be performed by doctors and dentists.
OH! Good to know! I was about to ask my friend to perform a tongue-splitting on me just for funsies, but I guess I’ll go to my dentist instead.
21) You may not parachute unless you are ordered to do so or you consider yourself to be in danger.
Wouldn’t you always be in danger when you need a parachute, though, because you’re falling through the air…? At least hang gliding is legal!
22) You may not hang clothes on a clothesline without purchasing a license first.
Well, next time you don’t want to see your neighbor’s unmentionables hanging outside and blowing in the wind, just ask to see their license… pretty sure they won’t have one.
23) As long as it is not being used as a business, women are allowed to go completely topless in public.
People really don’t seem to know about this one.
24) It is illegal to have your donkey sleep in a bathtub.
Aw c’mon! Now where can I put him for his daily nap?!
25) If you jump off a building, the penalty is death.
That one is a bit obvious.
26) A man can not go in public wearing non-matching pants and jacket.
If this is true, I saw A LOT of men on the subway this morning who might be about to do some serious jail time.
27) Spittoons must be provided in every business, and they must be cleaned at least once a day.
I knew my office was missing something!
Now that you guys know these odd New York laws, I trust you’ll make sure to never break any of them again, right? Or, more likely, you’ll continue ignoring them, because they’re strange and no one is really enforcing them. Well, at least now that you know that you sometimes break the law, you can feel cool. You’re living life on the edge… who knows when you’ll get caught?