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Don't curl up with a fridge in Pennsylvania

December 25, 2000

Don't curl up with a fridge in Pennsylvania



I hope there is no one out there whose New Year's resolution is to grow thistles in their yards. Because in Maryland, it's illegal.

If you live in West Virginia, don't even think of allowing your children to go off to school with their breath smelling of wild onions, because that's illegal, too.

Stop laughing, Pennsylvanians, because if someone out there is planning to sleep outdoors on a refrigerator tonight - and you know in such a large state, odds are that someone must be - he should be warned that the practice is strictly prohibited by Pennsylvania state law.

These and other gems may be yours by visiting dumblaws.com, a Web site dedicated to the conviction that many computer geeks out there have way too much time on their hands.

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Still, if you have just wasted seven hours of the workday on amihotornot.com and figure it's to late to start anything productive at this late stage in the game, dumblaws.com is worth a look.

Sticking with Pennsylvania for a moment, if you have long been of the opinion that all citizens of the Keystone State are criminals, you may be closer to being correct than you know, because it is illegal to sing in the bathtub.

And, I might add, well it should be.

As a Marylander, I have no such protection under the law of walking down the hallway without the risk of hearing a neighbor bellowing "Moon River," full throat.

Here's a good one: "Any motorist driving along a country road at night must stop every mile and send up a rocket signal, wait 10 minutes for the road to be cleared of livestock, and continue."

Well.

Being Pennsylvania, I think the law obviously ought be amended to reflect moderns times by stating: "Any motorist driving along a country road at night must stop every mile and send up a rocket signal, wait 10 minutes for the road to be paved, and continue."

The rest of the Pennsylvania laws are just pretty much common sense: Can't fish with dynamite; fireworks stores can sell anything they want except fireworks; any motorist who sights a team of horses coming toward him must pull well off the road, cover his car with a blanket or canvas that blends with the countryside, and let the horses pass - if the horses appear skittish, the motorist must take his car apart, piece by piece, and hide it under the nearest bushes. You know, normal stuff.

I was curious about this one: Housewives are forbidden by law from sweeping dust under a rug. What would have compelled the legislature to put that one on the books?

Perhaps it was a public safety issue. Some wife had been sweeping dust under the rug for 40 years, until the load became so heavy the joists collapsed, killing the family living on the first floor.

Moving on, in Huntington, W.Va., it "is legal to beat your wife so long as it done in public on Sunday, on the courthouse steps." Sounds fair. So long as the other six days of the week are reserved for wives who want to beat their husbands.

It is illegal to own a red or black flag in West Virginia (sorry about this, Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans), sleep on a train, or whistle underwater.

For dumb laws in Maryland, I thought it might have just been easier for dumblaws.com to provide a direct link to the entire Maryland Annotated Code.

The Web site singles out Baltimore as having the most number of dumb laws, which I'm sure surprises us all.

In the city it is illegal to throw bales of hay from a second-story window, or take a lion to the movies. Pretty tame stuff next to having to dismantle your car, I'd say.

Just out of curiosity, I checked to see if there is any such thing as "smartlaws.com."

No surprise, there isn't.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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