TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1400 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
Texas Hotels
 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

Laws Dumb and Dumber

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Every time the Congress goes into session, I tend to ask one question.


It seems to me that we already have an overabundance of laws on our books at this time without making more. We should just issue a moratorium on law making for some period, say ten years or so. That should be enough for a starter.

For your continued amusement and entertainment I have researched some of the current laws on the books in our great state of Texas. Don't laugh when you read these, since most of the other states have ones that are equally as dumb or dumber.

Lets start off with one for Austin…..you can't carry wire cutters in your pocket. Must be a holdover from the frontier days when fence cutting was a big deal.

In Houston, you cannot buy beer after midnight on Sunday, but you buy beer on Monday. I suppose they have a different calendar over there, I always thought after midnight Sunday was Monday.

Don't swallow more than three gulps of beer at a time in Lefors, Texas….it's illegal. It's legal for a blind person to go hunting as long as they have someone with them who isn't blind. Sounds reasonable to me.

In Jasper dogs must be on a lease at all times…..I guess this means in the house as well, don't you?

This one sounds kind of hokey….says that it is legal to commit a homicide as long as you tell the person when and how you are going to kill them. I'm not sure I believe that one.

You can't drive without windshield wipers, but you can drive without a windshield.

Corpus Christi won't let you raise alligators in your home. Guess they're afraid of you flushing them down the toilet.

You cannot shoot a buffalo from the window of any second story hotel. I think that means downtown Dallas as well.

If you attend church, you must be recognizable; you cannot wear a disguise under any circumstances. How did that one get on the books?

Here is the last one for Texas…..you will go to jail for milking someone else's cow.

I was about to give up and think I live in the craziest of States when I scrolled down to Utah…..try these on for size.

You can have a nuclear weapon; you just can't detonate one in Utah. Isn't this nice to know?

You are not allowed to hunt whales in Utah under any circumstances. Shouldn't be much of a problem there.

And you can't fish from while riding a horse. This might be a problem.

Birds have the right of way on all Utah highways.

Folks in Monroe, Utah cannot dance without having a certain amount of space between them.

Provo fines you $50 for throwing snowballs. They aren't any fun.

Here's a good one, you can marry your cousin if both of you are over fifty years of age.

OK, so that's enough for our part of the country, how about something up north?

They aren't so sane either. In Massachusetts, you cannot eat more than three sandwiches at a wake. Cuts down on costs.

In Boston, you aren't allowed to take a bath unless you are under doctor's orders to do so.

These make sense to me:
You cannot frighten a pigeon.
You cannot put tomatoes in clam chowder.
You cannot go to bed without taking a full bath. I bet this isn't in Boston.
Diapers cannot be delivered on Sunday.
Children may smoke but cannot buy cigarettes.
Defacing a milk carton will result in a fine of $10.

These don't:
In North Andover, you cannot use a space gun.
Peeping into the window of a parked car is illegal.
In Southbridge, you will go to jail for reading a newspaper on the street after 8pm.
Don't eat peanuts in any court room if you don't want to get arrested.
You cannot take a live lion to the movies. Nothing said about a dead one.

I have to stop here. I am losing my sense of humor. I suppose that must be illegal in some state. Don't laugh; it might be illegal to do so wherever you are.

We have politicians to thank for these. God help us all.
© Peary Perry
Letters From North America >

October 12, 2006 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to www.pearyperry.com

Subject: Shooting Indians from Congress Avenue Streetcars
You might inform Peary Perry that it hasn't been illegal in Texas to carry wirecutters off your own property since 1973, when the Texas Penal Code was totally re-written--by Carole Keeton Strayhorn's dad, Paige Keeton, the dean of UT-Austin's law school. As a measure of Keeton 'conservatism,' bear in mind that he wrote into our new Penal Code what amounts to a burglar's license. If you surprise a burglar in your home in the act of stealing your property--& the burglar drops the loot & runs away--you cannot use deadly force to stop him, even if you don't kill him. If you can't stop him without shooting him, you have to let him get away so he can rob someone else and --most likely--move up to more serious crimes.

Yes, I can call her Carole. I went to high school with her--she was very active in the Young Democrats in high school & college. As a matter of fact Brien Varnado, who was my best man when Vicki & I got married, was her first 'car date.'

If Mr. Perry needs a weird Texas law, let him have this one. At one time Austin had--and may still have on the books--a city ordnance prohibiting the shooting of Indians from streetcars on Congress Avenue. There was no mention of it being illegal to shoot Indians from streetcars on any other Austin street--just Congress Avenue. - Charley Eckhardt, Seguin, Texas, October 14, 2006
Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South |
West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | State Parks | Rivers | Lakes | Drives | Maps | LODGING

Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII |
History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books | MEXICO
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators |
Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs

TEXAS HOTELS | Hotels | Cars | Air | Cruises | USA

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Links
Contributors | Staff | About Us | Contact TE |
Website Content Copyright ©1998-2006. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: October 16, 2006