By Keith Whitson

“It is unlawful for any person having custody or charge of any pinball machine where the same may be operated to permit any minor under the age of eighteen years to play, operate or use any such machine or to loiter about the same.”

We have an article in this week’s issue about some new laws going into effect this year in Tennessee. The idea prompted me to research some examples of silly laws still on the books in our state as well as others.

Another Tennessee law states “A person operating a scooter, in-line skates or roller skates shall not attach the same or himself to any moving vehicle upon the roadway.” I don’t know how bad that problem had to get before they came up with a law, but it doesn’t seem like anything I would even consider doing.

Bingo games cannot last more than 5 hours in North Carolina. It is also against the law to sing off key in that state.

You may not sell toothpaste and a toothbrush to the same customer on a Sunday in Rhode Island. I have no idea what the reasoning of that would be.

In Utah, marriage between cousins is against the law, but only if they are younger than 65.

You are not allowed to eat fried chicken any other way than using your hands in Gainesville, Ga.

Don’t try selling your eyeballs in Texas. It is illegal. Did someone really attempt to do this and the state was afraid it would become a trend?

Red cars cannot drive down Lake Street in Minneapolis, Minn. Maybe it angers the bull in the pasture nearby.

Bear wrestling matches are prohibited in Alabama. Obviously someone was drunk and lost a bet who had to take that sport up.

You may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit in Wyoming. I tend to look better myself in the warmer months.

In Washington you cannot buy meat of any kind on Sunday. There is always the option of road kill.

It’s illegal to attend a public event or use public transportation within 4 hours of eating onions or garlic in Indiana. That must require a special page of safe menu items at restaurants.

In Idaho it’s illegal for a man to give his fiancé a box of candy that weighs more than 50 pounds. Someone must have literally said “I can eat my weight in chocolate.”

In Idaho it is also against the law to kiss in public for more than 18 minutes. However, that is longer than you can kiss in Halethrope, Md., which has a limit of 60 seconds.

In Washington a motorist with criminal intentions must stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town. That would have to be the dumbest criminal to ever live if he told the police before he committed the crime.

If you are found stealing soap, you must wash yourself until the bar of soap has been completely used up if it is in Arizona. I love that one. Just so you don’t have to wash  your mouth out with it as well.

If you have a mustache, it’s illegal for you to kiss a woman in Eureka, Nev.

Here is another favorite. It’s against the law for a woman to drive a car on Main Street unless her husband is walking in front of the car waving a red flag in Waynesboro, Va.

You can be arrested or fined for harassing Bigfoot in Washington. It is also against the law to have sex with an animal that weighs more than 40 pounds. Maybe that is how people were harassing Bigfoot.

In Georgia is against the law to use profanity around a corpse.

In Ohio it is illegal to get a fish drunk but a policeman can bite a dog if they believe it will calm the dog down.

An old city ordinance in Cleveland, Ohio prohibits women from wearing patent leather shoes in public. The reason? Shiny footwear could act as a mirror and allow a nearby gentleman an unintentional peep show up her dress.

Women in Florida can be fined for falling asleep under a dryer in a hair salon. If you’re a woman living in Michigan, you might want to check with your husband before heading to the hair stylist. According to state law, your hair belongs to your spouse and you’ll need his permission before you can alter it.

Forget about trying to publicly adjust your stockings in either Dennison Texas or Bristol, Tenn. Performing such a lewd act could land you a sentence of up to twelve months in the state penitentiary.

If these laws were enforced today, we would all be put in jail. Hopefully our new laws will be more appropriate for the times.