Posts Tagged ‘Funny Laws’

By nature, laws tend to be rather complicated. Try navigating through any law that interests you, and there are good chances that you would give up trying to make some sense of it within the first five pages.

The reason laws tend to be holistic and hence appear to be difficult is not only because they have to address issues which are themselves complex. They also need to take care of human ingenuity which knows no bounds. Make a law and you will notice how those impacted by it try to avoid as well as evade it, either taking advantage of some loophole or by a creative interpretation of some innocuous provision in the law. Governments all over the world grapple with this menace by trying to make laws stricter, thereby getting into a vicious cycle of sorts.   Cartoon Lawyer

Admittedly, our laws are drawn up by brainy birds who apparently consume quite a lot of fish in their lifetime. They have the mental stamina to keep churning out reams and reams of sections, sub-sections and sub-sub-sections. One is truly in awe of lawyers who possess an elephantine memory and quote various provisions of law verbatim at an appropriate time in any given context. Quite a few of the laws, even though designed to address a specific problem faced by society at a given point in time, fade from public memory; then there are some which are never seriously enforced.

But all laws need not always be serious. There are several laws all over the world which could appear to be amusing to a globe-trotter as long as he/she does not get caught on the wrong side of the same. To the local inhabitants, though, most have become a part of everyday life. Here is a random sample which could possibly be of interest to you.

  • In Victoria, Australia, you would need a licensed electrician to change a bulb. Technically qualified people from developing countries can perhaps increase their earnings manifold by migrating to Down Under.
  • In Singapore, you may be allowed to chew your gum, but are not expected to leave behind the gooey remains in a public place. To avoid getting penalized, you are expected to stick the remains to a trash can.
  • In Thailand, you are not allowed to leave your home without wearing your underwear. All the manufacturers of inner wear surely have sound marketing strategies for that territory, tapping its innate potential to the hilt.  Cartoon Traffic cop
  • In South Korea, traffic police are required by law to report all bribes that they receive from motorists. One can never be sure about the authenticity of reports getting filed there, but this should make the traffic police in some other countries sit up and take notice.
  • In India, under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, only males can be sent to jail for adultery. The females may continue with whatever liberties they wish to take. All feminists in India who are crying hoarse and seeking stricter laws to protect the gentler sex – whether at home or outside – would do well to also demand an equal treatment in this regard.
  • In South Africa, young people wearing bathing suits are prohibited from sitting less than 12 inches apart. If you are planning a honeymoon trip to South Africa, better watch out.Cartoon Teeth Brushing
  • Kids living in Russia are apparently much happier than their counterparts elsewhere on this planet. It is illegal there to brush one’s teeth more than two times a day. Surely, this dims the business prospects of MNCs dealing in global toothpaste brands and wishing to diversify into Russian markets.
  • If you happen to be in Sweden, and have amorous tendencies, do not think of availing the services of a prostitute; unless, of course, you wish to experience the environment in a Swedish prison.
  • In Germany, it is illegal to stop – as well as to run out of gas – on an autobahn. Filling up enough gas before hitting an autobahn is highly recommended.
  • Same restrictions apply in Switzerland as well. In addition, it is a country where you can truly relish your Sundays, lazing about in front of the TV. On Sundays, you can neither wash your car nor dispose off your garbage. Much to the discomfiture of spouses, you can neither mow a lawn nor vacuum the household! Also, if you decide to have a leisurely bath or happen to flush your toilet after 10 PM, you run the risk of being visited by the police.
  • In Portugal, it is illegal to pee in the ocean. On the contrary, in India, one may respond to nature’s call virtually anywhere without causing any eyebrows to be raised. May be that partially explains why the Portuguese decided to capture Goa in India in 1510 AD – perhaps to enjoy unbridled freedom from this law!Cartoon Hillary Clinton
  • France sprung a pleasant surprise this year by withdrawing a ban on women wearing trousers. It was a ban which came into force after the French Revolution to prevent women from masquerading as men. It is understood that it was partially rolled back in 1892 and also in 1909, allowing women to wear trousers when riding a bicycle or a horse. Of late, the fact that the former French First Lady Carla Bruni, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had displayed their unmistakable preference for wearing pantsuits might have prompted the policy makers in France to rethink on the issue, resulting into the ban being revoked.
  • If you are in the noble profession of teaching in Arkansas in USA and are a descendent of Eve, you better keep your hair long and plaited, so as to get an annual raise in your package. If you commit the blunder of going in for bobbed hair, local law ordains that you shall not get a raise.
  • In Idaho, USA, it is illegal to give your sweetheart a box of candy weighing smaller than 50 lbs. How all the sweethearts there manage to keep their body weight under control is an area which should concern all food and nutrition researchers.Cartoon beggingimages
  • If you happen to be a beggar by profession, you would do well to relocate to Washington DC in USA. Begging is recognized as a fundamental right out there, protected by the Constitution. So you do not risk facing the wrath of any law enforcing agencies.
  • In Mexico, any kind of nude artistic display is illegal. This would be music to the ears of the puritans who hounded M F Husain out of India, leaving the much acclaimed artist rooting for a dignified return to his homeland till the time he died in 2011.
  • We understand that you cannot plan your death. However, if you think you are anywhere close to kicking the bucket, make sure that you are not in the Houses of Parliament in England, where it is illegal to die. Some of the other places where the same rule applies are:Cartoon Grave
    • Biritiba-Mirim in Brazil,
    • Le Lavandou, Cugnaux and Sarpourenx in France,
    • Longyearbyen, the largest settlement in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbad in Norway, and
    • Lanjaron ìn Spain.

And in the following places, you may neither die nor deliver a baby:

    • Island of Delos in Greece,
    • Island of Itsukushima in Japan!

There is great merit in any country keeping a few ridiculous laws. For the common man, flouting them is an easy way to gain a celebrity status while not committing a heinous crime. In turn, this leaves the much burdened police force to take care of more serious matters. Also, such laws keep the collective sense of humour of a country alive, thereby improving public health in no uncertain terms!

Legal Disclaimers

1. The list of laws mentioned in the article is merely indicative.

2. The illustrations used in the article are drawn from diverse sources and are not owned by the author.

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