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-   -   Obscure laws (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=10337)

snopes 11 June 2007 11:18 PM

Obscure laws
 
Comment: On the BBC show "Top Gear" recently the celebrity Simon Pegg
alleged that a due to an obscure law a pregnant woman in dire need can
legally request that a policeman offer her his helmet to urinate in, is
this true?

Floater 12 June 2007 09:50 AM

I once read in a guide book to public toilets in London, The Good Loo Guide, that there had at least been a law - the author had no idea if it still existed, but hoped it did - stating that a woman in need could ask a policeman to hide her with his coat while she did what she had to do in the gutter. A man in a similar situation was allowed to urinate on the outer hind wheel of a parked vehicle.

Tarquin Farquart 12 June 2007 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floater (Post 207589)
I once read in a guide book to public toilets in London, The Good Loo Guide, that there had at least been a law - the author had no idea if it still existed, but hoped it did - stating that a woman in need could ask a policeman to hide her with his coat while she did what she had to do in the gutter. A man in a similar situation was allowed to urinate on the outer hind wheel of a parked vehicle.

A pregnant woman is supposed to be allowed to ask a policeman to use his helmet if she get caught short.

Graham2001 12 June 2007 05:03 PM

Rodney Dale, mentions this one on page 29 of "The Tumor in the Whale". However in his version (written around 1977/78) the person has to use the rear nearside wheel to 'do their trick'.

He also mentions that versions of the story existed with this being either proved in court or with the unfortunate individual being busted for using the wrong wheel...

Floater 12 June 2007 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Graham2001 (Post 208076)
Rodney Dale, mentions this one on page 29 of "The Tumor in the Whale". However in his version (written around 1977/78) the person has to use the rear nearside wheel to 'do their trick'.

Whatever. ;) It was at least 25 years since I read the book, so my memories about the details are somewhat vague. I do remember, though, a very late walk through Chelsea and Kensington when I suddenly felt an urge to test the law (without even having read about it yet). It all went well and the year after I tried to retrace my steps and discovered that it had happened in a side street behind the police station in Kensington.

snopes 17 November 2009 07:37 PM

Comment: I heard recently from someone who works in the Nevada Dept. of
Corrections of two ridiculous laws. The first, impeding the path of a
pigeon, I was unable to find anything online claiming it was true or
false. The second, however, did have some hits: Defacing a Hamburger. The
rumor is that removing the onions and pickles from a hamburger and
throwing them on the ground violates this law. The original source who
told me of this law was unclear as to whether it was state (Nevada), city
(Las Vegas), or county (Clark). I have searched the code for all three of
these bodies and have found nothing. Online the only source I could find
was a quote from a homeless man claiming the law to be on the books.

TrekkerScout 17 November 2009 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 1095183)
The first, impeding the path of a pigeon, I was unable to find anything online claiming it was true or false.

Someone could contact Nevada Pigeon Control to find out.
Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 1095183)
The second, however, did have some hits: Defacing a Hamburger. The rumor is that removing the onions and pickles from a hamburger and throwing them on the ground violates this law.

I don't think that "Defacing a Hamburger" would be the offense committed. Certainly, throwing waste on the ground is considered littering.

Stoneage Dinosaur 19 November 2009 12:48 PM

Women banned from wearing trousers in Paris
 
A decree banning women from wearing trousers in Paris is still technically in force, it emerged on Monday, making the laissez-faire French capital theoretically stricter than hardline Sudan in the fashion stakes.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/f...-in-Paris.html

Eddylizard 19 November 2009 01:12 PM

I thought we've talked about this several times. I can't remember the outcome though.

Right - easy. All I need is a pregnant woman and two train tickets to London. When get there we will request the helmet of the nearest bobby. I don't know if the law relates to City of London Police or the London Metropolitan Police so we'll need a couple of oyster cards too for the tube.

Then I'll take her to Paris her wearing a pair of trousers, and flaunt her in front of as many gendarmes as I can find - and see what happens.

The only flaw is finding a pregnant woman (in fact any woman) who wants to go out with me. You might have to wait, but watch this space. :)

Would anyone like to contribute to my research foundation, either financially or ideally by supplying the use of a pregnant woman for a day or three?

Darth Credence 04 December 2009 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 207206)
Comment: On the BBC show "Top Gear" recently the celebrity Simon Pegg
alleged that a due to an obscure law a pregnant woman in dire need can
legally request that a policeman offer her his helmet to urinate in, is
this true?

But really, can't anyone request the use of the helmet for said purpose? The officer would be under no obligation to provide it, but would they arrest me if I asked, but not if I was a pregnant woman? And therefore, why does there need to be a law about this?
I mean if it said the officer had to give up his helmet, sure, that's a different story, but I've heard this before and it has always been phrased as the woman can request the helmet.

snopes 07 December 2009 06:06 PM

Comment: Hi, I've recently discovered a bunch of websites saying that it
is illegal to dress as Batman in Australia. According to some of these
sites this law comes from an obscure law which states that, "It is illegal
to roam the streets wearing black clothes, felt shoes and black shoe
polish on your face as these items are the tools of a cat burglar."

I am Australian, and I know that it is NOT illegal to dress as Batman. I
also suspect this 'quote' from our laws is fake as in Australia we don't
call housebreakers 'cat burglars', (it's a peculiarly American expression)
and the law doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

snopes 18 December 2009 01:40 AM

Comment: I was told that there is an old COlorado law that states that if
you put your finger in someone's belly button for more than four seconds
it is considered rape.

snopes 18 December 2009 01:41 AM

Quote:

if you put your finger in someone's belly button for more than four seconds
it is considered rape.
Sex: Ur doin' it wrong.

RealityChuck 18 December 2009 04:07 PM

Let me get this straight. Simon Pegg -- a comedian and comic actor -- makes a statement and you take it as telling the truth?

Do you also wonder if chickens really cross the road to get to the other side?

elmwood 18 January 2010 05:15 AM

There's still a lot of odd laws that are still on the books in Buffalo, New York. A few of my favorites:

98-8. Sunday hours. No person shall conduct a bootblack stand or engage in work as a bootblack within the city, for hire or gain, or permit or require any of his employees to engage in such work after 1:00 p.m. on any Sunday afternoon. This section, however, shall not apply to persons engaged in or employed by the management of bona fide hotels.

158-13. Quarantine; posting. It shall be the duty of the Health Department to put up and maintain in a conspicuous place at the front entrance of any building, and also at any other entrance thereof, in which there shall be any person sick or infected with smallpox, varioloid, scarlet fever or diphtheria (or croup in any form) a card or sign on which shall be written or printed in English and German, Italian or Polish the words designating the infectious disease with which such sick person is affected and to keep the same so posted during all the time when such sick or infected person shall remain in said building. In any cases mentioned in this section, it shall be unlawful to remove or cause to be removed any such placard or notification of warning so placed by the Health Department; and in cases of diphtheria, such placard shall not be removed until bacteriological examinations shall have shown that no further danger from contagion exists; and no person shall, without the permission of the Health Commissioner, remove any such sign or placard so placed on any building. In case any such sign shall have been removed, either by accident or design, it shall be the duty of the person or persons occupying said building to notify the Department of Health thereof forthwith.

352-1. Speed at public street crossings. It shall not be lawful for any steam railroad to propel any engine or cars across any public street at grade in the City of Buffalo at a greater rate of speed than six (6) miles per hour.

378-5 D.Every corporation, proprietor or other person owning, operating or controlling any store, factory, theater or other building or room which is used in common by the public or any depot or railroad station shall provide a sufficient number of nonabsorbent receptacles for expectoration and shall provide for the thorough cleansing and disinfection thereof at least once in twenty-four (24) hours.



A few from Oakland, Florida. Again, still in force.

10-1 Animals on sidewalks. It shall be unlawful for any person to hitch, ride or allow any horse, mule, ass or other animal to stand on any sidewalk within the corporate limits of the town.

50-5 Disturbing the peace. It shall be unlawful for any person within the corporate limits of the town to willfully disturb the peace of others by repeating or uttering slander, scandal, malicious gossip or rumour, calculated to provoke a breach of the peace.

50-20 Vagrants. The following shall be deemed vagrants.
(4) Common pipers and fiddlers.
(13) Persons neglecting all lawful businesses and habitually spending all their time by frequenting hosues of ill fame, gaming houses and tippling shops.
(14) Persons able to work but habitually living upon the livings of their wives or minor children.

Floater 18 January 2010 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elmwood (Post 1136507)
98-8. Sunday hours. No person shall conduct a bootblack stand or engage in work as a bootblack within the city, for hire or gain, or permit or require any of his employees to engage in such work after 1:00 p.m. on any Sunday afternoon. This section, however, shall not apply to persons engaged in or employed by the management of bona fide hotels.

Are they allowed to polish brown shoes? :p

Don Enrico 18 January 2010 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elmwood (Post 1136507)
A few from Oakland, Florida. Again, still in force.

10-1 Animals on sidewalks. It shall be unlawful for any person to hitch, ride or allow any horse, mule, ass or other animal to stand on any sidewalk within the corporate limits of the town.

That should put an end to street protests of Phelps and the like in Oakland, shouldn't it?

"Sorry, Sir, you need to move on. I can't let an ass like you stand on a public sidewalk in Oakland - it's the law."

Don Enrico

snopes 02 March 2010 09:06 PM

Comment: In Idaho, there's a law that states that it is illegal to give a
box of chocolates weighing less than 50 lbs.

Can this be true? What could the reason behind it be?

snopes 17 March 2010 06:05 PM

Tennessee Senate says fish, birds OK in barber shops
 
Let the record reflect that the Tennessee state Senate has endorsed fish tanks and live birds in barber shops.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...TAM&SECTION=US

annabohly 17 March 2010 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 1169678)
Comment: In Idaho, there's a law that states that it is illegal to give a
box of chocolates weighing less than 50 lbs.

Can this be true? What could the reason behind it be?

I need to move to Idaho. I love chocolate!:D


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