No Laughing on Sunday
Judy Causey Love
My opinion on laughter is that we need more of it. Lots more good old healthy, ‘throw back your head and hee-haw’ laughter. And I suspect that on the seventh day when God had created the world He looked around and gave out a good laugh Himself.
Well, I found some things to make you laugh on Sunday or any other day of the week because God’s creations have said NO to some pretty weird things on Sundays.
Any things prohibited on a Sunday are commonly known as Blue Laws, presumably because they were originally printed on blue paper. Another explanation could have been that people considered these laws to be enforced by ‘blue nosed ‘aristocrats who didn’t follow them any way. But, there are some really silly ones still on the books.
An old law in Pocataligo, Ga. Says ‘No dog shall be in a public place on Sunday without its master on a leash. Now I would have liked to have seen that. Imagine a little daschund marching down the main thoroughfare leading a 200 lb. man on a leash. It would have probably been around his ankle because the little dog couldn’t reach any higher.
You cannot eat candy an hour and a half before church in Salem, W.Va. I guess you might get it stuck in your teeth in a very unsightly way. But, really, how would they know? Perform mouth checks at the sanctuary door?
And speaking of dental laws, a strange Rhode Island law says a store cannot sell both a toothbrush and toothpaste to the same customer on a Sunday. I suspect the American Dental Association has had this one removed from the books. After all, we definitely should be able to brush our teeth before presenting our smiles to people in church. Especially if we have candy lodged in front. And I guess you could always go back a second time.
No one can have their picture taken before noon on a Sunday in Arizona. Maybe it was so that you could sober up and look presentable before church if there had been a raucous Saturday night at the local bar.
You cannot sell a mattress on a Sunday in Washington state. Hmmm. This could be bad if you cannot stand to spend one more night on a lumpy or ‘hard as a board’ mattress and have no sofa or additional bed to move to.
Roosters in Oregon cannot crow on a Sunday morning within 300 feet of a dwelling. Now, this one I can get behind. We have neighbors who have a rooster and he crows at the same decibel level as an air raid siren. And my friends wonder why I get up at 5:00 am every day.
In Kentucky, where the grass is pretty and blue, no one may ride an ugly horse to church on Sunday. Now, what is the definition of ‘ugly’ here? Is its tail too long? Are its ears too short? Are its teeth too big? Is it too sway-backed? Or maybe some people in Kentucky might consider any horse who isn’t a thoroughbred an ‘ugly’ horse.
Alabama says you cannot play dominos on Sundays. Well, I’m headed to the pokey. Along with my husband and several friends who enjoy dominos on Sunday afternoons after church. I’ll be contacting my state representative about this one.
In Texas, it is illegal to buy diapers on Sunday. Gee, I hope your baby can ‘hold’ it until Monday.
A really old law in Mississippi says that a woman must not go out in public if not ‘looked after’. Her husband must follow twenty paces behind with a musket over his left shoulder. Well, I guess that no other man had better shoot her a look or else be shot himself.
There is one law in Mississippi that hits close to Magnolia. In Tylertown it was once illegal to shave in the center of the street, presumably on Sunday. Oh my, what else to do if you forgot to get rid of the ‘five o’clock shadow’ before church?
Just about every state has weird, unexplainable or hilarious laws still on their books. A lot of them seems to involve chickens in Georgia. You can’t cut their heads off on Sunday. It’s illegal to eat a chicken with anything but your hands and you cannot even walk down the street holding chickens by their feet upside down. I guess you could do anything with a peanut but not a chicken.
If you want dessert after that sermon on a Sunday, do not order cherry pie a la mode in Kansas. You will be on the wrong side of the law. I wonder if any arresting officer was ever tempted to eat the evidence.
You cannot sell a musical instrument on Sunday in South Carolina no matter how bad it sounds. I guess if you don’t like the screech of the organ or the piano is out of tune you’ll have to put up with it and hope they at least play “Be Still My Soul”. On Monday you can dispose of the instrument.
Another strange and contradictory law in South Carolina says you have to bathe on Sunday before going to bed. Now, another one says it is illegal to bathe at all on Sunday. To get around the confusion, a lot of people probably just bathe on Saturday. Anyway, I’d like to meet the bath police. Imagine if using bubble bath would get you a life sentence! Lord, candles and soft music might get you sent to the electric chair!
Now men, in Alabama, if you really feel like living on the edge on Sunday, wear a fake mustache. If you get a rousing reaction, you’ll be promptly hauled out and slapped with a hefty fine because it is illegal to make people laugh in church.
As you might expect, my mischievous husband, Ted, decided to try this one out. I admit, he looked ridiculous, and we got a lot of laughs, giggles and some strange looks but no police ever appeared. However, I feel like that is a picture the congregation cannot unsee. Now, he breaks the law every Sunday even without the mustache, as people can’t help but laugh when they see him and think of it.
So, my final advice to you is buy your diapers on Saturday, close your curtains if you’re playing dominos, and be careful how you carry your chickens.