All over the United States, strange and inexplicable laws exist that can only make you wonder why.

While many of them might be old and outdated, they’re still “on the books,” so this list might someday help you avoid trouble.

•In Alaska, it’s illegal to whisper in someone’s ear while they’re moose hunting.

So as your friend sights in a big bull, don’t lean toward him and quietly say, “now that’s a moose right there.”

•In Alaska, kangaroos are not allowed in barber shops.

Question: What if I have a wallaby?

•In Connecticut, dogs cannot be educated.

OK, so you can’t teach your Corgi algebra. But what about “roll over,” “stay” or “shake?”

•In Normal, Ill., it’s against the law to make faces at dogs.

Right. Like smiling wickedly and going, “and you don’t have thumbs, either,” as your spaniel fails an algebra test.

•In Glendale, Ariz., cars may not be driven in reverse.

So, when Arizona Cardinals fans attend a game at State Farm Stadium, how do they get out of their parking spots? And what about the Walmart? I hear it has a big lot, too.

•Mourners at a wake in Louisiana may not eat more than three sandwiches.

Dang it. Grief always makes me famished.

•In Boise, Idaho, you’re not allowed to fish from a giraffe’s back.

Dang it. And I always have such better luck with the yellow perch when I do it that way.

•It’s illegal to catch a fish with a lasso in Tennessee.

I guess we can stop training for the Largemouth Rodeo.

•In Salt Lake City, Utah, you can’t walk down the street carrying a paper bag containing a violin.

Plastic only, folks.

•People aren’t allowed to whistle underwater in Oregon.

It’s also illegal to swim above water in the Beaver State.

•It’s illegal in California to set a mouse trap without a hunting license.

Question: Do California Highway Patrol officers need a license to set a speed trap?

•It’s illegal to mistreat rats in Denver, Colo.

I’d like to know Denver’s definition of “mistreat.” And can I set a rat trap without a hunting license?

•It’s illegal to make a monkey smoke a cigarette South Bend, Ind.

But what if the monkey wants to smoke a cigarette? And can I offer a cigar?

•In Wisconsin, you’re allowed to marry your house.

It’s safe to say that a lot of homeowners have felt that way at some point, so why not make it official?

•Tissues are not allowed in the back of your car in Oklahoma.

So I guess we toss them all up front, eh?

•It’s illegal in Rhode Island to throw pickle juice on a trolley.

So just hurl pickles and leave the juice in the jar, right?

•In North Dakota, it’s illegal to keep an elk in a sandbox in your backyard.

Come on Elkie, how many times must I tell you to step out of the sandbox?

•In Fountain Inn, S.C., horses are required to wear pants at all times.

Question: What if my mare insists on a skirt?

As the saying goes, you couldn’t make up anything stranger than most of this stuff.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email:

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at

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