Welcome back to our continuing coverage of some of the most bizzare and twisted laws that our country (and beyond) has to offer. Most of these laws are “artifacts” or little pieces of history from a simpler time when people legislated about horses in swimsuits and then quickly forgot to remove that from the books… well, forever.
I should remind people here that I am not a lawyer, nor in many ways, a journalist. (Hell, I think I failed a DNA test once, so what does that make me?) The point is these laws may have become anachronistic but they also may have very quietly stopped existing. So, Sheriff Lobo, keep your ticket book in your fake police uniform and simply laugh… laugh at what we used to be!
Silly me, I forgot to discus this weeks topic… it’s horses and cars. Yes, for some reason, as soon as you get elected to public office you set your sights on legislating the tricky “ins and outs” of horse-automobile relations. This is back in a time where apparently, if these laws are to be believed, any horse that saw a car would certainly go crazy, grab a gun and hold people hostage until it eventually killed itself in a fight with police. Or… you know freak out.
So here follows some crazy laws regarding horses and cars… and for special bonus fun, some laws about cars and horses separately as well. Read on! READ! There’s no law against reading (yet).
#1. In North Carolina you must stop and call City Hall before entering town in an automobile. This is so the townspeople will have time to go out and hold their horses until you get through town.
There is all this concern about horses and cars, what really happens when a horse passes a car? I mean I think I’ve driven my loud diesel automobile past a number of people riding horses before. They seemed to be ok. God, I hope they’re ok. If you’re reading this, random equestrians, please comment to let us know you made it. But anyway, here we go, the first occurrence of the phrase “hold your horses” in modern legal parlance. Oh, and by the way, if you’re riding your horse from North Carolina to South Carolina keep the following law in mind:
BONUS: In South Carolina horses are to wear pants at all times.
Do you know where to buy horse pants? I’m really asking. Anyone? I have a friend who has a horse and this seems like the gift for him. I like a horse in a nice pleated trouser myself, maybe in navy blue. Please send photos of your horse in pants to craveonlinecomedy.com. Please make sure your horses pants match his shoes. Get it? Shoes? What about Pentacostal mares? Do they have to wear skirts? Oh and speaking of South Carolina:
#2. In South Carolina when approaching a four way or blind intersection in a non-horse driven vehicle you must stop 100 ft from the intersection and discharge a firearm into the air to warn horse traffic.
Yes, nothing spares a horse the anguish of unannounced automobiles like random gunfire. The good news here is that all South Carolinans must need to drive with a loaded firearm just in case they hit a four way stop. They probably stopped enforcing this law because of all the needless deaths. After all, what goes up (your bullet shot into the air) must come down (into the head of a random, minding-his-own-business pedestrian). Good one SO-CO, good one. There is a similar law in Kansas which reads:
BONUS: In Kansas, cars entering the city limits must first sound their horn to warn the horses of their arrival. Furthermore, no one may wear a bee in their hat.
That is exactly the law as I found it. Word-for-word. I’m not sure if the bee part was supposed to be a separate law or if it’s only illegal to wear your hat made of bees when sounding your horn to warn skittish horses of an approaching flivver. Horns: another thing less threatening to horses than simply seeing cars. At least according to this law. Bees, on the other hand, suck all day long. Here is the “piece de resistance” of these legal conundrums:
#3. In Pennsylvania any motorist who sights a team of horses coming toward him must pull well off the road, cover his car with a blanket or canvas that blends with the countryside, and let the horses pass. If the horses appear skittish, the motorist must take his car apart, piece by piece, and hide it under the nearest bushes.
This law gives us a chance to guess the date in which it was conceived. It was probably created around the time you could easily disassemble and then reassemble your own Model A. Remember those halcyon days? Wait, did that ever exist? I mean, I could probably take apart a car from maybe 50 years ago but screw you and the horse that made me do this, I could not be asked to put it together again. Horses must hate cars. Or at least they did. Of course that’s not always the issues… take this strangely sexist law as an example:
#4. In Kentucky, no female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state unless she is escorted by at least two officers or unless she be armed with a club.
That’s good advice, if odd. There must have been a lot of problems with the Hawaiian Tropic bikini team creating riots across the whole state. How is this relevant to our theme you ask? Well let’s look at an amendment that was passed for this amazing piece of legislature:
Addendum – the provisions of this (aforementioned) statute shall not apply to any female weighing less than sixty pounds nor exceeding 200 pounds; nor shall it apply to female horses.
Well that’s revealing. Also kinda of creepy. Apparently, if you are over 200 pounds or a little girl, or an Olsen Twin, the state doesn’t feel like you should be protected while wearing a bikini. Well, fine. Plus, I bought this horse bathing suit… for NOTHING! Wait, is that even how that law works? What this says… and reading it so many times is hurting my head, is that a horse in a bathing suit must be escorted by officers… then the amendment retracts that? How often was that happening? Kentucky! WHY!?!?! Anyway, on the subject of strangely sexist horse laws, check this:
#5. In Chicago it is illegal to take a French poodle to the opera, and for women over 200 pounds to ride horses in shorts.
I think I’ve with you on the poodle thing. As fancy as those dogs are, they have no appreciation for Verdi. You get half way into a long cadenza and that thing just barks and barks. Everything’s a critic. The law bans poodles specifically; but a German Shepherd is just fine. Speaking of being critical, what jerk with a legal degree proposed a law about shorts and horse-riding for ladies? That’s a pretty particular gripe. I don’t think anybody over 300 pounds should be able to wear sleeveless shirts, wrestlers included, but I’m not prepared to legislate about it. However, if you think the ladies get it bad, check out our last entry:
#6. In Illinois, you can be arrested for riding an ugly horse.
Well there you go. What makes an ugly horse? I mean I’m not saying any horse I’ve ever seen is a real catch, but they all seem pretty…. horseish to me. Seems a horrible thing to be arrested for. I sure hope Tori Spelling and her husband never honeymoon in Illinois. Think of what they do to you in prison if you’re only crime was riding an ugly horse. Or maybe that makes you king of prison. Did you hear about the horse that got arrested for being ugly? One of the other horses walked over to him and said “Why the long face?”
Ug… anyway.. that’s our latest attempt to educate the masses about what happens when laws go wild. So, from this author to all you readers, have a great day. I’m gonna get on my ugly horse and get the hell out of here. God help me if you don’t disassemble your car as I pass.
Oh that reminds me! Come back next week for our next crazy law instalment about cars. Not cars and horses… just cars. Yep. Thats it!