This last week I have been doing a series on the weirdest laws in major cities across the United States, and today, it is the turn of Montgomery, Alabama. The series initially came about due to a reader's question about the weirdest law I have seen as I traveled the USA. I thought there would only be a few, but I have been surprised at how many weird and wonderful laws we have in this country.
The Alabama Constitution was ratified in 1901 and is over 380,000 words long, making it one of the world's longest governing documents. So it is no surprise that Montgomery and many cities in Alabama have their fair share of bizarre laws.
To help out Montgomery's fine readers, please find below 10 super weird Mongrtomery laws you need to know.
1. If you want to make your fellow churchgoers laugh- forget about wearing a fake mustache. In Montgomery, it is illegal to wear a fake mustache in church to make people laugh. There does appear to be a loophole to this law- if no one laughs, you are OK.
2. Putting salt on a railroad track can be punishable by death. It seems like an extreme punishment for a bit of tomfoolery!
3. It is illegal to wrestle a bear. To be honest, I have no idea who would even contemplate bear wrestling, but at one stage, it was a big enough of a problem to warrant a law banning it.
4. It is actually illegal in Montgomery to open an umbrella in the street. This is an old law that was passed to prevent scaring horses. Luckily it isn't strictly enforced anymore.
5. You are allowed to drive the wrong way down a one-way street as long as you have a lantern attached to the front of your vehicle.
6. Here is a sad one for all Dominoes enthusiasts. It is actually illegal to play Dominoes on a Sunday.
7. If you are taking your pet alligator for a walk and need to go into a store- don't even think about tying it to a fire hydrant. If you do, you will be breaking the law. Of course, it does beg the question- how many people were tying alligators to fire hydrants.
8. It is illegal to drive while blindfolded. This law makes perfect sense, but again I have to ask- how many people were putting on blindfolds and then driving around Montgomery? Do we really need a law specifically preventing people from driving blindfolded?
9. It is illegal to stab yourself in order to make someone feel sorry for you. However, you may garner double the sympathy. Firstly for stabbing yourself and secondly for being arrested. Actually best not to stab yourself in the first place.
10. It is actually illegal to dress up as a priest on Halloween- as this can be seen as impersonating a priest.
There are lots of weird laws in other cities across Alabama. For example, in Mobile, it’s illegal to spray silly string or confetti. It is also against the law to spit orange peel on the sidewalk in Mobile. In Aniston, it is illegal to wear blue jeans on Noble Street. Yes, only on one particular street. Lee County has a very specific law relating to peanuts- you are now allowed to sell peanuts after sundown on Wednesdays. Any other day is OK, though.
How many of you have tried to wrestle a bear or wear a fake mustache to church. Perhaps opened an umbrella on the street? If you have, then you've broken one of these 10 weird laws in Montgomery!