Boston, MA

The Top 10 Strangest Laws in Boston

Genius Turner
Boston's not only known for being the "City of Champions" but also for being the city with some of the "strangest" laws.(Gray Williams/Goodreads CC)

Boston, MA — A few months ago I visited my old roomie, now at Harvard. He joked I should feel lucky for not having a goatee. I scratched my head, not catching the joke.

"Goatees," he said, "are illegal in Boston unless you pay for a license to wear one in public."

Since it cost me nothing, I initially paid him no mind! I assumed he'd just told me a corny joke. But as I was set to see, later that evening after doing some quick research — the joke was on me. Can't wear goatees in public without a license is a strange law, indeed.

And so, with that being said, here are the top ten strangest laws in Boston.

1. It's against the law to bring a lion to the movies.

Hopefully this law doesn't apply to Bostonians born under the Leo sign.

2. Having gorillas in the back seat of cars is breaking the law.

Perhaps this law is just an excuse for police to pull over anyone seen driving with a gorilla. After all, such people shouldn't be operating vehicles to begin with . . . right?

3. Unless your doctor gives you a prescription, it's illegal to bathe.
". . . Unless you have a doctor's prescription" should be added to this already strange sign.(Christopher Porter/Flickr)

Of course, ahem, it's also illegal not to bathe before going to bed in Beantown. Somewhere Will Hunting's smirking while mumbling, in a Southie accent, "How you like them apples?"

4. For hundreds of years, Christmas has been illegal in Boston.

If a guy tells his girlfriend the reason he's not getting her a gift this year is due to Christmas being "illegal," not sure if that excuse will go over well.

5. It's against the law to play the fiddle.

Unless, of course, you waste hours to "fiddle" around surfing the internet while you should be working.

6. Using tomatoes to make clam chowder is illegal.

Since when did Gordon Ramsay start making laws around Beantown?

7. Unless all bedroom windows are shut and securely locked, snoring is breaking the law.
Hopefully this guy used foam to seal off any air gaps in the window. Because anything short of soundproofing his windows sounds illegal.(Payton/Flickr)

8. It's against the law to eat peanuts in church.

Munching on peanuts during church service may not be "sinful" but it sure is unlawful.

9. Inside city limits, swearing is illegal.

So much for catching the Brady-less Pats games at downtown bars this season.

10. Tattooing and body piercing is illegal in Boston.

Picture this scenario. Some guy reclines in a chair at the Boston Tattoo Company.

"What's your tattoo gonna be?" the tattoo artist asks.

The guy yawns. "Um, how about a huge tattoo that says: "Tattooing and body piercing is illegal in Boston."

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My writing is popular in academia (biology, psychology, etc.) and on websites such as Quora (millions of views) and Medium. Also, I'm signed to the same literary agency as Eckhart Tolle. In short, I'm an ordinary guy serving an extraordinary God.

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