WEIRD STATE LAWS — ALABAMA

Since discovering I’m allowed to bury a body in my back yard in Oklahoma providing it is wrapped in fabric, at least four feet deep, and buried within twenty-four hours (when you think about it, if someone has a body they need to get rid of, they probably don’t need to be told to to do it quickly), I found myself spending evening and travel time delving into other stupid/weird/strange state laws. 

My conclusion is that no matter where we’re from, it’s appropriate to begin any introduction with, “Hi, I’m ______ _______, and I’m from (insert name of State). We’re crazy. We’re not just ‘crazy,’ we’re bat shit crazy.”

Starting today, my blog is taking a turn.

For the next fifty weeks (more, if new states with stupid laws are added to the Stars and Stripes) we’ll be analyzing each state in alphabetical order.

So, Hellooooooo, ALABAMA!

The Cotton State, also known as The Heart of Dixie State,  is pretty tame by Oklahoma standards. But they’ve got some good ones.

We’ll start with a pretty good stupid law — it’s illegal to have incestuous marriages.  Though Alabama sure as hell isn’t the only state where family trees don’t fork, if this law was enforced the prisons would be a great place to hold family reunions. 

Because this situation created such a menace, the Alabama legislators were forced to mandate that it’s unlawful to drive an automobile the wrong way down a one-way street if there is a lantern attached to the front of the car.  No lantern? No problem. Pick a lane. Any lane.

On the subject of driving, I agree it’s important that each car must have windshield wipers. In the “do you really need to tell us” category, it’s illegal to drive while blindfolded — or with so many people in the car that it obstructs the driver’s view, or drive with someone sitting on your lap…but that’s only illegal if they block the view of the road. So load up that VW Beetle with as many frat boys as you can shove in and still be able to breathe…just make sure there’s an open space in front of the driver so he can see straight ahead. 

Here’s one that would send me to jail every single time I get behind the wheel. You can’t drive barefoot. What’s that all about? Doesn’t Alabama believe in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Driving barefoot makes me happy. My formative years were spent in West Virginia where shoes are optional equipment. It’s all I know. I’m not giving it up.

In violation the federal “separation of church and state” mandate, they’re messin’ with peoples church goin’.  It is not only against the law to wear a mustache in church if it causes laughter, but Alabama residents are not allowed to impersonate a member of the clergy.  Haven’t you been tempted, just once, to pretend to be a preacher? 

Oh, and if you’re a visiting in Auburn, don’t get caught spitting on the church floor. 

Alabama also prohibits parents from making their children do any labor on The Lord’s Day except customary domestic duties. And there ain’t gonna be no huntin’, shootin’, motor cycle or car racin’. Ain’t no card playin’ either. Because a rousing game of Crazy Eights is way too stimulating for our Day of Rest. That goes for Dominoes, too. Deal with it.  

No businesses can be open on Sunday. Fortunately for the citizens of Alabama, this law specifically exempts restaurants and ice cream shops. Gotta have our Sundaes on Sunday, right? (For those of you who know me, you’ll be impressed that during five nights and four whole days in Oklahoma I didn’t walk into even one Braum’s or Taco Bueno. No Tuxedo Sundae for Anna Banana on this trip. No Strawberry Shortcake Sundae. And no Bueno taco’s. Granted, on the way to the airport I went through the drive-through and got One. Single Scoop. Butter Pecan. Ice Cream Cone. But after showing so much restraint for so long, a little reward doesn’t count, does it? Which has nothing to do with Alabama….They don’t even have Braum’s or Bueno.)

Don’t wear a mask in public — on any day of the week. That’s illegal across all of Alabama. And that ice cream? You can’t carry it in your pockets.  Because Alabama thinks it’s so important for you not to put an ice cream cone in the back pocket of your jeans that they passed a law prohibiting it. (If you’re wearing those blue jeans in Anniston, you can get arrested for wearing them on Noble Street.)

If you want to buy peanuts…after sundown…on Wednesdays…in Lee County, your dealer risks being arrested for selling them to you.

Prison conversation:  “What are you in for?”     “Dealing.”      “Heroin?”   “Nope, peanuts.”

Here’s one that should be illegal in all fifty states as well as our territories. What’s good for Alabama should be good for Guam:  Boogers may not, under any circumstances, be flicked into the wind. Period. End of discussion. Don’t mess with Alabama on this one. The State Song of Alabama will soon be changed to, “Everybody’s doin’ it, doin’ it, doin’ it, Pickin’ their nose and chewin’ it, chewin’ it.” Catchy, don’t you think?

Here’s a law I like. Women are able to retain all property they owned prior to marriage in the case of divorce. However, this provision does not apply to men. As God, and the Great State of Alabama intended it.

There’s no way I’d  live in Mobile. You can’t bathe in city fountains, and can’t own Silly String. You can’t even possess confetti. Women can’t wear “lewd” clothes or shoes with sharp, high heels — and men aren’t allowed to howl at them. Really? Don’t they want you to have any fun at all?

Let’s go to Huntsville where there’s a law on the books stating, “If an animal control officer is in uniform, it signifies to the public that he is an animal control officer.”

Before you leave to bang your head against the wall we have to go back to Auburn just One… More… Time:

“Men who deflower virgins, regardless of age or marital status, may face up to five years in prison.”

Think about that one.

Does that make it illegal for women to not be virgins in Auburn? How do they get deflowered? Must they cross the city line for that “first time”? What’s a girl to do?

Best of all, every kid in Auburn has a legitimate reason to look up at mommy and daddy and ask, “Where do babies come from?” Because they sure as hell didn’t come out of mommy.

Auburn, Alabama: Where adoption is your only option.

For oh, so many reasons, I’ll leave you with this one. It should keep the head pinging around in your skull until next week when we go to Alaska. That should be a good one.

Until then, Roll Tide, be good to yourself and smile at strangers just to mess with them.