Stupid is as Stupid Does – …or so says Forrest Gump.
There is a course for college credit entitled, STUPIDITY. Description: What better topic to rail against at college than stupidity? This course examines it at depth from literary, social, and philosophical perspectives. It is offered at Occidental College, a nationally renowned liberal arts college integrating the cultural and intellectual resources of Los Angeles. Oh, that explains it. Even with a course like this, “You can’t fix stupid.”
Last time, I wrote about New York’s idiotic laws still in the books. Today is Georgia’s turn. People have been living in Georgia since it was founded as an English Colony in 1773 and that means there are Georgia laws that potentially date back that far. Even though we may not know the origins of some of these laws, here are a few where you might either get a giggle or realize you are breaking a few without knowing it.
- Gainesville, Georgia has an ordinance that requires you to eat fried chicken with your hands. Passed in 1961, it was a publicity stunt to promote Gainesville’s poultry industry. How could anyone enforce that today, you say? Well, in 2009 a 91-year-old woman visiting from Louisiana was arrested and charged with violating the ordinance. However, as luck would have it, Gainesville’s mayor was on hand to pardon her. The whole event was a practical joke organized by a friend of hers for her 91st Were you way ahead of me and thinking that was going to happen?
- Acworth, Georgia’s residents are legally required to own a rake. Of course, the law doesn’t add that it is needed to be used once in a while in their yards. Would a rake be considered a weapon?
- In Athens – Clarke County, it’s illegal to make a disturbing sound at a fair. What kind of disturbing sound? My all-boy family makes disturbing sounds all the time. Does that mean we will have to circumvent Clarke County when we are traveling Northeast to the Georgia mountains? If we don’t and we travel through the county, may I make a citizen’s arrest should I hear that sound from one of them?
- It’s also a misdemeanor to keep a disorderly house. I guess I better not try to enforce #3 as they may turn the tables on me with this one.
- Quitman, Georgia has made it illegal for chickens to cross the road. I guess those chicken will never fulfill their destiny or prophecy in the joke about them. Maybe the town was tired of seeing poultry owners’ chickens not in their own yards and visitors making comments about that singular joke.
- Atlanta prohibits vaudeville performers from rendering “coarse jokes”. Well, first of all, who will define COARSE? And secondly, vaudeville? How old is this law?
- In Marietta, it’s illegal to spit in a public building. Never knew Marietta had such a problem. Are visitors to the buildings still chewing tabbackie? Are there not spittoons?
Are these laws something we should be wary and worried about today? Are these considered first-world problems? You know what first world problems are, right? They are relatively trivial or minor problems or frustrations (implying a contrast with serious problems such as those that may be experienced in the developing world). But as we’ve heard, it’s easier to make a law than it is to retrieve it from existence.
Think of all the pork barrel legislation that goes on. Pork barrel is a metaphor for the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district. The usage originated in American English. Scholars use it as a technical term regarding legislative control of local appropriations.
Do we know what is in those pork barrel projects being accepted under our noses? They might just be crazy like any one of the above or in the doozies next week. Stay tuned.