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You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant: 101 Real Dumb Laws Hardcover – June 20, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
In Utah, first cousins can marry, but only after they're 65 years old. Training a bear to wrestle is a felony in Alabama. In Delaware it's illegal to sell perfume as a drink. Seventeen-year-olds Jeff Koon and Andy Powell collect these and other wacky laws in You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant: 101 Real Dumb Laws. Some of the laws show compassion (in Florida's Jupiter Colony Inlet, you can't launch missiles at birds), while others are just plain bizarre (in Oklahoma, hamburgers purchased on Sunday can only be eaten in the restaurant).
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Andy Powell will graduate from high school in 2002. So far his grades in mathematics have been pretty good. After starting his first Web site with Jeff in primary school, their site listing stupid laws made Yahoo!'s site-of-the-year list in 1998. Jeff Koon will graduate from high school in 2002. His favorite subject is history. Appearing on the Montel Williams Show with Andy in summer 2001 crowned his dot.com career.
Top customer reviews
For instance, they say in La Plata, Maryland, it's illegal to drive a cab with only three doors. What the law actually says is that a cab or car for rental has to have four doors. Which is not all that unreasonable! The authors state it as if cars with three doors were the most common thing ever and their prohibition was sheer nonsense! No. Cars come in either two or four doors most of the time. The law was most likely written to prevent cabs with only two doors rather than cabs with three doors!
Another example of the kind of really bad and misleading journalism these guys are doing. "In Texas one needs to pay an annual fee of 25 dollars for a licence to own a dead alligator". Again, they seem to suggest that at some point people keeping a dead alligator all year long was rampant in Texas, so the state decided to regulate the practice by charging a 25 dollar annual fee. I would have been shocked to learn that was the case. The way the law is stated just says that someone would have to pay 25 dollars for a licence to hunt an alligator, which, again, is not unreasonable at all!
I could go on for almost each of the remaining 99 laws but I hope that was enough to make my point.
Also, in a few cases, they completely misinterpret the laws to mean something that has little to nothing to do with the law at hand.
For evidence, the title is incorrect. Not because the law doesn't name alligators (it doesn't), but rather because the way it is written, a person has the option of tying the alligator to the fire hydrant. They should have excluded the italics if they wanted to say that there is a lawa against tying the alligator up.
National Wealth Accounting and Baseball Player Exports: Economic Implications for Performance
Economic Versus Non-Economic Dimensions of the Well-being of Nations.
Modeling Determinants of Income in Embedded Economies.
Quotable Arthur Schopenhauer.
The question, then, is whether the book is worth buying. Unless you plan on putting it on your coffee table for party amusement, it really doesn't provide the amount of humor you pay for.
Each page has a catchy phrase about some law. The title of the book is one such phrase. There is then some of the text of the law it refers to. Unfortunately, sometimes the blurb is actually the direct opposite of the law given. I found this to be really unforgivable in such a book. Very often I got the idea that the authors just didn't understand the language used in the laws and sometime I felt they never read them in the first place.
Still, there are some dumb laws that they did get right. But really, there should have been a lot more attention paid before this ever saw print.