This ran as a “High Five” in the July 23 issue of the magazine, and since it never made it online, we thought we’d post it here, with a few extras. Every town has weird and/or outdated laws on the books – here’s what V1 intern Brianna Krantz dug up:
NO PUBLIC MOUNTING
“Do not let your bull mount any cow, or your horse mount any mare within the city limits, unless in an enclosed place out of public view, far enough away from other private residences as to not be offensive.” (Gratuitous cow sex must have been a big problem at some point in local history.)
BEAT THE DUMB OUTTA YA
“Do not unnecessarily, inhumanely, or cruelly beat, injure, or otherwise abuse any dumb animal, within city limits.” (We couldn’t find a similar statute prohibiting the beating intelligent animals, so, apparently, that border collie is fair game.)
NOT A BIT OF SPIT
“No person shall spit, expectorate or deposit any sputum, spittle, saliva, phlegm, mucus, tobacco juice, or wads of tobacco upon the floors or stairways or any part of a public hall or building, upon the floor or any part of a railroad car or street car, or any other public conveyance, avenue, or highway in the city, or upon the sidewalks of any public street.” (Sputum?)
SHOOTS & ARROWS
“No person shall throw or shoot any object, arrow, stone, snowball, or other missile or projectile by hand or by any other means at any person or at, in or into any building, street sidewalk, alley, highway, park, playground, or other public place within the City, provided the Chief of Police may grant a permit for archery for not more than one year.” (Yep – snowball fighting’s illegal. But if you really want to shoot some arrows, there’s a permit.)
THE RIGHT TO RIG ARMS
“Don’t rig your gun, pistol, or any other firearm to discharge or come in contact with string, wire, or other contrivance attached, whether to kill game or for any other purpose.” (Seriously, no more shotgun booby-traps, guys.)
MORE WEIRD EC LAWS:
• If you leave the keys in your unlocked car over night, the cops are supposed to remove the keys and take them to the police station. Probably just to annoy you.
• “Obstructing or diverting the natural flow of surface water or of water in a natural watercourse so as to hold such water or cause the same to flow or stand upon any street, alley or public ground is illegal.” So stop building that dam.
• “It is illegal to play games such as baseball, football, softball, or any other violent or rough games in any park not designated for such activities.” Softball is violent?
• It’s illegal for a practicing fortuneteller, plamister, astrologer, or clairvoyant, do not try to set up shop in Eau Claire. For some reason, the cops have a hard time arresting these people – they’re always one step ahead.