I've been highlighting instances of bizarre and unnecessary federal spending on my show this week. And you've probably heard the occasional story of bizarre state laws that are still on the books. Well, surprise, surprise: there's a number of bizarre (and unnecessary) federal laws still in effect, too.
The new book “How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender” by criminal defense lawyerMike Chasedetails some of these strange laws,including:
- Selling Runny Ketchup –It seems runny ketchup is against the law, and apparently if it flows down a trough farther than 14 centimeters in 30 seconds it can’t be considered ketchup. There are even regulations on how to spell ketchup, and apparently Catchup is not okay.
- Leaving the country with too many nickels in your pocket– Since 2006 exporting pennies and nickels from the U.S. was prohibited, and even punishable by five years in prison. Apparently you’re allowed to travel abroad with up to $5 in pennies or nickels, or up to $25, but only if they are for “legitimate personal numismatic, amusement, or recreational use.”
- Selling wine with a label that insults the competition– Legally it’s a no-no for winemakers to throw shade on competitors using their labels. They also can’t have obscene material on their labels, or make claims like how drunk the wine will get you.
- Writing a check for less than $1– While few people even write checks these days, there’s apparently a federal law against writing, “any note, check, memorandum, token, or other obligation for a less sum than $1” in lieu of money.
- Making an unreasonable gesture to a passing horse –Although this only applies to horses at national parks, you may want to think twice before you flip a horse the bird, although “unreasonable” is up for interpretation based on “factors that would govern the conduct of a reasonably prudent person.” Or if the horse responds neigh-etively.
- Having Disruptively Bad Hygiene in the Library of Congress –Apparently bad body odor at the Library of Congress can get you up to six months in prison. Sadly, there is no such law at the radio station.
Source:New York Post