California Law

As part of my research on California history, I came across some fascinating state laws that are still on the books, even today. I would like to share a few of these with you….

Detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results is a $500 fine.

Yep. There is nothing worse than sitting down at a Starbucks to enjoy a $4 cup of coffee, and being rudely interrupted by searing heat, a blinding flash of light, and the vaporization of most of the neighborhood. I have had this happen twice, and to be honest, you never really get used to it.

All persons wishing to keep a rhinoceros as a pet must obtain a $100 license first.

I had “Horny” for almost 20 years before I lost him to an overzealous security guard. We had gone over to Target, and were browsing the pet treat aisle, when Horny decided to knock down a couple of displays to get to the really “tasty” biscuits. In doing so, he stepped on one Chihuahua, one parrot, several hamsters, and a lady in a red vest named Agnes. The security guard quickly rushed over, assessed the situation, and took Horny into custody. As it turns out, Horny never made it to the Animal Control Center; he just vanished. I never saw him again. Years later I received a post card from Horny. He was living in a third story walk-up in Tribeca, in what could only be described as an “alternative” lifestyle.

One may not take his dog on an elevator with him.

I fully support this law. My dog could be a real ass when he was on the elevator. He would push all the buttons, make “dinging” sounds at each floor, “meow” just to confuse people, and wear a Reagan sock puppet on one of his paws. He also had a habit of pooping in the corner and blaming it on me.  After a rather nasty incident in a glass elevator, we began taking the stairs. Macy’s banned us for life.

Males may not dress as a female unless a special permit is obtained from the sheriff.

This law was enacted by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and may stem from a 1955 incident that saw the arrest of 14 men in drag, 2 cows, and a very confused chaperone at the Sock Hop Championships in Santa Monica. Mr. Hoover and his “friend” Clyde took first place.

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