Wicked Weird Laws of Boston

Posted on April 18, 2009 by


Brien Hopkins
[The Man Shark]

The legal system of the United States is a convoluted mess. By the time a law is written and approved, the original criminal is long gone. It takes even longer to take a law off the books. Boston is no exception, even with the service of “Boston Legal.”

During the United States’ seminal days, some strange laws were put in place, in the colony of Boston. Those laws were never removed, and remain on the books today. No one enforces them, but technically you could be arrested for breaking them. Here are the top 10 wicked weird laws to watch out for about town.

10. Two people may not kiss in front of the church. This law, like many, was put in place for religious reasons. It’s not a huge deal, but be careful if you plan on getting married in Boston.

9. It is illegal to play the fiddle. Again, this law emerged from religious fears. For some reason, the fiddle was viewed as the devil’s instrument by the Christian community about 300 years ago. It’s a shame. But if you’re not particularly fond a street musician’s fiddle work, call him out.

8. No more than two baths may be taken within the confines of the city. Strange. Hopefully, we’re all guilty.

7. No one may cross the Boston Common without carrying a shotgun in case of bears. You can never be too careful. Bears are notorious for ruining Boston Common picnics.

6. Anyone may let their sheep and cows graze in the public gardens/commons at any time. I implore the sheep and cow owners of Boston to try this.

5. It is illegal to eat peanuts in church. Another church law. Great. I bet there’s a law against converting too.

4. No gorilla is allowed in the back seat of any car. The front seat is much safer.

3. Women may not wear heels over 3 inches in length while on the common. You know who you are. Even by today’s standards, 3 inches is dangerous. What if you’re run down by a bear?

2. It is illegal for any citizen to own more than three dogs. This one makes sense. There’s need to horde three dogs. Share.

1. Duels to the death permitted on the common on Sundays provided that the Governor is present. What happened to the good old days, when a man had the right to duel his rivals to the death in a public park? This law should definitely be enforced. It’s not like chaos would erupt. Duelers need permission from the Governor.