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No Sleeping in the Cheese Factory!

How would you feel if you were clearing a ranch in Hayden, Arizona, getting ready to install a perfectly designed xeriscape, and in chopping down a cactus in order to install a pathway, found yourself handcuffed and sent to prison for 25 years?

Or say you were flying your plane low over the wilds of Alaska, and in order to get rid of extra weight, pushed your live moose out of the aircraft and found yourself scrutinized in the eye of the law.

Wait a minute...

Just what kind of landscaping professional does that?

Turns out that a lot of strange laws exist that are either out-of-date and unenforced, or just plain interesting. In an anthology of off-the-wall laws at, a trove of strange legislation teases the imagination of the reader with such banal regulations that one starts to think, "Wow, I'd love to hear how they came up with that one!"

The landscaping industry involves a lot of driving, working with the public, water issues, and so-on. So here are a few laws to watch out for (as if they would ever cross your mind) when you're landscaping across the US (or in some cases, back in time).

Oh, and by the way, it's the cutting of the Saguro cactus that can land you in prison in Arizona, so you'd better get your plant ID skills going...

  • In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.
  • If you "bother the cottontails or bullfrogs in Hayden, Arizona, you will receive a fine.
  • A vehicle without a driver may not exceed 60M.P.H. in California.
  • In Chico, California, bowling on the sidewalk is illegal, and so is planting a garden in any public street. Using sandboxes as ashtrays is forbidden in El Monte, and no person may show his or her buttocks on a Hermosa Beach playground.
  • Drinking intoxicating cement is prohibited in Indian Wells, California, as well as crushing rocks within the city limits. In Long Beach, cursing is illegal on miniature golf courses, and just don't even try picking flowers from the city parks in Walnut.
  • What you do at work is your business, but in Florida, farting in public is prohibited after 6 PM on Thursdays.
  • All citizens in Acworth, Georgia are required to own a rake, and in Dublin, cars may not be driven through playgrounds.
  • If a person wishes to plant new sod in his or her yard come summer in Crystal Lake, Illinois, that person may not use the city's water to water it. Also, the person must obtain a permit from the city to water the lawn with outside sources (what??!!!). And in Des Plaines, wheelbarrows sporting "for sale" signs may not be chained to trees.
  • Teamwork is key in (or was) key in Indiana, where all males 18-50 years old must work on public roads for six days a year. And watch your temper while visiting the town of Warsaw in this state, because nobody my throw an old computer across the street at their neighbor.
  • Mt. Vernon, Iowa requires that it's city council provides written permission before a person throws bricks onto a highway, and all softball diamond lights must be turned off by 10:30 PM.
  • In 1898, Baltimore, Maryland had a law that gave a $10 fine to anybody that wore a sleeveless shirt in a public park. This included joggers without shirts. A law in Cumberland prohibits profane language on playgrounds, and persons in Rockville may not wear while on the highway.
  • Quakers and witches are banned in Massachusetts (not that any of you are either), and in the town of Nahant, it is illegal to excavate any city street.
  • Residents of even-numbered addresses in Cottage Grove, Minnesota may not water their plants on odd-numbered dates, excluding the 31st day where applicable.
  • Annoying the pedestrians on the sidewalks of Helena, Montana with a revolving water sprinkler is illegal.
  • Benches may not be placed in the middle of any Reno, Nevada street.
  • Running machinery in New Hampshire is illegal on Sundays. And, in the White Mountain National Forest, a person caught raking the beaches, picking up liter, hauling away trash, building a bench for the park, or other such actions without a permit, he or she may be fined $150 for "maintaining the national forest without a permit."
  • No street-side trees that "obscure the air" may be planted in Blairstown, New Jersey.
  • Residents of Staten Island, New York may only water their lawns if the hose is held in the hand.
  • Oklahoma has ruled that it is illegal to read a comic book while operating a motor vehicle, and the state does not tolerate anybody taking a bite out of another person's hamburger. In the town of Bartlesville, causing "annoying vibrations" within the city limits is illegal.
  • Any motorist driving along a Pennsylvania country road at night must stop every mile and send up a rocket signal, wait ten minutes for the road to be cleared of livestock, and then continue. Using water on even-numbered dates for the sole purpose of watering plants, gardens , or lawns in West Warwick is punishable by a fine of u to $100.
  • It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory in South Dakota.
  • Hollow logs may not be sold in Tennessee, and in Bell buckle, one may not throw bottles at a tree.
  • In Utah, it is illegal to cause a catastrophe, and it is a felony to persistently tread on the cracks between paving stones on the sidewalk of a street highway.
  • No person may water his or her lawn in Shboygan, Wisconsin in such a way as to annoy his or her neighbor, and in Sun Prairie, unremoved snow on a person's property is considered a public nuisance.

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June 18, 2019, 8:56 pm PDT

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