Friday, 28 November 2008

Silly English Laws

I feel quite at home living in England for many reasons. One particular reason is that it is a wacky place to live with some incredible (and stupid) laws. My beloved country has existed for centuries; we have been overrun by Romans, Normans and Vikings, ruled by mad Kings and Queens and even crazier politicians. The result of all this insanity is the country I live in now, which sadly is much more sensible than it used to be.

However, fear not. There are some ridiculous laws that still exist in this green and pleasant land, laws that time has forgotten.

I swear that the following laws are true (to the best of my knowledge).

Let me first say that I have unwittingly committed an act of treason. I didn’t mean to, and to be honest, nobody told me not to. The treasonous law I have broken is the following:

It is an act of treason to put a stamp bearing the head of the monarch upside down on an envelope.

There are several laws involving the Houses of Parliament, the seat of our beloved (?) government. First of all:

It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour.

Oh dear! I must remember to leave my suit of armour behind when I next visit the capital. Should I do so, and should I decide to visit the Houses of Parliament:

It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

I’d better go next week then just to make sure that the authorities don’t send me to prison for dropping dead in the chamber in my old age. Still with London, you may have heard the reputations taxi drivers have. Some can be very irritating. But you can threaten them because I know for a fact that each of them is breaking the law:

London taxi cabs must carry a bale of hay at all times.

How many taxi drivers in London have you seen with a bale of hay strapped to the roof? Exactly! Next time you hail a cab in London, ask the driver if he has a bale of hay in his boot. I guarantee there will be a look of incredulity and terror on his face. And here’s another reason to keep an eye on London cabbies:

It is illegal for a cab in the City of London to carry rabid dogs or corpses.

Mind you, there is a remote danger that you yourself could break the law because:

It is illegal to flag down a London cab if you have the plague.

Don't get a cab to the hospital then if you are suddenly brought down by a dose of Black Death. Call 999 instead.

Still with London, I regard Chelsea Pensioners as a little odd (please don’t tell them that), so odd in fact that it is very tempting to dress up as one for a fancy dress party. However, I am in trouble if I want to do that because:

It is illegal to impersonate a Chelsea Pensioner.

Damn! Another dream fades and dies. Perhaps I will drown my sorrows in a pub. Oh dear – I can’t even do that because:

It is illegal to be drunk on Licensed Premises (in a pub or bar).

That's another law I may have broken. Worse still:

All men over the age of 14 must carry out at least two hours of longbow practice a week, supervised by the local vicar.

Will they throw the book at me when they discover that I don’t even own a longbow? Perhaps I should buy one and go to Hereford:

In Hereford, it is legal to shoot a Welshman all day, but only on a Sunday, with a longbow in the Cathedral Close.

Now I don’t want to antagonise the Welsh as I have some very good friends who come from there but I will have to warn them that if they visit Chester then they must be wrapped up and in bed by midnight because:

It is perfectly legal to shoot a Welshman with a bow and arrow inside the walls of Chester after midnight.

Similarly, in York:

It is perfectly legal to shoot a Scotsman with a bow and arrow inside the walls of York unless it is Sunday.

Chester, York and Hereford sound a bit extreme. I think I’ll go back to my favourite tropical fish store in Liverpool and visit my favourite clerk:

In Liverpool it is illegal for a woman to be topless unless she is a clerk in a tropical fish store.

I’d better be careful not to kiss her though because:

A woman may bite off a man’s nose if he kisses here against her will.

A bit harsh, that one, I think.

Finally, with Christmas around the corner, I’m sure you will be looking forward to tucking into several mince pies on Christmas Day. If you do, though, you will be breaking the law because Oliver Cromwell passed the law:

It is illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day.

Oh well, perhaps that will help my diet. Please don't tell anybody I have broken the law, otherwise I'll send you a letter, put the stamp on upside down and tell the police that you made me do it.


Robin Easton said...

Alrighty then!

So if I'm going to break the law in England I think I'll die in the Houses of Parliament. Well that's self explanatory. I mean are they going to send a corps to prison? Not!

Then I think I rather like the nose biting technique!! LOLLOLOLOL!!!

roadgurl5 said...

Just wondering what the penalty would be for dying in the Houses of Parliament...maybe burial in the suit of armour, minus your nose?

These are hilarious and it's so clever the way you've woven them together! :o)

The Plastic Mancunian said...

The nose-biting scares me more than anyone of them, Robin.

I'm a nice guy who occasionally gives women a peck on the cheek as a sign of affection. Maybe I should dust off my suit of armour every time I do that instead. I just hope I can get the visor down in time.




The Plastic Mancunian said...

Thanks Holly,

If I do die in the Houses of Parliament, I won't order a London cab to make my getaway that's for sure.




Erik said...

Oooo. I would be an even bigger outlaw in the UK! Nice to know that we aren't the only ones with silly laws.


If they did send a corpse to prison, they wouldn't use a cab.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Aha - silly laws elsewhere?

I'll have to investigate.

Thanks Erik



Erik said...

Here's an interesting video from my home state that will likely give you a giggle:

Chrissy said...

A few of these are applicable in Shrewsbury too, they are so funny... well apart from when I take the mick out of the welsh..Ssshhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Anyway you need a good entrecard pic! and I have just applied for an ad on ur blog. If you refuse me I shall tell Holly, Robin and everyone...PMSL. I seem to have become did I do that?

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Chrissy,

I wouldn't dare refuse your ad :-)

Yes, you are correct, I do need a good pic - I shall see what I can do.

BTW I won't tell my Welsh friends if you don't tell about my treasonous acts.