Barmy regulators all over the world are doing their best to prove that the law really is an ass – not least in Oklahoma, where it’s illegal to have a sleeping donkey in your bathtub after 7pm.
Holiday homes website HomeAway UK scoured the globe for insane rules and regulations – and came up with this bumper list of loony laws to brighten your Christmas.
In no particular order – to borrow from Ant & Dec – their stupid statutes include:
1) It’s illegal to change a light-bulb in Victoria, Australia.
Apparently only licensed electricians can do the job. Rebels who defy the law can be fined A$10.
2) Milan requires that citizens must smile at all times or face a fine.
Chin up. You’re allowed to frown at a funeral or during a hospital visit. But otherwise you’ll be fined for frowning out of place.
3) It’s illegal in Florida to fart in a public place after 6pm on Thursdays.
But a back-end blow-out at 5.59pm is fine.
4) In England, it is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.
This was voted the UK’s most ludicrous law in 2007.
5) Ah. Oklahoma…
We repeat. DO NOT have a sleeping donkey in your bathtub after 7pm. Just wake it up, silly.
6) One out of every five songs on the radio in Canada must be sung by a Canadian.
Great for Justin Bieber fans; not so great for the sane.
7) It is forbidden to be fat in Japan.
Yup – it’s wrong to be a wobble-bottom in the country that brought us sumo wrestling. Lawmakers set a maximum waistline in 2009. Men aged over 40 must not have a waistline measuring over 80cm, and women must not measure over 90cm.
8) Flushing the toilet after 10pm is illegal in Swiss apartments.
Never mind the air pollution – it counts as noise pollution.
9) It is illegal in Chicago to eat in a place that’s on fire.
No matter how good the pizza.
10) It is illegal to run out of petrol on a German autobahn.
And so is walking along the highway. Offenders face an 80-euro penalty for endangering other drivers.
Erica Chang, regional director of HomeAway UK, says: “Travel really does open the mind so it’s curious to see what odd rules and regulations can be found on the law books around the world. Some might be seen as health and safety gone mad, but others are just funny – I’m sure most Brits abroad would never think they could be breaking the law if they changed a light-bulb in Victoria or flushed the toilet at night while in Geneva – so it’s always best to know before you go!”