The law can be a slippery mistress. One moment you’re using a squirt gun in Marlboro (technically illegal!), and the next you’re being clapped in irons. In order to help you avoid any such unfortunate legal gaffes, we’ve collected a list of things that seem perfectly above-board until you learn what crazy laws are actually on the books in Massachusetts.
1. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it is illegal to scare a pigeon. You could face a $20 fine or a month of jail time.
2. Sprinkling salt on the street.
At least, in Boston. Boston City Ordinance 16-2.5 "Sprinkling Ashes, Etc., on Streets; Removal of Manure" states that "no person shall, except in accordance with a permit from the Commissioner of Public Works, or as provided in subsection 16-2.16, sprinkle, scatter, put, or place any ashes, cinders, earth, dirt, gravel, sawdust, salt, or mixture of salt, in or upon a street, or without such permit remove any manure or dirt from any street." So I guess city salt trucks aren't in the wrong, but don't you dare salt your own sidewalk.
3. You cannot bring a rooster into a bakery.
4. It's Illegal to own more than three cats in Dudley.
This isn't even one of those old-timey laws left over from colonial times. Oh no - this law came about after a Dudley resident complained about his neighbors 15 cats messing up his perfect lawn. In response, the town imposed a $100-per-day fine for anyone owning more than three felines.
5. In Attleboro, it's forbidden for children to play tag or other running games.
This law isn't actually on the books, but it's still pretty crazy. In 2006, one school in Attleboro decided to outlaw tag and other running games because they were deemed to be "dangerous" and "exclusionary."
6. Singing only part of the national anthem.
That's right: if you don't commit to singing the whole song, you could face a fine of up to $100 dollars. So the next time you feel like living on the edge, hum only a few bars under your breath at the grocery store.
7. You can't take a bath without a prescription. The next time you feel a little grungy, make sure to give your doctor a call.
8. It's illegal for dogs to ride in ambulances.
I guess this one sort of makes sense, but what are you supposed to do if you break your leg while out walking your dog? Just tie him to a tree or something?
9. It's illegal for bullets to be used as currency. No mention of whether currency can be used in place of bullets.
10. In Marblehead, it's illegal to cross the road on Sunday unless it's an absolute emergency.
11. You are required by law to remove your false teeth before intercourse.
12. It's illegal to hang a vending machine on a utility pole. (What????)
13. If you deface a milk carton, you're subject to a $10 fine.
14. Swearing or "blaspheming" is technically illegal...unless you're under 16 and at a sporting event.
We’re all just a bunch of outlaws here in Massachusetts.