Columns / Discourse / September 23, 2010

Did You Know?

Galesburg is a nice town, home to 34,861 people with a rich history set in a beautiful Midwestern setting. It is also home, as you know, to striking Knox College and all the students attending. But for those of you who think you know this town well, did you know that there are five laws that you could be breaking without knowing it?

• No person may keep a smelly dog. If you haven’t been washing your dog for a few months, then you better start before the police catch scent of it and storm to your house with a hose!

• It is illegal to burn bird feathers. Well, I’m not sure what to say to that. Who does that anyway?

• Jostling others is illegal. That means no bumping, pushing, shoving, or elbowing each other, kids. Takes you back to grade school, doesn’t it?

• No bicyclist may practice “fancy riding” on any city street. “Fancy riding” is up to your interpretation.

• There is a $1,000 fine for beating rats with baseball bats. This means you better start using mousetraps to snap their necks instead. Just don’t beat them in front of a cop with a baseball bat, or you’ll be fined for rat abuse!

Galesburg is quite gallant in trying to keep rats’ heads from being bashed in by baseball bats and in avoiding a stinky town by banishing smelly dogs from the homes of their citizens. And the next time you feel like pushing or elbowing someone, think again. However, Galesburg isn’t the only town in Illinois with some strange laws.

In Springfield, it is illegal to do “dwarf-tossing” in bars. But you know, if you find it to your fancy to practice dwarf-tossing in other places, there’s no law stopping you there.

In Moline, ice skating at the Riverside Pond during the months of June and August are prohibited. But in July, one of the hottest months of the year, ice skate all you want!

In Minoola, it’s illegal to take your clothes off and “expose the naked.” You may scar the minds of young children and older adults, which means no streaking, folks. Not in Minoola anyway. That’s too bad.

You may have read these next laws if you’ve gone on, which is where I got these next ridiculous few. In Chicago, the law forbids a person to eat in a place that’s on fire. You should know to get it to-go instead! And if you’d like, get it flambéed as well.

It is illegal to go fishing while sitting on the neck of a giraffe. You might get the fishing line wrapped around the giraffe’s neck, or you even might hook the poor animal! But then again, who in the nice state of Illinois has a pet giraffe?

It is very legal to protest naked in front of city hall as long as you are under 17 years of age and have legal permits, which is just too bad for us aging college students.

Well, I hope you try not to attempt to break these laws. But like me, you will probably try to break every single one written here. I think I’ll start with “exposing the naked” in Minoola.

Emily Park

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