The top five most ridiculous regulations in Massachusetts

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If you’re planning to spend the next New Year’s Day in Concord, Massachusetts, don’t get caught nursing your annual hangover with a plastic bottle of cool spring water — you might be breaking the law.

The city of Concord passed a law in April banning all bottled water in plastic containers, effective January 1, 2011. Supporters of the law say ridding the town of bottled water is a first step toward a cleaner planet. Never mind that plastic water bottles only account less than one percent of landfill space. Who are we to let facts get in the way of a good regulation?

In commemoration of the successful campaign to rid Concord of bottled H20, we decided to take a look at a few of the other laws that have come out of the Bay State, a land full of people who clearly think they are incapable of making personal decisions on their own accord.

1. A January 2010 law mandates that all children in Massachusetts daycare centers must brush their teeth after lunch — or else.

It is against the law for daycare providers to not help children brush their teeth after meals. While parents can opt out (either on libertarian principle or family tradition if they’re from some parts of Alabama), they can rest easy knowing that state bureaucrats are looking out for their children’s pearly whites. Heck, the state even provides toothpaste, brushes and holders! What? No floss?! There oughta be a law…

2. It is illegal in Massachusetts to deface a milk carton.

From what we can gather, there was once a rogue band of underground milkmen roaming the New England countryside defacing poor innocent milk cartons with giant Sharpie pens.  The horror! The mayhem! The curdling! Well, the state put an end to that, slapping a $10 fine on anyone who dared to vandalize a container of 2 percent.

3. It is illegal in Dudley, Massachusetts to own more than three cats without government permission.

Here’s to you, Dudley, for finding a way to push that nice lady with kitty litter in her hair and all those pussycats even further into desperate reclusion.  Residents of the town decided to impose a $100-per-day fine for owning too many cats after someone living next to the town cat lady complained about the felines ruining his yard. The cat lady promptly put her home up for sale, packed her 15 cats, and never looked back. Success!

4. Children in Attleboro, Massachusetts are forbidden from playing “tag” or other running games during playtime.

Heaven forbid an American child loses all that self-esteem his teachers worked so hard to build over the years. (Remember, everyone’s a winner!) A school in Massachusetts made national headlines in 2006 for issuing playground rules that restricted children from playing “chasing” games like tag and touch football because they were “dangerous” and “exclusionary.” In a rousing match of phone tag, a spokesman for the school refused to confirm or deny to The Daily Caller that tag is  still allowed today. Guess that means we’re it.

5. A Massachusetts fisherman was fined for saving a whale caught in his net.

As Clare Boothe Luce once quipped, no good deed goes unpunished. A U.S. District Court fined fisherman Robert J. Eldridge $500 after he untangled a whale from his nets and set the giant sea mammal free. What he should have done, the court told him, was call state authorities and wait for them do it. Never mind that the whale may have suffocated if they didn’t arrive in time. But hey, Eldridge should consider himself lucky: He could have faced a $100,000 fine and up to a year in jail. That’ll teach him.

Honorable Mention: Group in Cambridge calls for a ban on all meat on Mondays.

The Cambridge Climate Congress, established to make recommendations for climate laws for the People’s Republic of Cambridge, recently proposed a ban on all meat sales once a week to curb the “climate emergency.” (It didn’t pass.) As the logic goes, meat comes from cows, and cows emit gas (farts) that heats up the planet. Let’s take a moment to thank the selfless citizens of Cambridge for making a good faith effort to rid the world of climate change and those smelly bovine backsides.

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