We've spent considerable time in this space over the years making fun of the criminally inept with "Morons of the Month," and we've had more than a few laughs with repeated looks at some bizarre U.S. laws still on the books.
Today, however, it's time to inspect some of the strangest laws still in place in foreign countries, which keeps our global theme of the week intact. (For those who forgot or missed it, on Tuesday we examined some of the bizarre Christmastime customs around the world.)
Legally speaking, be aware that in:
º Switzerland: It is illegal to flush the toilet after 10 p.m. if you live in an apartment. (Well, either go to bed early, or buy a house.)
º Scotland: If someone knocks on your door and requests the use of your toilet, you must allow them access. (I wonder how you'd handle that if you were living in an apartment in Switzerland?)
º Turkey: It is against the law to fall in love with a neighbor's son, daughter, wife, servant -- or animals. (I don't think this one even needs some sort of snarky comment.)
º Norway: If you challenge a man to a fistfight to the death, he must accept or pay a penalty of four deer. (I'll tell you right now, if I ever received a challenge like that while vacationing in Norway, I'll simply ask for the number of the closest deer salesman.)
º England: It's illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague. (But how are you supposed to get to the doctor?) It's also illegal to be drunk in a pub. (That's not the way it looks in some of those English movies.)
º France: It's illegal to name your pig Napoleon. (But "Porky" is OK?) In addition, all drivers are legally required to carry a portable breathalyzer in their vehicle. If you're caught without this gadget in your car, you'll be expected to cough up about $10. This law also applies to tourists.
º Russia: In at least one city, you can be fined up to $62 for driving a dirty car. (Do they take debit cads?) It is also illegal to say any sentence containing more than four words in English. (I'd be safe. "Where is nearest McDonald's?" would fall within the limit.)
º Greece: Coupons are illegal. (What do housewives do with their extra time?)
º Italy: Pet owners can be fined for not taking their dogs for walks a minimum of three times each day. (Somewhere, Sally Westerhoff is smiling.)
º Denmark: In Danish restaurants you don't have to pay for your food unless, by your own opinion, you are "full" at the end of your meal. If not, you can proceed without paying the bill at all. (How soon can I get a ticket to Denmark?)