Snap Judgment #35: Alabama's Alleged Absurd Laws
1400: In Alabama, it's illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time.
Verdict: Probably false.
This is a great example of the game of "telephone" we constantly refer to and is the basis of this podcast. I found source after source citing this law, and not a single one cites an Alabama statute. It could very well be real, but so far, all I've found is secondary sources with no citation or citing each other.
Mashable (one of the above sources) claims that the Alabama one is indeed false, but then says it's real in Georgia and Kentucky. I can't find solid proof there either, though I found the alleged reasoning behind it interesting: Horse theft. Specifically, they say ice-cream cones and other sugary-treats were made illegal because the horses would follow the person as they walked off, thus allowing them to steal a horse.
The fact is, I wanted to get into a fun post about silly laws that are still on the books, but the number of claimed laws that actually exist is actually very low. I found articles about absurd marriage laws, such as you can have annulment "if the wedding was done as a joke or dare" being specifically listed. I read through dozens of variations of "you can't tie [animal] to [object]." Not ONE article provided a primary source. It is crazy to me how wrought this particular set of myths is with this problem!
Do you know of any actual laws that are weird/verifiable? We'd love to hear them!