Monday, June 20, 2011

The rain helps with the chaffing.

  There's been many, many things we have all seen that we wish we could "un-see" right? I know I have my fair share of them. Some of them ungodly, misshapen images I tuck away somewhere hoping they never resurface. Some of them are tolerable because they are oddly fascinating in a funny, quirky, maybe even have a moroseness to them. The latter is how I feel about thousands and thousands of people riding bicycles naked through Portland.
  It's that time of year again (like there needs to be an excuse) for the World Naked Bike Ride! I don't really feel like it's all that weird of a thing to do. What I did wonder though is exactly what kind of  city ordinances do they break? How many of them? How are they going to stop a team of thousands of slippery nudies? Why would they? While these questions don't keep me up at night. I did start to wonder about Portland's obscure city ordinances, some which date back to the city's earliest days. A lot of cities have some fairly unknown laws. Mind you some of these are outdated and haven't really been modified. Some are not too dated at all. Here are a few from the surrounding areas:

  • In Myrtle Creek, Oregon you may not box with a Kangaroo.
  • In Stanfield, Oregon no more than 2 people can share a drink, also, animals are not allowed to have sex in city limits.
  • Ministers are forbidden from eating garlic or onions before delivering a sermon in Marion.
  • It is illegal to predict the future in Yamhill, Oregon! So don't try it! Do NOT try leaving your cellar doors open. Cellar doors ARE NOT to remain open! That too is a no-no.
These bastards are in trouble. There better not be a soothsayer down there!

  While I know all laws have a time and place. For the most part laws and ordinances keep things in line. I always thought the "no cruising" law here was not broad enough. Especially with as many one way streets as we have. All across the world there are fantastically lame or bizarre regulations. By comparison, Portland's are pretty tame. Many of the noteworthy laws were structured by city officials with little or no expertise. So I guess it's for the best that I don't plan on raising bears, lions or crocodiles in the city. I am curious as to why I cannot tie a chicken to my doorstep during Lent though? While I agree that it's a good law to not be able to carry a baby on a hood, fender or running board of a moving vehicle,  I don't see the harm in whistling underwater.

Thankfully 'Patience' was recorded above the water's surface.

  Now let's get back to the undraped cyclists, skateboarders, pogo-ballers and free spirits that roamed the streets earlier in the week. Oregon law states that "indecent exposure" is regarded as so only when it is intended for public arousal. Within the last couple years Portland revised it's own ordinance which included exposed genitalia to that law. There is no law that bans women from baring their boobs in public spaces.
  There were obviously a lot of various appendages free in the wind the other night, I didn't see anyone freak out or look like they were aroused. Essentially, there is a loop-hole for it. Which I think is fantastic. Doing a moderate amount of research on these basic, and at times obscure laws made me realize a couple things.
For one, there are a ton of laws that should be rewritten or thrown out all together to reflect the modern day. Secondly, a lot of these laws are not general knowledge to anyone including some on our own police force and people in political chairs.
Which brings me to my last thought. Before you start climbing up the soap box to scold someone for a minor infraction, think to yourself - "Did I break a law today?" - Odds are, you probably did.

Now, if you will excuse me, I must hurry and unload these dishes. I would hate to get a citation for not letting them drip dry.

Definitely watch out for this hardened criminal. Eating ice cream on a Sunday is as hard-core as it gets. 

Until next time.

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