Photo by Mike Mullen

It’s Illegal to Wash Your Neighbor’s Car, and Other Wacky Local Laws

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A rundown of some of the silliest laws to have ever existed in Los Angeles and California.

  • In Los Angeles, it is illegal to wash your neighbor’s car without their permission. Put - the - sponge - down - you - jerk.
  • Dogs are not allowed to get it on within 500 yards of a church. God is watching.
  • In Long Beach, it is illegal to curse on a mini-golf course. Even if you’re certain that 5-year-old is hustling you.
  • A man must have a license in order to serenade a woman in Los Angeles. Romance is dead.
  • You will probably not spend much time in the tiny town of Blythe, but if you happen to stop there on a road trip down the I-10, you should know that you are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you own at least two cows.
  • In California, it’s illegal for a woman to drive a car while dressed in a housecoat. What’s a housecoat? Does the sweatshirt I’ve had on for six days count?
  • It is illegal for a person to lick a toad, particularly the Colorado River toad, aka the Sonoran Desert toad, aka Bufo alvarius.
  • You may not peel an orange in any hotel room and you’re not allowed to eat an orange in your own bathtub. When this law came about in 1920, people believed the citric acid in the orange would mix with the natural bath oils and you would somehow explode.
  • It is illegal to shoot any kind of game from a moving vehicle — unless it is a whale. Free Willy, don’t shoot him!
  • In Arcadia, peacocks have the right of way to cross any street, including driveways, since they are considered town citizens.
  • If robbing a bank, shooting at the teller with a water gun is prohibited. You will look stupid and they won’t give you any money, obviously. And if you get arrested in L.A., you better not cry on the witness stand. It’s illegal.
  • In Los Angeles, you may not hunt moths under a street light. But can you just sit there and watch them dance?
  • A frog that dies during a frog-jumping contest cannot be eaten in the state of California. It must be destroyed.
  • Driving more than 2,000 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard is against the law. And don’t think you can take your animals just anywhere in the state. In Palm Springs, it is illegal to walk a camel down Palm Canyon Drive between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. And in San Francisco, you can’t walk an elephant down the street without a leash.

Los Angeleno