At what height does your pickle bounce?

Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2022

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There are criminal and traffic laws we hope never to break, because we understand the consequences of failing to abide by the rules.

But then there are the “laws of life” – things that happen (karma or just plain coincidence) as we maneuver along our daily existence. We’ve all experienced these “laws” at some point in our life because, as expected, things always seem to take a turn for the worse at the most ill opportune times.

We didn’t break these laws….they just happen.

Here are some that we’ve perhaps all experienced:

Law of Mechanical Repair – After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee.

Law of Gravity – Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place in the universe.

Law of Probability – The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers – If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal; someone always answers.

Variation Law – If you change checkout lines or traffic lanes, the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

Law of the Bath – When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone will ring. And if you rush to answer it in time, the probability of it being a telemarketer is greater than 66.6 percent.

Law of Close Encounters – The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

Law of Biomechanics – The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the Theater & Hockey Arena – At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance.

The Coffee Law – As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something, which will last until the coffee is cold.

Murphy’s Law of Lockers – If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers. And, nine times out of ten, when this law does occur, you’ll be the one who forgot to bring a towel.

Law of Physical Surfaces – The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

Law of Physical Appearance – If the clothes fit, they’re ugly.

Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy – As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it or the store will stop selling it!

Doctors’ Law – If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor. By the time you arrive you’ll feel better. But if you don’t make an appointment you’ll stay sick.

There are even criminal laws on the books with a cruel sense of humor. Check these out:

In the town of Goodyear, Arizona, it is unlawful to spit “in or on” any public building, park, sidewalk, or road. Offenders may be charged a fine of up to $2,500 and six months in prison.

You may legally own a catapult in Aspen, Colorado, but not allowed to launch anything from that device. That’s kind’a like being able to purchase a car, but prevented from driving it!!

Did you know that in the state of Connecticut, a pickle cannot be sold unless it bounces. It appears that this unique law has been around since 1948 after a pair of pickle packers (say that quickly, 5 times in a row) attempted to sell their products, which were deemed “unfit for human consumption.” That led the state’s Food and Drug Commissioner to proclaim that a real pickle should bounce when dropped from a height of one foot.

It’s illegal in Gainesville, Georgia to eat fried chicken while holding it with anything other than your fingers. Honestly, I thought that was a law everywhere!!

Just so you know, any person who attempts to pass off margarine, oleo, or oleomargarine as real butter is guilty of a simple misdemeanor in the state of Iowa, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $625 fine.

All public officials and attorneys in Kentucky must swear an oath that they “have not fought a duel with deadly weapons” nor acted as a second in another person’s duel. That law has been in effect since 1848.

I have to admit that this following law is location appropriate: In Louisiana it is illegal to steal someone else’s crawfish. If those shellfish are valued in excess of $1,500, those caught stealing them faces up to 10 years in prison or a $3,000 fine.

In the city of Wells, Maine, it’s illegal to post an advertisement on another person’s tombstone.

Enacted in 1917, the State of Massachusetts prohibits individuals from dancing to the National Anthem. While I would never dance to that patriotic song, the Massachusetts law is for naught due to a more powerful statute: the First Amendment.

And, finally, here in our home state did you know that it’s a felony to steal more than $1,000 worth of grease (it’s a misdemeanor for thefts valued at less than $1,000). The law, passed in 2012, targets those stealing grease from restaurants. Grease can be sold and converted into bio diesel.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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