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Daft laws from across the pond

Memo to all the members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords: Don’t die on the job. You’ll be breaking the law.

That’s right. It is illegal to die within the Houses of Parliament.

And that statute was voted the “most ludicrous” piece of legislation on the books in the United Kingdom in a poll conducted by UKTV Gold, a television channel. Nearly 4,000 people were surveyed, according to BBC News. A short list of choices was provided for voting.

The most daft laws, in order, as voted in the poll (drumroll, please):

1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen’s image upside-down.

3. It is illegal for a woman to be topless in Liverpool except as a clerk in a tropical fish store.

4. Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is banned. (This one apparently dates back to the days of Oliver Cromwell).

5. If someone knocks on your door in Scotland and requires the use of your toilet, you are required to let them enter.

6. In the UK a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman’s helmet.

7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail of the Queen.

8. It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing.

9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour.

10. It is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls of York, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

The UKTV Gold poll also asked those surveyed to identify what they thought was the silliest law on an international scale.

The state of Ohio won. There, it is illegal to get a fish drunk. Of course it is.

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