9 Stupid Crimes in Dallas, or Why Not to Give Your Wife a Massage

At its most elemental level, government — at least the democratic kind set out in America's founding documents — exists to protect the life, liberty and property of its citizens; the pursuit of happiness is more of a rhetorical flourish.

Governments perform this function by passing and enforcing laws, most for obvious reasons. Outlawing murder, theft and rape, for example, is a grand idea because no one wants to live through a real-life sequel to that Purge movie. (Watching it was painful enough, thanks.) But sometimes, government being government, laws are created that don't seem to have any rational basis at all, or, if they do, the text is so thoroughly divorced from the intent as to forfeit any claim to good sense. 

Dallas, unsurprisingly, is home to many such laws. Even after the repeal of its infamous ban on bicycle wheelies, its municipal code — which the public is free to browse here — is pockmarked with legislative curiosities. The Observer has sifted through that tome and compiled a list of some — though undoubtedly not all — of Dallas' best bad laws.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson