Alabama Denies the Fake ‘Stache – Weird Law
I’m happy to report that there is a law in Alabama that prohibits you from wearing a fake mustache that causes laughter in church. Why does that make me happy? Because it’s a two-parter, and they are my favorite. It’s not illegal just to wear a fake mustache. Nor is it illegal if you cause someone to laugh in church. But if you cause someone to laugh at church by wearing a fake mustache? That’s against the law. How awesome is that?
It’s extra-awesome because I get to speculate about why the law exists. So here you go, Gentle Readers of Ridiculous Laws. Here is my version of why it is illegal in Alabama to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.
It was a warm spring day in a small town in Alabama. Mayor Wilbur Hadley was not happy – his only daughter was marrying a local good-ole-boy named Hartley Jessup. Hartley was bad news – handsome, but a notorious gambler and Lothario. Mayor Hadley was grudgingly making this wedding happen – Bettie Lou was in a family way and no daughter of his was going to bring up a fatherless child. Bettie Lou was over the moon over the whole situation – she’d had her eye on Hartley Jessup since she was a mere twelve years old and he was thirteen. They started porch-talkin’ when they were a few years older, and now with him at twenty and her at nineteen, things were going just as she’d planned.
Well, Hartley Jessup’s grandma, Pearl, had raised him, and she thought she’d done a right fine job. He was handsome, wily, and slick and she thought that if it weren’t for this little trollop, Hartley might be able to get out of this one-horse town and make it in the city. Pearl was not happy about this marriage. She decided she’d do something about it.
So, right before Bettie Lou was fixing to walk down the aisle, Pearl Jessup jumped up in front of the whole congregation wearing a fake mustache. She did her Groucho Marx impression – a favorite with her garden club. She was cracking the classic line, “Last night I caught an elephant in my pajamas – how he got into my pajamas I’ll never know” and everybody in the church was laughing to beat the band. Somehow in all the ruckus, Hartley managed to slip out the door and was never heard from again.
Bettie Lou had to marry the Deputy Mayor, a skinny man with terrible halitosis by the name of Bart Pooper, in order to save face. Her baby, a boy, was born with a full head of hair and looked just like his real father. As soon as he was able to talk, he started making fun of Bart Pooper and never stopped until old Bart dropped dead of a broken heart. Mayor Hadley never recovered from the fact that his only darling daughter had gotten herself knocked up by the likes of Hartley Jessup, and that when Hartley skipped town, he took Bettie Lou’s mother, his wife, with him. Magnolia Hadley fled with Hartley and they lived it up in St. Louis and got rich playing poker, doing magic tricks, and performing vaudeville – as Hartley had inherited his grandma’s flair for comedy.
Bettie Lou grew into a bitter, angry woman and tripped little children and old ladies when they walked by. It was all such a tragic tale that Mayor Hadley managed to get a law passed in the Great State of Alabama that nobody could make people laugh in church wearing a fake mustache. You know, because nothing good can come of it.
What do YOU think happened?
photo by actionafternoon