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Book of Legal Stuff    by Joanne O'Sullivan order for
Book of Legal Stuff
by Joanne O'Sullivan
Order:  USA  Can
Charlesbridge, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

'Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, for your consideration: a collection of laws from around the world and around the block. These are the statutes, bylaws, ordinances, and amendments that govern our behavior and keep the world from devolving into sheer anarchy.'

'These laws prevent us from eating pies baked by grandmothers in noncertified kitchens; make sure that we never accidentally get a glimpse of a sweaty naked person through a window; ensure that even in death, we will not be subjected to the poor taste of our loved ones who would carelessly put plastic flowers on our graves instead of real ones, thus endangering the lives and health of graveyard lawn maintenance technicians.'

Now that author Joanne O'Sullivan has piqued your curiosity and explained the focus of her book, you can sit back and enjoy this amusing and often bizarre compendium of legal stuff she has collected from around the globe.

Although it may be hard to believe at times, everything you find in this little book is or was at one time on the books. Covering subject matter as diverse as animal treatment, transportation, public decorum, and food, the author divides the laws and statues she has collected into three broad categories: Dissenting Opinions, Rules of Order and Natural Law.

In the first section you'll find these gems: Ice cream truck music is against the law in Stafford Township, New Jersey, and Edmondston, Maryland. In South Carolina seven people were arrested for failing to hold their applause until all the graduates had been announced at a high school graduation. The mayor of Eraclea, Italy, banned building beach sandcastles, and wearing a bikini off the beach is off limits in Capri, Italy, the island of Grenada, and Dubai.

As you page through the Rules of Order you'll discover the following restrictions: The city of Birmingham, England, outlawed apostrophes on road and street signs. In Kuwait, it's illegal to drive a car that's more than ten years old. In Clinton, Oklahoma, it's illegal to molest a vehicle. A German company has an anti-whining law. Anyone caught complaining can be fired on the spot.

Finally, the Natural Law category lists some additional odd statutes. For example, it's against the law to serve coffee, tea, or any food in a funeral home in New York or New Jersey. In the U.K. milk bottles must contain the following warning: Contains Milk. Having a hamster as a pet is against the law in Vietnam. It's illegal to harvest rainwater in Utah. In British Columbia it is illegal to kill a Sasquatch.

A quick and very entertaining read, this is a book you'll want to pass on to family and friends. In fact, it might make the perfect graduation gift for a prospective lawyer or a member of the legal profession.

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