No selling eyeballs
A Texas state law prohibits the sale of human organs, specifically listing the kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas, eye, bone, skin, and any tissue—though it excludes hair, blood or any blood derivatives. So the next time you’re thinking of pawning your peepers for a new guitar, don’t.
Loitering with the intent of flirting
A highly specific ordinance, one Abilene city law makes it illegal to loiter with the intention of “mashing” (a synonym for flirting) at the Texas and Pacific Railroad Depot. Some records even state that this law applies to any location within the corporate city limits.
Cycling at unreasonable speeds
While many cities across Texas have worked in recent years to become bike-friendly, a Galveston law also puts limits on cyclists, calling for “reasonable speeds” on the roads. So the next time you head to the coast, slow down!
Rude gestures and public drinking
Galveston is home to more than one curiously precise law. To name just a few, offensive gestures, foul language, reckless driving, and unruly conduct are not allowed at public events; one must request permission from the director of parks and recreation before getting drunk in any city park; and it is illegal to throw trash from an airplane—or to land one on the beach.
Selling Limburger cheese on Sundays
Not too far away in Houston, one law states that it is illegal to sell Limburger cheese on Sundays. If you have a hankering for this particular fromage, visit your local cheesemonger from Monday to Saturday, but thou shalt not buy stinky cheese on the Sabbath.
Farting in an elevator
And speaking of stinky—nearby Port Arthur outlaws “obnoxious odors in an elevator.” One can only speculate the horror stories that necessitated this decree.
Texting while driving
On a more practical note, many Texan cities such as Austin have enforced a hands-free ordinance while driving. You can’t dial, hang up a call, play a game, send texts, or enter an address if you are holding a mobile device while driving. You are allowed to dial or pick up your phone if your car is at a complete stop, or if dialing emergency services.
Don’t carry wire cutters in your pocket
Austin also has a law forbidding pedestrians to put wire cutters in pockets—because that was probably the way that you were thinking of carrying them. This law dates back to the “wild west,” when cowboys would cut barbed wire fences in order to herd cattle through private property.
Bad news for the Encyclopedia Brittanica
The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for brewing beer at home.
Just three sips
Texas towns have more than a few odd regulations on beer. In Lefors, Texas, it is illegal to take more than three swallows of beer while standing. So sit down, relax, and drink slowly!
Milking a stranger’s cow
A Texas law bans milking another person’s cow. We’d love to believe the law either arose from a desperately decaffeinated citizen searching for milk for their coffee or from the need to protect your own cows from jealousy. Either way, the act is utterly out of the question.