It’s like the end of Footloose. The curmudgeonly old suits in Oakland City Hall put their heads together recently and decided they’d give the kids what they want: the chance to dance dance dance! Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, also responsible for repealing Oakland’s 1879 law forbidding cross-dressing, pushed through the repeal of an 82-year-old ban on dance marathons.
Which got us thinking: San Francisco could use a similar bit of housekeeping. If you look at the city
rulebooks, we’ve got some vintage doozies (no, we’re not talking about plastic bags or Happy Meals).
Oral sex? Leashes on lions? The Man is always trying to bring us down.
Here’s a round-up of zany old SF laws, still on the books today:
It is illegal to wax or wipe down your car with used underwear. We’d love to see the city meeting
where they decided this was crucial legislation. “Think about the children!”
Those classified as “ugly” may not walk down any street. This is what happens when you let the
popular girls get to create new laws for their junior high civics project. Also: Who should be in charge of
The picking up and throwing of used confetti is prohibited. Shed a tear for the thrifty San Franciscan,
forced to give their hard-earned loot to Confetti Barn every time they want to celebrate a returning
Elephants and lions are forbidden from being walked down Market Street without leashes. We always
evade this one by taking our big game down Mission Street, but they’ll probably close that loophole
soon. Stinkin’ bureaucrats.
Giving or receiving oral sex is prohibited. We haven’t performed an independent study, but we’ll go out
on a limb and say that this is one area where San Franciscans have managed to stay 100% compliant for
200 years. It’s in our puritan nature.
It is illegal to pile horse manure higher than six feet on a street corner. Bless the city employee tasked
with measuring those five foot nine poop piles.
Any mechanical device that reproduces obscene language is banned. Close that laptop, mother**cker.
Tethering your dog to a tree or streetlight is forbidden. We hereby give you permission to untie every
pooch you see tied up around the city. It’s practically your civic duty.
Paying the guy carrying your luggage more than a quarter. Actually, maybe you shouldn’t be letting
that dude carry your luggage anyway. We know he seemed nice, but he’s moving awful fast.
Feel free to contact your local city councilman to demand the immediate removal of these outrageous
travesties of justice. Or not.