Buckle up everyone! We’re gonna talk about municipal ordinances!
We’ve all heard stories of real laws that seem to defy logic like “no petting horses on Sunday” and such. The survey addicts at MyNavi had asked people about some unusual local laws and what they got were reports of Cupid Committee’s and McMansions.
■ Praise the Children Ordinance (Shibushi, Kagoshima)
Shibushi City (say that three times fast) has set forth an ordinance instructing its citizens to find the best in children and somehow praise it. “A variety of awards such as reading or etiquette for kids have been created because of it” writes one local woman.
It seems like a good idea in theory, but I’m of the school of thought that excessive praising can lead to kids like this guy.
■ McMansion Ordinance (Rokurokuso, Hyogo)
In spite of its hard to pronounce name, Rokurokuso is the hip place to live for many a wealthy celebrity and as a result is full of large and luxurious homes sometimes referred to as McMansions.
The McMansion Ordinance aims to keep the property value up by setting a minimum size limit to the homes that can be built there.
■ Commuting Allowance Regulations (Ninomiya, Kanagawa)
Sure that title sounds more boring than strange but it more the contents that one man found odd. The ordinance lists as “tools for commuting” as “cars, sleds, skis, and/or boats” he explained. It’s nice how the “and/or” leaves the window open for water-skiing to be a legitimate form of commuting.
Oddly enough, my old high school gym teacher used to ski to work in the winter, I wonder if he could have received a tax break from it.
■ Heart Meal Ordinance (Takanezawa, Tochigi)
The submitter of this strangely titled law leaves us hanging with what it actually entails. However, he speculates, “It says something like ‘cook sincerely and eat with love?’ I don’t know. I’m just going by the name.”
If that’s the case then I’m covered. I cook and eat exactly like I make love: fast, messy and with a chance of nausea or choking.
■ Cupid Ordinance (Kise, Mie)
In an effort to promote marriage in the area, the town of Kise set up the Cupid ordinance. In what must be a collection of the nosiest people in town, the Cupid Committee has been established to pester single people into the most sacred of institutions.
As an added incentive, MyNavi uncovered that successful marriages result in a 200,000 yen reward for the hardworking cupid.
■ Everyone’s Friends in Snow Ordinance (Kutchan, Hokkaido)
The 29-year-old resident who wrote in about this law was mostly bothered by the inappropriately saccharine name of it. The law simply requires all members of the community to help each other dig out of snow storms.
Anyone who’s ever had to shovel through a large dumping of snow would relate more to the name “Hey You With the Snow Blower! Help Me Out Would Ya? Ordinance.”
■ Outdoor Advertising Ordinance (Yokosuka, Kanagawa)
This soberly titled ordinance is an effort to reduce the posting of advertisements in public places. Most people can surely get behind this initiative, but one Kanagawa resident found a strange clause that read: “Posting of flyers on statues of Buddha is prohibited!”
It’s about time. I’m tired of seeing pizza flyers stuck to the face of Buddha everywhere I go.
I can kind of sympathize with the people who make these ordinances. It must be difficult to be a city official in a small town where nothing much happens, so you have to find some creative ways to make yourself useful.