Saturday, August 01, 2009

Pornagraphic wine labels (at least that's what they think in Alabama)

Only in America...
The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) has
confirmed in a letter to restaurants and shops that Cycles Gladiator, a Californian wine from Hahn Family Wines may not legally be sold in Alabama. At least not if the bottle bears its label which depicts an 1895 French poster for the Gladiator bicycle brand. According to Bob Martin, attorney for the ABC Board, who presumably makes these kinds of statements with a straight face, the label contravened laws against the depiction of "a person posed in an immoral or sensuous manner."

The ban will not have caused much loss of sleep at Hahn Family Wines. Sales in Alabama were apparently around 500 cases per year and this figure is being easily made up - and exceeded - by Californians and others who are flocking to get their hands on bottles that are "Banned in Bama."
(For other labels that have upset the Alabama censors, and an interesting insight into Alabama official thinking. take a look at this site)

While Alabama protects its citizens from the shocking sight of a 19th century nude, it fortunately takes a relatively liberal attitude towards gun-ownership. Anyone over 18 may buy and own a rifle, shotgun, or handgun without the need for any kind of permit or registration (the minimum age at which one can legally drink alcohol is 21, as elsewhere in the US). The only official permit that is required is for the carrying of a concealed weapon. According to an informative site, I had not previously visited called, a recent survey reveals that two thirds of Alabama's residents own guns and half have permits to carry concealed weapons. proudly states that "This is one of the highest gun ownership and concealed carry permits in the country and corresponds with a relatively low crime rate."

Hmmmm, In 2006, 412 people were apparently murdered in Alabama, compared with 759 in the UK where gun ownership is effectively outlawed. Alabama has a population of 4,627,851. The UK has nearly 15 times as many people: 60,975,000.

Alabama has 7.4 murders per 100,000 people; the 6th highest rate in the US for murder.

Alabama legislators have a fine record of drawing up unusual laws - as you can find on the Dumblaws site. Here are just a few prime examples.

  • Bear wrestling matches are prohibited.

  • Incestuous marriages are legal.

  • It is illegal to impersonate a person of the clergy.

  • You may not drive barefooted.

  • It is considered an offense to open an umbrella on a street, for fear of spooking horses.

  • Dominoes may not be played on Sunday.

  • It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church.

  • Putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death.

  • You may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time.

  • It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.

City Laws in Alabama

  • You may not wear blue jeans down Noble Street.

  • Men who deflower virgins, regardless of age or marital status, may face up to five years in jail.

  • If an animal control officer is in uniform, it signifies to the public that he is an animal control officer.

    Lee County
  • It is illegal to sell peanuts in Lee County after sundown on Wednesday.

  • No person within the city may possess confetti.

  • It is unlawful to wear women’s pumps with sharp, high heels.

  • Montgomery
    It is considered an offense to open an umbrella on a street, for fear of spooking horses.

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