Rules of the Rice’s and others around the world |

Rules of the Rice’s and others around the world

Fried rice
Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“OK, we have a new rule in the house,” Husband-Head announced firmly. “And I expect all of you to adhere to it whether you like it or not.”

“All of you” included me, the cat and the two dogs. None of whom were really that interested in whatever law Husband-Head was about to impose.

“So you’re the House-Nazi?” I asked Husband-Head. “Since when do you get to put rules on the house. And who the hell is going to implement them?”

Husband-Head just scowled.

“This is serious,” he insisted. “We’re a family and we need to work together. I need cooperation from all of you.”

I wasn’t exactly sure how we were going to get cooperation from the four-legged members, but I sat on the couch and waited to hear his decision with bated breath.

“From now on, whoever sees that the bird feeder is low or empty, has to fill it up,” Husband-Head directed, in a voice sounding much like former vice president Dan Quayle, instructing a middle school student how to spell “potato.” The pets and I all laughed. Well, I laughed out loud and they wagged their tails in a circle, which is equivalent to an animal laugh…

Then, because there was no way they could possibly help me empty the 20-pound bag of bird seed from the packet into the feeder, I figured I would just pour it in and call it good.

“That’s kind of a stupid rule,” I said to Husband-Head. “Basically, it boils down to me filling the bird feeder all the time.”

But upon further investigation, it turned out that there are way weirder laws in this world than Husband-Head’s.

Take, for instance, these rules outlined by


In Venice, apparently you are not allowed to feed the pigeons, although for most of us Americans, it brings back the nostalgic memory of the classic “Mary Poppins” movie and Julie Andrews singing the heartfelt “Feed the Birds” song. However, according to the report, Venetian officials do not like the pigeons “speckling their beloved buildings with pigeon poop.”

Fines can be up to $60, although “probably no more than $50 or $60 if you pay quickly.”

Or you can wake up with a horse head on the pillow next to you…


Ahh…the infamous autobahn. Where you can go as fast as you want. But heaven forbid you run out of gas while speeding down the highway at 150 miles per hour. Because there is a fine for impeding traffic should you, say, run out of gas while blaring the song “Life in the Fast Lane” by the Eagles. More importantly, it is reportedly illegal to get out of your vehicle if you should run out of gas and walk to a gas station with a penalty fine of up to the equivalent of $100. It’s clearly a better choice to sit in your car and drink beer until the “polizei” arrives to safely escort you off the autobahn…


Strippers beware. You will be issued a ticket by the Thailand police for riding around in a car or a motorcycle with your shirt off. If you’re totally buffed, it might not be as much as a problem, but if you look anything like Chris Farley and his infamous Chippendale segment on Saturday Night Live, you might be fined the slap on the wrist or a $10 ticket.


On the other hand, should you get a ticket in Canada, don’t try to pay in pennies. Canada’s “Currency Act of 1985” restricts using all coins to buy something that costs $10 or even $1 coins for items that cost more than $25. The seller of an item is legally allowed to tell you to leave.

France and England:

Apparently, kissy-face is not considered a fun activity in these countries.

According to reports, there is an old law that prohibits kissing in France on the train as well as in northwest England. The penalty, in France at least, now asks that you move your smooching to a designated “kissing zone.”

Ummm…a “kissing zone?”

We could go on and on here, but let’s just say that there are laws prohibiting you to drive a dirty car in Moscow; you can’t stroll through town in a bathing suit in Grenada; you can’t drive with your headlights off in Denmark and you can’t feed birds, spit, not flush public toilets or chew gum in Singapore.

Like, what do these people do for fun?

However, gambling is expected to be legal in late 2009 as is dancing on top of bars. As long as you don’t spit or chew gum while you’re doing it…

I think I’ll just go out and fill the bird feeder and call it good.

Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Her book collection of columns, “Skully Says SHUT IT!” is available at the Post Independent or through her website at

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