Thursday, September 29, 2011


Here are some additional Dumb Laws courtesy of Aha! Jokes, (My comments are in parentheses):
* Arizona: It is illegal to hunt camels. (Seems like they would provide a permit for such. Think of the revenue they could collect from the onrush of camel hunters.)
* Iowa: One-armed piano players must perform for free. (Will this discrimination thing never end?)
* Iowa: Horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants. (A sad day for horses.)
* Wyoming: You may not take a picture of a rabbit during the month of June. (Drat it. That’s the very month I was planning a rabbit picture-taking trip to Wyoming.)
* Kentucky: By law, anyone who has been drinking is “sober” until he or she “cannot hold onto the ground.” (What is this? Does gravity cease to function?)
* Vermont: It is illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole. (Wow, how kinky can you get?)
* Natchez: It shall be unlawful to provide beer or other intoxicants to an elephant. (Guess there’s no point inviting an elephant over for a drink.)
* Nebraska: If a child burps during church, his parents may be arrested. (Is it ok for the parents to burp?)
* Nebraska: Barbers are forbidden from eating onions between 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. (My barber eats garlic constantly.)
* Ohio: Riding on the roof of a taxi cab is not allowed. (Of course you may sneak a ride on the roof without permission.)
*Lubbock: It is illegal to drive within an arm’s length of alcohol – including alcohol in someone else’s blood stream. (That’s going to make it tough on designated drivers.)
* Port Arthur: Obnoxious odors may not be emitted while in an elevator. (No Comment.)
*San Antonio: It is illegal to urinate on the Alamo. (Apparently Ozzy Osbourne didn’t get the memo.)
* Georgia: No one may carry an ice cream cone in their back pocket if it is Sunday. (No other choice but to stay home from church.)
* Detroit: It is illegal to paint sparrows to sell them as parakeets. (How about painting canaries to sell as parrots?)
* Virginia: You’re not allowed to park your elephant on Main Street. (Go south one block and park your elephant on Madison Avenue.)
* Kansas: Pedestrians crossing the highways at night must wear tail lights. (I am curious if indicator lights are required.)
* Wichita: Before proceeding through the intersection of Douglas and Broadway, a motorist is required to get out of their vehicle and fire three shot gun rounds into the air. (I’ll never need to know why this law is on the books.)
* Texas: The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home. (Guess you can always charter a bus to Louisiana and find a public library.)
* Florida: It is considered an offense to shower naked. (I should say so. Can you imagine anyone trying to do that?)
* Florida: If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle. (They might try parking their camel and hope to get away with it.)
* Florida: A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sundays or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing. (Besides that, she ought to be in church.)
* Florida: It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church. (How about a real moustache?)
* Memphis: It is illegal for a woman to drive a car unless there is a man either running or walking in front of it waving a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians. (No Comment.)
Laws are enacted for reasons. Sometimes, these reasons escape us.

Winston Hamby

Friday, September 02, 2011


Why do we cease from our labors on Labor Day? Seems we should call it “Non-Labor Day.” Anyway since I am 75, I feel qualified to remember the “labors” I experienced throughout life.

I was hired in 1948 at age 13, to sell cokes at Stuart Stadium during the Beaumont Exporter baseball games. I earned a penny for every Coke sold. This was good money for a boy without a resume.

I became an usher at the Jefferson Theater when I was 15. This paid a whopping forty cents per hour. I was promoted to Doorman, and was raised to fifty cents per hour. This more than covered the gasoline for my 1939 straight-eight Buick.

Then it was off to Abilene Christian College and a new segment of life. I operated the campus switchboard (PBX Board) located in the Administration Building. There were fifty rubber cables on my board. When a call came in, I plugged the caller into the proper extension. I learned that I could break my boredom by listening in on the calls to hear what folks were talking about.

I had various summer jobs:

The first summer, I worked at The Man’s Shop, located on Pearl Street, earning $30 per week. My trainer was Sylvan DuCote, who later opened his own store a block north on Pearl, near Burrell’s News Stand.

The second summer, I sold Bibles door-to-door in Dallas. I bought a 1951 Plymouth and returned to Abilene Christian with ninety dollars in my pocket.

The third summer, I worked for the U. S. Post Office, located in the Federal Building in downtown Beaumont. One day I met Congressman Jack Brooks. As he left, he told me to “Have a good suppah.”

The fourth summer, I worked in my dad’s accounting office located in the Goodhue Building. The first adding machine I ever used was black with a crank handle. The front gold lettering was the manufacturer’s name, “BURROUGHS.”

After graduation in 1957, I returned to Beaumont and went to work for my dad.

Two years later, I joined the Army and became an accounting instructor with the U. S. Army Finance Center, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, not far from Indianapolis.

One year later, I transferred to the U. S. Army Band and was assigned as a trombonist with the Pan-American Jazz Band, based in the Panama Canal Zone. We played concerts for every high school in the country of Panama and every U. S. Embassy in South America. Uncle Sam paid me $150 per month to toot my own horn.

I returned to Beaumont and went to work for First Security National Bank. Vice-President Jack Darling interviewed and hired me. His favorite slogan was, “The bank with enough difference to make a difference.”

Five years later, FSNB transferred me to the Village State Bank in the Village Shopping Center where I was named Cashier in charge of bank operations.

Three years later, my wife and I moved to New Mexico, and entered church ministry with an emphasis on teenagers. We ministered in Lovington NM, Hobbs NM, Roswell NM, Big Spring TX, and the final ten years in Beaumont where we served as Youth Minister with the Ridgewood Church of Christ.

At age 56, I began working at Forest Lawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park, in Beaumont, owned by Service Corporation International, the largest funeral home company in the world.

Two years later, I transferred to their corporate offices in Houston as a Human Resources Officer.

I retired in 2009, and we moved to Benton, Arkansas.

I enjoy writing guest columns for the Beaumont Enterprise.
Also, I drive limousines for funeral homes in Little Rock.
Three days per week, I shuttle cars for Enterprise Car Rentals, driving more than 400miles each day.

But do you know what I’ll be doing this Labor Day? Absolutely nothing…

Winston Hamby