How to Not Get Arrested for Ridiculous Reasons in Texas

For the sake of argument, imagine you're wandering around Austin, Texas with a pair of wire cutters in your pocket. Did you know that you could, hypothetically, get arrested for it? You'd think bolt cutters would be much more suspicious, but I digress. Anyway, this is just one of the many peculiar or archaic laws still on the books around Texas. This little guide will help you avoid getting popped for engaging in college football at Lamar University and other such inanities.

Eyeball Sales Prohibited

Whether you're planning on doing a little live surgery or swapping that old glass eye for a shiny new guitar at the pawn shop, you'd better think twice in the state of Texas. Believe it or not, a proposed sale or solicitation of your own or someone else's peepers is against the law throughout the entire state. This comes as a genuine disappointment to local proponents of DIY organ transplants (and actually, you probably could pawn your glass eye, since its not technically an organ).

Watch Your Loitered Mashing

Suppose you're traveling through Abilene, and someone catches your eye while you're stopped off at the Texas and Pacific Railroad Depot. They seem interested, or at least they're not adverse to a little bit of flirting. Whatever you do, keep walking as you banter. If the cops catch you loitering with the intention of mashing (a synonym for flirting), they could theoretically give you a nasty little fine. It's probably no more than a saw penny and a quart of your best heifer's milk, but take heed, lovelorn lingerers.

Slow Down and Watch Your Mouth, Galveston Cyclists

Bicyclists in Galveston, beware. If you're heading to this lovely coastal city to soak up the coast or enjoy the gorgeous Moody Gardens, make sure to brake on those hilly streets. One old but potentially enforced city ordinance cautions all bicyclists to operate at a "reasonable speed." And equally important, whether you're riding, walking, or sitting during a public event, leave your potty mouth at home, as offensive gestures can get the event holders in trouble. Sh-oot.

Cut Down on Your Sunday Limburger and Beer Intake

Not far up the Gulf Coast from Galveston sprawls the metropolis of Houston. One of the largest cities in the United States, H-Town houses countless wonders like its Museum District but isn't exempt from an unusual rule or two. For the stinky cheese connoisseurs among us, get your Limburger fix out of the way on Saturday, as sales of the ripe fromage are restricted on Sundays. Also, keep in mind your legalese when buying beer. You can't grab a cold one "after midnight on a Sunday," but can pick up a sixer on Monday morning. Huh?

Whistling in an Elevator Good, But...

Near the Louisiana border, Port Arthur boasts some impressive coastal areas and a tidy little populace. It also boasts an unusually specific law regarding, presumably, flatulence. The next time you're riding in an elevator, tuck that Limburger cheese into an air-tight Tupperware. And, just in case, keep any other noxious aromas thoroughly contained as well, or you could find yourself with a fine.

Don't Follow Ozzy's Example

Traveling means following the rules—even some pretty bizarre ones. Of course you'll want to remember The Alamo the next time you're down in ole San Antonio. It's one of the provocative legends that stitches our land together. However, when you wander around this humble white stone complex, make sure you don't follow in rocker Ozzy Osbourne's footsteps. Thirty years ago, the controversial Black Sabbath front man decided to relieve himself on the Alamo Cenotaph, receiving a 10-year ban. He has long since apologized, but for barking at the moon's sake, there are bathrooms right inside. Use them instead.


Andy L. Kubai is a freelance writer and transplanted Austinite who's been exploring the internal and external wonders of his new home for the last 5 years. Find out more about Andy on his website. Or, if you're hungry for more Austin, have a song in your heart, or just want to learn more about your city, there's so much more to central Texas than meets the eye.