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You May Face Up to 5 Years in Jail For Forgetting Your Wife’s Birthday in This Country

Fact or Fiction? In Samoa, a husband who forgets their wife’s birthday can face up to five years of jail time.

Man looking with regretful look into camera, keeping his hand on forehead.
Image: Shutterstock/Cast Of Thousands

Citizens everywhere want their government to take an active interest in their quality of life and well-being. Some would say this is the mark of a happy people. However, due to a strange law in Samoa, a Polynesian island country, forgetful husbands would strongly disagree.

Reportedly, in Samoa, a law states that if a man forgets his wife’s birthday, he could face jail time. The Samoan government instituted the law to help maintain marital harmony. There is even a special task force dedicated to upholding the ruling.

In the United States, reactions differ if a husband forgets his wife’s birthday. She may laugh it off, cry, or (if the movies are to be believed) throw a plate at his head. In Samoa, if a husband forgets his wife’s birthday, he could get a warning from the police!

If he is a repeat offender, he may prefer to deal with an upset wife instead of jail time. Some reports have even claimed there are awareness campaigns dedicated to reminding wives about this right.

Now, some research shows you are more likely to die around your birthday, so the husbands of Samoa could make the case that there shouldn’t be any celebration at all. But you know what they say, “happy wife, happy life.”

Is this law even real?

Well, a reporter from the Samoa Observer was wondering the same thing. The newspaper contacted Samoan lawyer Fiona Ey of Clarke Ey Koria Lawyers for comment, as there have been reports surrounding this law for years. In 2019 a British magazine called Lawyer’s Monthly mentioned the ruling in their section on laws you can’t believe exist.

Fiona Ey responded to the newspaper, saying:

“Long and short of it – it’s an apocryphal story and a great example of why you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet, even if it is published by Lawyer’s Monthly,”

The newspaper ended its article by saying,

The Samoa Observer’s own survey of current statutes found no reference to such laws existing.

Samoa Observer

So, it looks like this law turned out to be fiction. The husbands of Samoa can all breathe out a sigh of relief.

What other strange laws are there?

Of course. I know you came here to read about some crazy laws, so below are a couple of verified ones, thanks to The Reeves Law Group:

In New Orleans, you’re not allowed to read fortunes unless it’s for healthcare purposes

According to the New Orleans Municipal Code Section 54-312 the “business of fortune-telling, astrology, or palmistry to settle lovers’ quarrels … locate buried or hidden treasures … remove evil influences … reveal secrets … or to bring together the bitterest enemies converting them into staunchest friends” is illegal.

“However, nothing herein contained shall apply to any branch of medical science” (The Reeves Law Group). So if you want to save yourself a copay and try your luck with the spirits, you’re in luck, it’s legal!

Soothsayer using crystal ball to predict future at table in darkness, closeup.
Woman using a crystal ball. Credit: Shutterstock/New Africa

It’s illegal for bingo to last longer than 5 hours in North Carolina

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Rule 14-309.5 states that the bingo sessions hosted by an exempt organization that has been in business for at least a year shall not exceed five hours each.

Any exempt organization that violates the department’s rules will be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and won’t be able to host bingo for a year!

Lemonade stands without licenses are unlawful

Yep, that’s right. Little did you know that your childhood lemonade stand could have got you a rap sheet before you hit middle school. It turns out that a growing number of local governments are making lemonade stands without licenses illegal.

Cities are adopting this law to protect the public from possible health risks. If you want to learn more, Forbes has an article detailing the war on lemonade stands. So check with your local government before you start squeezing lemons this summer.

Do you know of any strange laws that still exist? Let us know in the comments below.

Written By

Ella Shauman is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. She enjoys writing about latest products, cultural trends, and news.

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