I will appear for a few minutes tonight (Thursday) on the John Stossel show to talk about some ridiculous laws. The show was taped last week and is on tonight at 9 pm Eastern (and various other times depending on where you live), on Fox Business News. I am almost certainly either first or second on the guest list, and will be on for about 5-7 minutes depending on how many of the dumb things I said were mercifully edited out. Please tune in if you are so inclined.
I want to stress that although the fundamental message of the show is that there are too many laws (and lawyers) in America and we are "Buried in Law," the fundamental message of my book is "Please Buy This Book." Therefore, although some of the items in the book certainly support the view that we are over-regulated, some of them are included more for purposes of entertainment only.
This is why, as you will hopefully see, I tried to stand up for the legislators in Skamania County, Washington, who enacted the emergency Sasquatch ordinance for which the book is named. Stossel (perhaps understandably) started off with the view that a law making it a felony to kill a Sasquatch is necessarily an example of stupid legislation. It certainly could be, but it isn't entirely clear what the motivation was when this law was passed in 1969 (and amended in 1984).
There are at least three possibilities: (1) Sasquatch protection, (2) protection of humans from negligent Sasquatch hunters, or (3) publicity/tourism purposes. Only the first of those would necessarily require a belief on the part of the legislators that Sasquatch is real or could be real, and I have no evidence that was the real motive (personally I think #3 is much more likely).
I say this because I want to be fair and also because I may want to visit Skamania County someday.
Also appearing on the show is Bob Dorigo Jones, who I have mentioned here before in connection with his Wacky Warning Labels contest. He offered several examples of those on the show, including a helmet decal that comes with the warning, "Decals are for decoration only and will not prevent bodily harm or injury." Just in case you were planning to rely on a decal for that. I enjoyed meeting and talking with Bob before the show. Bob, if you're reading this here's a link to one of the examples I promised to send: "Stupid Warning Shows Up on Leprechaun Hat." If I can find the example of that same warning on the side of a hospital, I will certainly add it.