Monday Trivia #51

This is, these are, or doing this is banned in the following states: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Texas, and Wisconsin

This is, these are, or doing this is allowed, more-or-less unconditionally, in the following states: Colorado, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, and Wyoming

The rest of the states are particular about the circumstances in which this is allowed, these are allowed, or this is allowed to be done.

(The odd wording of the question is because I don’t want to specify if it is a thing, things, an action, or more than one of these three things)

Update: I missed two states that permit it more-or-less unconditionally. Added states italicized. Mea culpa.

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.


  1. Participating in basketball pools (or similar events) where money in involved.

  2. Tuesday Hint: The above ban, in at least some of the states, does not apply to the government.

    • Goddamn it that is making it worse, not better.

    • My guess was going to be betting on the ponies but I can’t imagine a government corrupt enough to exempt itself from *THAT* even as it bans it for everyone else.

      So I’m guessing that it’s something building related.

  3. Also wanted to say that these are some really good guesses.

  4. Some sort of wire-tapping or video/audio recording of individuals?

  5. After the Tuesday hint, I’ll guess “selling fireworks.”

      • Perhaps banned the purchase of them?

        The governments can still do their fireworks shows, but atheist god help you if you purchase more than sparklers or snakes. There’s a fire warning, dontchaknow?

        • Around here, not even sparklers are legal, because the reverse growing season (rain only in the winter) means that by July, the hills are all tinderboxes of dead grasses. The official fireworks shows are done safety-first, generally over water.

      • See, I’m thinking the government exemption means that you can buy them, but the vendor is the state itself, kind of like how you can buy liquor in Pennsylvania, but it has to be from a state liquor store.

  6. Wednesday Hint: It’s the use of a something. Possession of the something is, I doubt, ever illegal, so long as you never use it. But if you don’t use it, there’s not much reason to own it, unless you are thinking you are going to move to a state that you can use it or something.

      • Indeed it is. Metal studded tires.

        I found the Great Lakes states (WI-MN-MI) to be really surprising. Ditto for the Carolinas on the other list.

        • Road maintenance costs in the Great Lakes states are tremendous thanks to the frequency of freeze/thaw cycles and the studs do serious additional damage to asphalt.
          My understanding is that it’s considerably cheaper for those states to spend money on significant capabilities to clear ice and snow from roads than it is to do even more re-paving.
          The states where it’s blanket legal have significant mountainous areas where additional snow/ice removal is probably prohibitively expensive relative to the traffic levels so there are going to be people that need them. The Great Lakes states are pretty flat, so they’re not ‘necessary’ relative to the cost of repairing the damage they do.
          I bet the rules in Indiana, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania are either relatively strict or have more regional restrictions instead of statewide.

          • Yeah, I know that road damage is the reason that states ban or limit them. It’s one of those unfortunate things that the more likely a state’s drivers are doing to need them, the more damage it’s doing to do to the roads. I’d be interested to see how good the road maintenance in the GL states is. There are just too many roads out here to make a dent, and comparatively too few people.

          • I’d be interested to see how good the road maintenance in the GL states is

            It varies by state, depending on budgets and, apparently, tradition. Ohio used to be notoriously bad, but in recent years it’s gotten better. Michigan is dreadful, because the state’s got insufficient funds. Indiana’s doing really well because of their lease of the toll road, which has their road building/improvement/maintenance program fully funded for the next couple of decades. Prior to that they were middling.

          • There’s a section of I-15 on the northern part of Utah wherein the Utah state government knows that if you’re on this portion you’re actually headed to Idaho and points north and they conspicuously let it go to pot. It used to be that the second you crossed state lines into Louisiana, you didn’t even need a sign because you could feel it with all the tarbumps. After Katrina, though, they got a bunch of money from the feds to rebuild their roads (theoretically for better evacuations) and uncharacteristically used that money to rebuild their roads.

          • When I was a kid in Michigan, the joke was that we had four seasons: winter, winter, winter, and construction.

            But that was when the state still had money.

          • Out here it’s that there are two season, White Season and Orange Season (the latter being an allusion to orange cones). Though the drought has changed the calculations somewhat.

          • In Wisconsin it’s largely dependent on the local government. Cities did better than counties. The budget-strapped skimped while the wealthy did really well.

            In general it was quite good when I lived up there – busy roads are nearly always plowed and salted overnight or shortly after a snowfall. Minor streets shortly after. Dead end roads and cul de sacs tended to never get done at all.

            We referred to the two seasons of the year as winter and construction.

          • Jaybird,

            The situation in Michigan has been so dire lately that at times certain roads have, instead of being repaired, simply had their pavement stripped off and been returned to gravel for a year or two until there was money to repave them.

            And this year the county next to us told rural people they were on their own for snow plowing unless they lived on one of the primary roads. Fortunately for all involved, this was a really mild year (which saved a lot on the salt budgets of county road departments, too).

          • James, that sounds awful. There were a handful of dirt/gravel roads we had to drive on to visit the cousins when we were out there (just outside of Ann Arbor) and I can’t imagine how it got *THAT* bad in 20 years. (Some of my relations tell me “20 years! This started with Coleman Young!” but I don’t know how much credence to give that particular opinion.)

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