Scofflaws and stupid laws

Quick question: would we call drinking a cocktail at 1:34pm on a Wednesday evidence of a problem, or of dedication to one’s art?

Let’s call it neither and say IT’S REPEAL DAY.

Yes, today, 5 December is the 85th Anniversary of the end of a TRULY STUPID era of public policy (I can no longer say with any certainty that it is the stupidest), with the Repeal of Prohibition.

So of course we need to cover a cocktail.

This week, not an IBA Official Cocktail, but one that has historical importance, the Scofflaw.

The Scofflaw was invented, as you might expect, during Prohibition. It shows the right amount of disdain for this stupid law and should be raised in celebration whenever you damned well feel like it.

I’ve had to shake one up at home, alone, in the middle of the afternoon while my children are at school not just because I am a writer (despite the rich tradition behind writing and daytime drinking), but because I need to review it for you.

So, the Scofflaw.

It’s 60mL Bourbon or Rye (I used Bourbon), 30 mL Dry Vermouth, 10mL fresh lemon juice, 20mL Grenadine and two dashes of bitters (traditionally orange, although I used grapefruit), shaken with ice.

Yes, the pink is alarming, but it’s not as sweet as you might anticipate. I did add more lemon juice though (double strain it to keep your cocktail nice and cloud-free).

Scofflaw at home

It’s nice. Probably not really an afternoon cocktail (I find Bourbon much tougher to justify than champagne or a clear spirit for a good day-time tipple, but I’m old fashioned like that), I do have quite a nice little buzz going on from just a couple of sips but that’s probably the Vitamin C doing its job, right?

One thing I particularly like about the Scofflaw is keeping alive the history of sticking up your middle digit to a daft law.

Of which there are many. Sound-thinking, low-grade subversives like we Muddlers would do well to scoff at a few existing laws, many of which come from my own country.

Like, why not go ahead and treat yourself to that 50kgs of potatoes in Western Australia (actually, make it just over that), in spite of the law saying you can’t possess more than that? Who doesn’t love chips?

And while you’re at it in WA, who the hell should have the right to tell you not to crush a beer can between your bare breasts? (Please let me know in advance if you’re doing this one and I’ll pass the hat around for the $1000 fine just so I can bear witness to such an impressive feat).

I don’t have a picture for that, but Google it and that’s kind of fun.

And you Victorians, rush out and buy yourselves some pink hot pants and bloody well wear those after midday on a Sunday, regardless of the existence of the law forbidding it (actually, on second thoughts, not all of you should be doing that).

Queenslanders, next time you’re in a cab, just ask to check the boot (that’s a trunk to my North American friends) – if your driver doesn’t have a bale of hay in there, you could either enact a citizen’s arrest for this grievous breach of law, or turn a blind eye to it and know you’re playing your part as a member of the SSM Resistance.


Not all laws are stupid, obviously.

For UK readers who like to stay on top of your Omega 3s, I’m 100% in favour of your Parliament’s awesome Salmon Act of 1986 that says it is illegal to hold a salmon and look fishy (I believe they use the word “suspicious”, but as I mentioned, I’m a WRITER, it’s my job to use words to make things more interesting).


Suspicious girl Tawesit Dreamstime
You’re so sexist – why think that it’s just men who would act suspiciously with a salmon? (OK, yeah. I thought so too)                ID 79183568 © Tawesit |


Standards people. Please.

And here’s to the good burghers of Quitman, Georgia who finally dealt with the big issues and declared it illegal to even let your chicken cross the road. I don’t think they disallowed asking the philosophical questions surrounding why a chicken may wish to do so, but it’s kind of mean to press that point, given IT IS AGAINST THE LAW FOR A CHICKEN TO CROSS ANY ROAD SO WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT IT?

Chicken road
© Kyle Innes |

And don’t even start whistling in Petrolia, Ontario. There’s a law against it. OK, this one does seem a little Footloose for my liking (and we all know how that ended, although I will take a moment here to say, for those of you who weren’t there, the socks with high heels things was not as prevalent in real life in 1984 as genius Kenny Loggins would have you believe), but I do appreciate Petrolia’s effort. Once I scored an upgrade to Business Class for a long-distance flight and some clown decided to whistle for part of the journey. This should definitely be made illegal. But for some reason it isn’t.

But Petrolia at least is trying and I applaud that.


Here’s a law we’re all going to pretend we followed but pretty much just ignore because, well, just because. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PEE WHILE SWIMMING IN THE OCEAN IN PORTUGAL.

Ok, sure.

There’s a million more. The world is full of stupid laws and I say, let us scoff at those that are stupid, or mean, or discriminatory and come together harmoniously over a Scofflaw.

Just maybe save it for after sundown, people are so judgmental.




PS Information contained in this blog should not substitute for legal advice, nor even for basic common sense. It was written by a woman under the influence of alcohol with zero legal training and often questionable judgement.

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