By Andy Rooney
This classic column was originally published Feb. 24, 1985.
Every legislative body is always passing more laws. Legislators have even been passing laws that not only protect us from each other but from ourselves, as well.
I was thinking of some laws that might be good for them to enact:
• Declare a ceiling on laws. Neither Congress nor any state legislature could pass a law without first rescinding an old one to make room for the new one.
• Car manufacturers would be banned from building cars that can go faster than it's legal to drive in this country. This would probably lead to a change in the legal speed limit.
• Make it illegal for anyone to go to a dirty movie without his or her mother. This would include mothers. Even a mother couldn't go to one without her mother. These would be known as MOM-rated movies.
• Thousands of Americans are killed each year in pedestrian accidents. Add a sentence to the seat belt laws passed in some states, making it illegal to cross the street.
• Set up police roadblocks and have officers check for junk in the glove compartments of cars. Anyone found with old, outdated road maps, broken pencils, unmatched gloves or dark glasses with one lens missing would have to return to "go."
• Part of the driver's test would be a seat belt time trial. Anyone would be denied a license who could not fasten or unfasten a seat belt in less than a minute.
• The post office would start charging a nickel for a stamp for a personal letter and $5 for a stamp on any piece of mail that contained advertising the recipient didn't want.
• Young children would travel for half fare on the airlines only if strangers who got assigned seats next to them also went for half fare.
• Nothing is more repulsive to a nonsmoker than cigarette butts in an ash tray on a dinner table. A line on every package of cigarettes sold would advise smokers that in a restaurant they'd have to eat their own cigarette butts when they finished smoking.
• When there are more than five people in any line, it would be mandatory for the airline, the bank or the checkout counter at the supermarket to open a new counter or window. If anyone had to wait in line for more than six minutes for anything, that person would get it free.
• Drivers who turn on their right-turn signal just as they start to turn right would have to go back to driving school.
• Anyone advertising something as "free" when it really isn't would get an all-expense-paid trip to Beirut.
• Everyone would have to get a driver's license for a shopping cart. Anyone who blocked the aisle in a supermarket would have his or her shopping cart driver's license revoked for 10 days for the first offense, a year for the second and lose it for life for the third offense.
• People who take their shopping carts to the parking lot and leave them so they block a parking space would be ticketed.
• No company would be allowed to reduce the size of a box, a bottle, a can or a tube of anything without announcing it in full-page advertisements as big as the one announcing the product was "new and improved."
• Batteries would be included as part of the package with everything that needs them.