Lucy Vickery

The law is an ass

In Competition No. 2950 you were invited to propose a new and ludicrous piece of legislation along with a justification for it.

Although Basil Ransome-Davies makes it into the winning line-up, some might argue that his proposal is far from ludicrous, given that cats are taking over the internet. Another suggestion that struck me as eminently sensible included Carolyn Thomas-Coxhead’s call for a ban on the wearing of protuberant rucksacks in busy places.

Chris O’Carroll’s neat meta entry, which demands a ban on ‘journals of news and opinion … sponsoring competitions that award prizes for light verse and frivolous comic prose’, made me smile, and I also commend D.A. Prince, who was not alone in considering that there is an urgent need for the equivalent of a Highway Code for pedestrians.

The winners take £30 each. Brian Murdoch pockets £35.

Nomenclatural Regulation
After representations from teaching unions, immigration focus groups, the police and the NHS, new rules for registering children come into force in 2018. All babies will be permitted one name only from an approved list, thus avoiding obvious racial and other differentiation. All names will be disyllabic with standard spelling, and variants are not permitted. Names will be allocated in alphabetical groups on a six-monthly basis, so that all children born in a given six-month period will have a name beginning with A, for example. Teachers and police (and publicans) can thus estimate from a name the age of the child. PQ, UVW and XYZ will be merged to avoid a superfluity of Quentins or Yvonnes. Disyllabic names will ensure paper-saving efficiency in forms and trisyllables will be permitted only for use with monosyllabic surnames.

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