Bet You Didn’t Know…

By Leila Rocha

There are infinite unenforced laws and facts that simply go unnoticed. Maybe because most people do not care to Google search them, but they exist regardless so you may want to get out a notepad and jot it down so you can increase your Jeopardy playing skills. You never know when you’ll be asked about one of these. 

  1. Bet you didn’t know that in some California counties, you can be punished with a four month maximum jail sentence for spreading inaccurate information about minors. This seems to be the government’s attempt at cracking down on bullying. More importantly, it is your way to get revenge on your middle school bullies.
  2. Bet you didn’t know that before the COVID pandemic, wearing a mask was generally considered offensive. It reportedly makes people feel like their air quality has decreased due to not being able to breathe in the air from everyone in the room. Not to mention how some felt that you restricting them from inhaling your exhalations was discrimination. It is not against the law, but it could possibly have gotten you some dirty glares.
  3. Bet you didn’t know that there is no cussing in elementary school unless you want to pay a maximum one thousand dollar fine. For those who wonder why elementary school teachers were so harsh about no cursing, it was because they did not want their young students to be in trouble with the law.
  4. Bet you didn’t know that you are legally allowed to sue someone for mispronouncing your name if they have done so more than twelve consecutive times. No wonder! It is so incredibly offensive to say someone’s name wrong. Think about how hard your parents thought to be able to come up with your ridiculously creative name, you owe it to humanity to learn to say others’ names correctly. 
  5. Bet you didn’t know that every year, scientists around the globe must hold a meeting where they reregister Earth as a planet. All these years we thought that world leaders had the most power when in reality, scientists can just decide: “This year was rough. Let’s just not be part of the solar system anymore.”
  6. Bet you didn’t know that if you follow more than one million accounts on Instagram or Twitter, the FBI can legally accuse you of plotting to form a non-government organized military. If convicted, you may be sentenced to over a hundred years in federal prison. So next time you want to follow another account, double check that you haven’t followed too many already. 
  7. Bet you didn’t know that profanity in your local politicians’ presences can result in a maximum fifteen hundred dollar fine. This includes your mayor and other city council members. However, this did not include mayors and council members in other towns. So in our case, you can not curse within the mayor’s earshot in Benicia, but you may do so legally to San Francisco’s mayor. 
  8. Bet you didn’t know that wearing dentures without telling every member in your household is against the law. This law is hardly enforced and only applies in about seven states. The law was passed to prevent heart attack after New Jersey doctors treated a patient who had one after her husband’s dentures fell out at the dinner table and she immediately assumed that they were his real teeth, sending her into moderate a heart attack.
  9. Bet you didn’t know that giving your child a middle name in the fifteenth century was considered rude. Purposefully elongating a child’s name was seen as a way to confuse those who interacted with them, therefore considered improper in many nations including England.
  10. Bet you didn’t know that you can register a signature tone for yourself. Pretty much, whatever tone you typically talk in will be listed on your identification card. For example, if you usually talk in an angry tone, you can be registered as “irritated toned being” on your identification card. You obviously don’t see this around a lot since most people just simply don’t know about it, but all you have to do is go to the DMV and request a tone registration. 
  11. Bet you didn’t know that the original myth that cats have nine lives was actually that cats had ten lives. This is definitely old and in reality cats only have one life, but the fact that the tale was twisted to be that they had nine instead of ten is just crazy. Why nine right? It must’ve had a better ring to it.
  12. Bet you didn’t know that our city Benicia was originally named “La Ciudad de Loca”. In English this means “crazy city”. Though it is not known why the town was called this or why it was changed, the reason it was probably kept low key is because it’s not a title nor reputation that most towns would feel comfortable claiming.
  13. Bet you didn’t know that George Washington actually had red hair. Of course all the portraits that we have of the first president today depict him with white hair, but remember that was only a wig to show his status. Really, he had mildly red toned locks.
  14. Bet you didn’t know that Christmas in Texas is legally not until December twenty-sixth. This is another weird one where no one is exactly sure why this is the way it is, but in Texas you have to wait another day for it to be legally Christmas. That being said, everyone (at least most people) in Texas do not know about this, therefore it is usually celebrated on the twenty-fifth with everyone else. 
  15. Bet you didn’t know that “Jail” is actually spelled with two l’s. If you simply look up the word in an old school dictionary, you’ll see that it’s true! We have all been spelling it wrong this whole time. 
  16. Bet you didn’t know that it’s illegal to trim your bushes too tiny. You obviously will not face any punishment for this whatsoever, but it’s a fun fact to share around. The law came about in 1904 when a Kentucky mayor complained to lawmakers that citizens in town were trimming them so much that they looked extremely unappealing. Even though it’s kinda stupid, the law has yet to be changed or abolished.
  17. Bet you didn’t know that scuba diving was invented in 1936. So pretty much, if your great grandparents were trying to go sightseeing in the ocean in 1930, they were gonna have to be able to hold their breath for a while. 
  18. Bet you didn’t know that the lower O wing is the oldest wing at BHS. It may seem like useless information, but this is actually why no science classes are over there. The classrooms are too fragile to hold big experiments.
  19. Bet you didn’t know that J-Walking is actually legal. There have been a lot of unknown illegal activities listed, but this one is actually legal and most people don’t know. The reason why it is rumored to be illegal is because it’s very dangerous. Seriously, don’t J-Walk. Just because you won’t actually get fined, doesn’t mean that you can’t get injured. 
  20. Bet you didn’t know that taxes are optional. Honestly though, why don’t people just start checking the “I don’t wish to join the taxpayers club” box? 
  21. Bet you didn’t know that left-handed people generally have higher IQ’s. This may be sad to all the righties out there, but the studies have spoken for themselves.
  22. Bet you didn’t know that mustang horses are called what they are because they are musty. If you own a mustang or have been within five feet of one, you’ll surely catch a whiff of that offensive stench. Gross! 
  23. Bet you didn’t know that after you graduate high school, the government considers you an adult no matter your age. In other words, if you’re a genius who graduates at ten years old, you’ll be paying taxes (or not) by the time your eleventh birthday rolls around. 
  24. Bet you didn’t know that checks are called checks because businesses usually have paying their employees on their to do lists. It may sound simple and that’s because it is. They call them checks because it is their way to check off paying their employees. 
  25. Bet you didn’t know “rug” spelled backward is “gurr”. As in growling. 
  26. Bet you didn’t know that the last leap year was in 2021. You were so focused on the pandemic that you didn’t even realize that February was a little longer than usual. 
  27. Bet you didn’t know that donuts were originally made to replicate floaties. Obviously they were not used as floaties, the person who invented them was just a fan of Pool parties. 
  28. Bet you didn’t know that creating a splash in a puddle with your car after a rainy day is illegal. Sometimes it’s just an accident, but make sure not to do it when you’re driving near a police car, you get an eight hundred dollar maximum fine. 
  29. Bet you didn’t know that M&M’s used to be M&W’s. To be clear, it was still pronounced “M&M’s”, the “W” was just supposed to represent an upside down “M”.
  30. Bet you didn’t know that half of these are true and half of these are completely false. If you wanna make things a little more fun, try and guess which ones are true and which ones are fake. 

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