For bingo games, arm of state law is long indeed

“For certain organizations in North Carolina, bingo games can last only up to five hours. The state’s administrative code even contains a few more explicit restrictions on the game: only one in a 48-hour period and no more than a $500 prize.

“Our best guess as to the motivation behind this law? Retirement homes needed to crack down on geriatric bingo sharks.”

— From “Here are the most ridiculous laws in every state” by Christina Sterbenz and Melia Robinson at Business Insider (Feb. 21, 2014)

“Geriatric bingo sharks”? Hmm, doubtful. But something scary must have motivated the legislature to enact such lengthily-detailed restrictions — including a whole section on “beach bingo”!


Horse thieves weren’t easily discouraged

“The colonists’ bete noir was the horse thief. A North Carolina act of 1786 provided that ‘for the first offense the culprit should stand in the pillory for one hour, be publicly whipped with 39 lashes, nailed to the pillory by the ears, which were afterwards to be cut off, and be branded on the right cheek with the letter “H” and on the left cheek with the letter “T.” ‘

“Such penalties proved to be insufficient, and four years later the penalty was changed to death without benefit of clergy.”

— From “The Fruited Plain: The Story of American Agriculture” by Walter Ebeling (1979)

Coincidentally, maybe flogging is making a comeback.