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Two Englishmen on a crime spree break American laws!

Stupid, unreasonable, and long-forgotten laws—but laws just the same.

In 1787 the wise framers of the U.S. Constitution laid out the laws of the land. Since then, things have gone awry, and a few laws even the far-sighted framers couldn’t have imagined have worked their way onto the books in towns and cities across the country.

Did you know that in the United States it’s illegal to:

  • Fish while wearing pajamas in Chicago, Illinois?
  • Enter a theater within three hours of eating garlic in Indianapolis?
  • Offer cigarettes or whiskey to zoo animals in New Jersey?
  • Fall asleep in a cheese factory in South Dakota?

Englishman Rich Smith discovered these little-known laws during a great American crime spree that took him from coast to coast in search of girls to kiss (it’s illegal to kiss for longer than five minutes at a time in Kansas), oranges to peel (which the law says shouldn’t be done in hotel rooms in California), and whales to hunt (unlawful in Utah).

What inspired a perfectly law abiding, mild-mannered Englishman to come to America and take on the law? He simply wanted to know why. How did these “only in America” laws come to be, do the police know they exist, and would they care if he broke them? So with his best mate, Bateman, by his side—and at the ready should bail be required—Smith set out to break the law in the United States.

Part road trip, part chronicle of the absurdity of human behavior, part search for the ultimate in roadkill, You Can Get Arrested for That follows Smith and Bateman on their not quite Bonnie and Clyde adventure.

It is illegal to peel an orange
in a hotel room in Los Angeles.

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Comment: Three oranges peeled successfully. By the way, that's orange juice on my shorts, not urine.

Location: Long Beach, CA
Comment: Now there's a rarity: a roundabout in America. Didn't see another one for over 3,000 miles. Beauty, isn't it?

Location: Long Beach, CA
Comment: Similar to a Where's Waldo puzzle. Try and spot me in amongst the plethora of Jesus paraphernalia.

Playing an instrument with the
intention of luring someone into
a store is illegal in Indian Wells, CA.

Location: Indian Wells, CA
Comment: Difficult when there aren't any people about. I had to start suggesting with my eyes.

Location: Highway 70, AZ
Comment: The perfect traveling companion (Bateman, not the cactus).

It is illegal in Globe, AZ to
play cards with a Native American.

Location: Globe, AZ
Comment: Playing cards outside the Drift Inn Saloon with Arden; an affable, intriguing and amusing Native American who is almost unbeatable at snap.

Location: Globe, AZ
Comment: Don't let the flyer fool you. The taxi company isn't run by a group of kindergarten children. In fact, the couple who own the 'cab' provides a highly reliable service in which air conditioning can be achieved by removing the cardboard sheet which holds the remainder of the window in place.

Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Comment: How Salt Lake City's Saltair building used to look...and how it stands today.

Whale hunting is illegal in Utah.

Location: Jordanelle State Park, UT
Comment: Hunting for whales with Jen in Utah. Funnily enough, we left empty handed.

Fishing in your
pajamas is illegal in Chicago.

Location: Chicago, IL
Comment: Fishing by the banks of Lake Michigan with Bill Stover's rod. Bill's son, David, is eager to stand farther and farther away from the 'madman in pajamas.'

Location: Indianapolis, IN
Comment: I join Ed Wank and Dave O'Brien for their breakfast show. If you're American, you probably won't find Ed's surname amusing, but the English equivalent would be "Ed Jerk-Off."

Drinking beer from
a bucket is illegal in St. Louis.

Location: St. Louis, MO
Comment: Drinking lager out of a bucket in the home of the blues. For a brief moment in time, I received more attention than the colossal Gateway Arch.

Driving around the town square
more than 100 times in a single
session is illegal in Oxford, Mississippi.

Location: Oxford, MS
Comment: Crossing lap 101 of Oxford's town square. And yes, Bateman was smoking whilst taking the shot. I don't know; you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Sleeping on a fridge
is illegal in Pittsburgh.

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Comment: Asleep on a fridge. You may not believe I actually fell asleep and that I simply posed for that picture. Well, I can't vouch for if I did or not—I passed out from alcohol consumption.

It's illegal to play golf
in the streets of Albany, NY

Location: Albany, NY
Comment: Teeing off at the foot of the steps of the State Capitol. The only 36-yard par six I've ever played.

Sporting a "goatee" is illegal in Boston.

Location: Boston, MA
Comment: Showing off my rather unimpressive 2-week goatee outside of the famous bar which was used for the opening credits to the sitcom, Cheers. Shame the goatee turned out to be ginger.

Hand-walking across the street
is illegal in Hartford, Connecticut.

Location: Hartford, CT
Comment: Don't make the same mistake I did when attempting to cross the road whilst walking on your hands. Listen to your gym teacher, keep your legs straight.

Location: New York, NY
Comment: The cheapest way to save on extortionate mini bar prices: remove the contents and replace with your own.

Location: New York, NY
Comment: How best to celebrate a successful, but pointless, American crime spree? A $500 room at The Ritz.


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Media interest? Contact Jay Sones at jsones@randomhouse.com

 

 

Oral sex is illegal in San Francisco, CA. Although I tried, the Swedish nannies called it a night early. Avoid the temptation to ride a bike in a swimming pool in Baldwin Park, CA--it's illegal here. | Keep your instrument in its case--it is illegal in Indian Wells, CA to play a trumpet with the intention of luring someone into a store. | Keep your anger in check while playing put-put golf in Long Beach, CA--it's illegal to curse on a mini golf course here. | Despite how good a fresh orange is, it is illegal to peel them in a hotel room in Los Angeles, CA. Up for a game of cards? Well, just don't play against a Native American in Globe, AZ--it's illegal here. Keep the harpoons sheathed in Utah--it's illegal to hunt for Whales here. We assume it's illegal to speed everywhere in the U.S., but this is the only state where that was actually proven--Batemen received a $220 fine for going 97 in a 75mph zone. We originally planned to go to South Dakota to break the law by sleeping on the floor of a cheese factory, which is illegal here, but some silly health violations didn't allow that to happen. Kissing a girl for for than 5 minutes would have broken the law in Iowa, but my friend Jen didn't come through for me (unless I wanted to kiss one of her pregnant friends in front of said girl's mother!) Drinking out of a bucket could technically get you arrested in St. Louis, MO. I met a father and son while breaking the law in Chicago, where it's illegal to fish in your pajamas. Noses rejoice! It's illegal to eat garlic before going to the movies in Indianapolis. While I failed to break the law in Tennessee because I couldn't catch a fish with a lasso, I doubt anyone ever will--it's as difficult as it sounds! For some reason, it's illegal in Oxford, MS to drive around the town square more than 100 times in a single session. Spartanburg, South Carolina apparently frowns on people eating watermelon in Magnolia Cemetery--it's against the law here. Technically I pass out from alcohol consumption, but still, I broke the law in Pittsburgh for falling asleep on a fridge. Not only is eating while swimming dangerous, it's also against the law in Ocean City. Strict post 9/11 rules aside, I was determined to break the law by flying a kite (homemade, by the way) in Washington, DC. Did you know it was illegal to offer cigarettes to monkeys in New Jersey? Neither did I. Fore! It's illegal to play golf on city streets in Albany, NY. Lack of fullness aside, technically, I was breaking the law in Boston for sporting a goatee. It wasn't graceful, but I was able to break the law in Hartford, CT by crossing the street on my hands.