The Coast News Group
Small Talk

Minding your Ps & Qs in Boston

There are, of course, so many reasons to love living in laid-back Southern California, but I have begun to appreciate it from an entirely different perspective, since my son moved to Boston.

Yes, I love Boston, love to visit it, but the state of Massachusetts is one tough cookie. The lawmakers there simply brook no nonsense, mister, and haven’t since colonial times. If you’re in Mass., you had better mind your Ps and Qs, be prepared to toe the line and take the consequences of your actions, and I don’t mean maybe.
The first thing I heard about was a myth about a brothel law, which allegedly prohibits sorority houses because groups of women, living together, is just suspicious. It turns out the actual zoning code law says no more than four unrelated students, of any sex, may share an apartment or house, but no mention is made of brothels. Still, we know where it started, so no monkey business, missy.
My son also learned there is no option for traffic school in Massachusetts. If you are foolish enough to get a citation, you will just have to wear that scarlet letter on your driving record for all the world to see, and use to raise your policy rates. However, you don’t need to carry proof of insurance in your car. Your registration is proof. I rather like that one.
Much of their attitude apparently stems from old English law, when they were one of the original 13 colonies, and there hasn’t been time enough to clean up many of the older laws on the books. Be aware that there is still no hunting on Sundays and many cities and counties observe “blue laws” that prohibit the sale of liquor on Sundays. In addition, witches are still banned from Massachusetts and it’s illegal to be an atheist or to “reproach God” there. It is illegal to give beer to hospital patients, eat more than three sandwiches at a wake or use tomatoes in the production of clam chowder.
You’d best just watch your mouth and your manners, young man. If you can’t control yourself, you’ll end up living in New York.

Jean Gillette may have eaten more than three sandwiches in Boston — No, wait. They were cannolis and they were delicious. Contact her at [email protected].