5 More Weird Laws In France

1. Don’t let the kids have ketchup : Since 2011, a law forbids school cafeterias from serving ketchup. This strange law is apparently the result of a crusade by Christopher Hebert, the president of the Association nationale des directeurs de la restauration municipale. We’re not sure what the guy really holds against ketchup, whose ingredients (tomatoes, vinegar, sugar) are not even unhealthy, except maybe for yet another anti-American sentiment.

2. You have to say bonjour : While it’s just a local ordinance, this weird law from a small town in the North of France merits its place here. After an angry local resident forgot his manners with a civil servant in 2011, the local council of Lhéraule decided to adopt the decree. It states you’ll promptly and unceremoniously get thrown out of the town hall if you don’t use the proper civilities such as “hello” and “thank you”.

3. You can write a check on toilet paper: Your banker probably won’t take it, but your check doesn’t need to come out of your checkbook. French financial law states that you can write it on literally any blank piece of paper of your choosing, as long as it contains all the relevant information.

4. You can divorce your husband if he watches too much football : It’s not that strange of a law as it appears at first glance. As you can divorce your partner on grounds of infidelity, there is also such a thing as intellectual infidelity. If your spouse spends way too many hours watching games on the tube and hurling insults at the PSG (or OL, depending on where you live), you can call it quits. Another unexpected legal ground for divorce is “physical” infidelity – not in the sexual sense, but rather physical integrity. For example, if your wife smokes like a chimney and puts your health at risk, you are allowed to pack your bags in search of fresh air.

5. You can’t get drunk at work, unless it’s on wine : This funny law is just… so French. Obviously you can’t drink at work! Well yes you can. As long as it’s wine, beer, cider or hydromel. Of course you can’t get plastered, but if you’re celebrating Jean’s retirement, you can do so (responsibly) as long as you’re not doing tequila shots on his desk.

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