Illicit Fun in Dallas


In the latest issue of D magazine, Trey Garrison explores some of Dallas' more intrusive, arbitrary, and puzzling regulations. Garrison, who quotes me and notes that Dallas ranked 17th on Radley Balko's list of "the worst nanny-state cities in America," laments "the wussification of Dallas," pining for the days when the city was known for its brothels, casinos, and bars where you could smoke—as opposed to nowadays, when Dallasites go to Oklahoma for fun (Indian gambling and cheap liquor). Garrison tests the limits of the city's tolerance by, among other things, riding a bicycle hands-free, brandishing a toy gun in public, and getting illegally close to a stripper. "Mandatory helmets are only for bike riders," he notes, "not bikers [i.e., motorcyclists]. Groups of guys in leather on hogs are a more intimidating lobby than groups of guys in spandex shorts." Speaking of shorts, Dallas has decreed that taxi drivers may not wear them. More, including the lowdown on the legality of requesting a blowjob and the transparent paternalism behind restrictions on convenience store window signs, here.

A few years ago in Reason, I told the stirring tale of how motorcyclists in Texas (and elsewhere) won the right to feel the wind in their hair.