You Don't Have to Sleep at Home, but You Can't Sleep Here


Playing chess in the park (if you are unaccompanied by a minor) may be illegal in New York, but in Roselle Park, New Jersey, you can be fined or arrested for falling asleep while watching people play chess in the park:

"Isn't that a little crazy? I mean, if you fall asleep, like if I were to sit down on this bench and wait for a bus and I fell asleep, that's against the law?" [a randomly chosen resident] said. "Don't you think that's a little crazy?"

Even though that's the letter of the law, Police Chief Paul Morrison said drowsy drivers and napping babies need not worry.

"This ordinance was amended to help assist the police in addressing the increasing problem of homeless people sleeping on benches," Morrison said.

It does seem a little crazy to me, especially since it gives police yet another pretext to harass people who offend them in some way. But I doubt that anxiety about this ordinance is keeping very many babies awake, and you'd think drowsy drivers would be more worried about veering into oncoming traffic or crashing into a telephone pole.

[Thanks to Tricky Vic for the tip.]