There are ridiculous but real laws existing all over Belgium, because each little town and municipality has its own little laws aka fundraisers. In Flanders, which is the northern part of Belgium where I live, there are some especially insane ones. They all come with some hefty fines.
I’ve collected some of the oddest ones for you to use should you need a conversation changer or ender in a pinch this holiday season. If things get awkward or you want things to get more awkward, just open your mouth and announce:
“Did you know that in Northern Belgium in a town called…
Merchtem, it’s forbidden to play soccer in the park when pigeon breeders are playing with their pigeons.
Dendermonde, it’s forbidden to interrupt someone who’s sliding down a waterslide.
Mechelen, it’s forbidden to drop garbage into a garbage can unless you produced the garbage while standing at the garbage can.
Arendonk, it’s forbidden to have “Oak Processionaries” in your yard or property because the caterpillars are considered a natural plague. It’s also encouraged that neighbors tattle on their neighbors at the sighting of these caterpillars.
Deinze, it’s forbidden to pick up confetti already on the street or floor and throw it back up in the air.
Hasselt, it’s forbidden to scare carnival parade spectators
Lokeren, it’s forbidden to scare ANYONE.
Wellen, it’s forbidden to use anything but non-biodegradable confetti or confetti that’s >10mm in diameter. The diameter will be checked.
Lokeren, it’s forbidden to throw a snowball.
Beerse, it’s forbidden to vomit unless you’re pregnant.
And there you have it. Some conversation changers or enders.