Futility Closet In 1936 English humorist A.P. Herbert found himself sitting in Parliament as an independent member for Oxford University. He drafted the following bill in verse to honor the new season — it’s a shame that it wasn’t enacted:
Whereas in every lawn and bed the plucky crocus lifts his head, and
to and fro sweet song-birds go, the names of which we do not know:
Whereas the woods no more are dumb, the Boat Race and the Budget
come, the Briton swells his manly chest, his mate, as eager, scrubs the
nest, and Spring, with light but lavish hand, is spreading madness o’er
It is expedient — but in rhyme — to legislate for such a time: Be it
enacted, therefore, by our King with Lords and Commons in a fairy ring,
assembled joyously at Westminister (or any other place that they
Provision for a Season Called Spring
1. (i) It shall be lawful everywhere for citizens to walk on air, to
hang their hats upon the trees and wander hatless if they please: and
notwithstanding any cracked provision in a previous Act, to give a
constable a kiss is not felonious after this.
(ii) All citizens who choose to ride on taxi-tops and not inside: and
those who do not use their votes because they’re busy painting boats:
and any miscreant who hums, instead of doing dismal sums: whoever does a
silly thing need only answer “‘Tis the Spring”: and this shall be a
good defence in any court with any sense:
Provided that, in late July, this Act, of course, does not apply.
2. If any person feels he must get out of London now or bust, because
the Spring is in his bones, but he must work for Mr. Jones, it shall be
lawful for the same to give the Treasury his name, and say “Upon
sufficient grounds I want about a hundred pounds”: and there shall not
be any fuss concerning sums expended thus.
Repeal of Redundant Statutes
3. Subsection (i) of Section Four of any Act that seems a bore, and
all the Acts concerning beer, and every Act that is not clear (always
excepting Schedule A), shall be repealed and thrown away.