Next! Oh, hi, officer

There is a saying: No good deed goes unpunished. Just ask Clyde Scott. The Houma, La., barbershop owner thought he'd help some members of the Class of 2008 at a local high school by making himself available for haircuts since their graduation ceremony was just hours away. Word spread, and soon a crowd of youths was hanging out in front of Scott's establishment, Clippas. That, apparently, was too much for some neighboring merchants, who complained to the cops.

A sergeant researched whether any local codes applied to the case, and found one: a decades-old ordinance that forbids the commercial cutting of hair on Sundays, Mondays, or holidays. This was a Monday, so a patrolman was sent to hand Scott a ticket for operating outside designated hours. Maximum fine: $500. "I didn't know [the law] existed," a nonplussed Scott said. "I think they've got other things they could be doing than harassing me." He and a lawyer are exploring his options, and indeed he may have some wiggle room.

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No one can recall the code being enforced, and the state Board of Barber Examiners seems to be in our guy's corner. "I'm surprised such a law is still on the books," its president said. Then there's District Attorney Joe Waitz Jr., who told the Houma Today newspaper: "Prosecuting a barber for cutting hair on a Monday is not in my game plan." He considers the statute unconstitutional and said he'll write to the City Council recommending that it be repealed.

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