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.

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 He considers the statute unconstitutional and said he'll write to the City Council recommending that it be repealed.

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