If you are performing “The Star-Spangled Banner’’ at a public event, think twice before using it as dance music or as part of a medley. Deviation from the script can mean a $100 fine.
Think twice, too, about cursing at sporting events. A prohibition took effect in 1963, when both Red Sox and Patriots fans had little reason to cheer. And steer clear of more serious offenses, such as joining a subversive organization, committing blasphemy, or having consensual sex with another adult outside marriage. All could land you in prison.
Such obscure Massachusetts laws and the fact that they are still on the books, often provoke humor. But to some, outmoded statutes are no laughing matter.