A leader in the tiny southeast Iowa town of Mount Sterling is pushing a city ordinance which would ban lying. Sixty-nine-year-old Jo Hamlet is the mayor pro tempore of Mount Sterling, and he has heard a few too many tall tales about hunting and fishing. Hamlet says he’s heard of people shooting 16-pound geese, catching nine pound bass, 28-pound wild turkeys and 200-point bucks and he thought it was time to “tame this down a bit.” Hamlet says someone recently told him one of their cows had given birth to a 125-pound calf.Hamlet says an ordinance that bans lying would definitely help and make people think.Hamlet hasn’t decided what the penalty for lying would be, but is considering mouth-washing or a tongue-lashing as punishment.Hamlet’s primary aim is to tame down the boasting about hunting and fishing triumphs, but his anti-lying ordinance would apply to run-of-the-mill gossip, too. Hamlet, who’s a cattle buyer by trade, says he’s still perfecting the ordinance, and may take a straw poll of Mount Sterling’s 40 residents to gauge its popularity before putting it to a vote of the City Council.
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