The Strange California Ice Cream Law Repealed By Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood is justifiably credited with an illustrious and comprehensive movie career, which The Guardian suggests is fairly absorbed by the Western theme. That is literally present in the case of films such as "A Fistful of Dollars" but arguably indicated too by the likes of the "Dirty Harry" franchise. Basically, there's a no-nonsense, gun-toting do-gooder at the heart of some of Eastwood's most famous acting roles.

There was, however, no room for a cowboy in one particular aspect of Clint Eastwood's career. In 1986, Eastwood became the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, a small city in California with a population of less than 5,000. According to Far Out, the Hollywood actor was disgruntled by city officials lacking the willingness to adapt to change, so managed to run a successful campaign to take over as mayor.

Despite concerns about the vast number of tourists flocking to Carmel because of his influence, Eastwood earned praise for challenging longstanding practices enforced by the city, including an infamous rule that affected ice cream.

A fist full of ice cream cones

As mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Clint Eastwood inherited a city with limitations you don't find in many modern cities. Mail delivery and house numbers were nowhere to be found, reports UPI. There was a ban on the use of frisbees and a rule prohibiting sitting on the grass. In 1985, Carmel created a rule that seemingly shocked the nation, one that effectively placed a ban on outdoor ice cream cones.

The city council was concerned more broadly about the consumption of open food containers in the street ("eating on the street is strongly discouraged," warned a city tourist brochure), but the Los Angeles Times explains that the ban – prompted by a business's desire to sell ice cream – also affected the frozen, creamy treats. This debacle earned Carmel the nickname "Scrooge City." Despite investigations into ice cream cone breakage and spillage rates appearing to undermine the council's case, the ban was retained.

All metaphorical guns blazing, Eastwood entered the scene, taking charge of the city and firing officials involved in creating the pedantic laws. One of his first acts as mayor was relaxing the rule affecting ice cream, reports the Los Angeles Times, as well as boosting public amenities and supporting local commerce. However, Carmel has not completely given up its pre-Eastwood ways. According to the city's website, there are no chain restaurants, no street signs, and wearing high-heeled shoes requires a permit.