Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published December 11th 2011
How many crimes must a person commit in their life? It's a tricky philosophical question, but the answer probably sits in between five and thirty. What's difficult, though, is striking the right balance between breaking the law often enough and staying out of jail. After all, you can't commit crimes in prison, can you? That's probably a legal grey area. The goal is to find laws to break that won't land you in prison: laws that are still on the books but that people have forgotten about, and laws that only the grumpiest of policemen would consider arresting you for. Luckily, there are plenty of laws like that in Australia – and that means plenty of risk-free crimes.
You should still hire a lawyer, just in case.
Drive A Taxi (With Nothing In The Trunk)
This one's a holdover from the ancient days where taxis were made of wood and had horses on the front. To prevent cruelty to animals, or just ensure that paying customers wouldn't have to endure unnecessary hold-ups, cab drivers were required to have a bale of hay in the back at all times. A sick or hungry horse could be revived in emergencies. Despite the relative scarcity of horses on Adelaide's streets, this law's still on the books - so if you drive a taxi now, you'd better have a trunk full of straw. It's a little harder to break this law than the last one, unless you own a taxi. Perhaps if you rode in a taxi, you'd count as an accessory to the crime? Hey, it's worth a shot.
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Here's something you've probably done a hundred times: changing a lightbulb. Funnily enough, unless you're a licensed electrician, it's illegal to change a lightbulb in Australia. This doesn't just apply to public buildings, either; it's actually against the law to change the lightbulb in your own home, making it the law you're least likely to be arrested for ever. In defence of Australia's early lawmakers, this one's probably a leftover from the days when having an unlicensed electrician change your lighting was a good way to burn the entire neighbourhood down.
Kill a Homing Pigeon
Under South Australia law, it's a specific offence to kill, injure or take a homing pigeon. Obviously taking anything from someone's property counts as theft, but the law pays specific attention to homing pigeons. What's a homing pigeon, according to this law? It's a pigeon with a ring attached to one or both of its legs. There doesn't even need to be a message capsule – if you like to make your pet pigeon jewellery, get it a leg-ring first. That way, if it gets into any trouble, the police can step in and fine the offender two hundred and fifty dollars. Moreover, the law prohibits unspecific 'interference' with a homing pigeon. It would take a lawyer to explain exactly what 'interference' means, but you can probably hazard a guess. If you're trying to do this, kill the pigeon, don't interfere with it. Be a criminal, not a bad person.
Sure, there are easier ways to break the law – pigeons are probably quite difficult to interfere with - but when you factor in the costs of a court case, it might break even. Remember: prospective employers and members of the opposite sex tend to be fans of criminal activity. So get out there with a net and a sack of lightbulbs, and impress everyone with your daredevilry and willingness to go against the Man. You'll be an anarchist in no time at all.